Lately I've been having a few relatively minor health issues--nothing major, but adding up to serious annoyance. And this has happened before, so I know how to fix it. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Anyway, I've been constantly tired, and even when I sleep 8 hours or more, I don't feel like I've slept. I'm having concentration and memory problems, headaches, increased problems with my arthritis and carpal tunnel, and I just generally feel bad. When this happened before (about 6 years ago), it all ended up being side effects of the rampaging OCD and the various other anxiety disorders I've managed to collect over the years. I went on Zoloft, and boom, problem mostly solved. Why mostly? Ah, dear reader, herein lies the blog.
Those close to me know I harbor a general distrust for the medical profession as a whole. As Emily recently noted, what they do is called "practice" after all. I've had a few doctors I would now classify as quacks, and I've done a bit of research into various aspects that has left me skeptical at the least and pissed off. The reading I've done on anti-depressants scares the holy bejeezus outta me, as well. The side effects, after-effects, etc. are icky, frightening, and sometimes bizarre. So, there's that to contend with.
The other thing is a bit more abstract. I've had OCD since I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are colored with my attempts at list-making and hyper-perfection. (I had the cleanest play kitchen on the block. :) ) So, I honestly consider the OCD to be at least a minor part of who I am. "Hi! I'm Dawn--lesbian, Pagan, feminist geek with OCD from low-income Alabama." That's me in a (slightly dysfunctional) nutshell. If I take meds to control it, what does that change? To put it another way, am I the hyper, bouncy, 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds girl that comes with Zoloft? Or am I the slightly morose schizo with no chemical alterations (other than an odd addiction to Arizona diet green tea)? How much of who I am is tied up in the disorders, and how much will fade away with the meds? I want to be able to sleep, concentrate, and function, but as me--the Dawn my wife and friends love, not Dawn the Zoloft Zombie.
And you thought the hardest part of OCD was getting the vaccuum tracks even....