Happy not-christmas-anymore!

I hope you all had a very happy Christmas!

Mine was lovely, with good company, good food, and thoughtful gifts. We went for a walk in the early afternoon whilst the large dead thing was roasting in the oven and let the dog run wild and free in a sheep field for a bit. The festive meal was very successful thanks to my lovely chef, and the evening was filled by naps and card games.

Boxing day was fine to start with but fell rapidly off a cliff when my brain decided it was not having this “happy” business and left me vacant for all daylight hours. There has however been a sweet reprieve this evening, and I’ve finally emerged from my fortress of fluffy hair and enormous hoods and back into the real world of lovely people and hazelnut brownies and crackly fires.

And now it is wine time, because a wise person once told me that I am not grumpy, I am just wine-deprived.

Three happies for today:
1. The unfathomable patience of my wonderful partner in life
2. Tiny dots of sheep in the distance
3. Sympathy from somehow understanding canines

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Eating ham is the bravest thing in the world.

Food terrifies me. What goes in has the potential to make a sudden re-appearance, and for that reason I do try to avoid eating.

I have just embarked on my Christmas holiday to the Lake District (land of a thousand rain clouds, and not metaphorical ones for a change) with my partner and my mum’s furball that we are dogsitting. We brought with us a magnificent ham courtesy of the boyfriend’s mum, and I trust it about as much as I would trust a dog poo with “I’m a ham” written on it. The boyfriend therefore has to be eating ham pretty much constantly to confirm to the little melodramatic fool in my head that it is safe. A terrible task, isn’t it? I am fully aware that it’s a total joy for him, but whenever he eats a piece of ham I am filled with an immense feeling of gratitude that he would take that kind of risk for me.

I get really cautious at this time of year. I tend to lose a lot of weight and people tell me off and I get rather grumpy and cry a lot. Last year I got so frustrated with my own eating habits that on Christmas day I downed my class of wine, said “oh f#@k it” and ate everything in the world. And surprisingly enough, I survived. The bit that makes it so tricky to get around is that I have the useless, irritating ability to feel my own digestion happening. I associate this sensation with feeling sick, and therefore I avoid eating just to avoid the aftermath of worry. A course of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) last year helped me to distinguish between the two, but I still subconsciously interrogate every counter-argument I can think of to the point that it seems completely unconvincing.

But even not eating has its problems; lack of food means that adrenaline is released to free up more sugar for the brain to use, and so anxiety is increased to an uncomfortable level whether I eat or not. Refusing my body food is worse I think, I become scared of eating because the resultant anxiety from adrenaline release generally results in paranoia and heightens my fear of food, and it becomes a horrible feedback effect.

There’s a lot more to this anxiety thing than people think. It creeps into anywhere it will fit.

Anyway, good things about today:
1. Christmas decorations are finally up and they look very pretty
2.Gooey Christmas brownies with lots of yummy things in
3. My dog is just impossibly lovely!

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A spoon full of sugar

IMG_8984Today’s post is about nice things. Nice things like my tiny christmas tree, complete with tiny tinsel and tiny baubles (pictured to the right), and the way that the whole world suddenly improves when there is a dog asleep on your feet. And cake. Cake is a very nice thing.

I love listening to my mum hoovering the carpet. The sound effects involved consist of equal parts singing made-up tunes and asking the dog to move. Whilst writing this mum has accused the dog of being passive-aggressive for her sabotage attempts (standing on the cable of the hoover) and now the dog has sulked her way back into the living room to resume her nap by the fire.

I like most of the things my mum’s dog does. I like how she tries unsuccessfully to wrap herself in blankets, I like how she squirms around like a mad squirming thing to scratch her back, I like how she fidgets so much in her sleep that she falls off her chair… Dogs are just wonderful.

As far as the cake of happiness goes, this evening I’m making some coconut and raspberry cupcakes so I can feed my favourite cake to some of my favourite people and spread a little bit of happy about the place.

My pet worries

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I think that OCD is like looking after a little cluster of needy, whiny pets for a relative with a very violent criminal record who’s gone away indefinitely. You don’t want them there, they are just irritating noise that gets in the way of everything you do, but you have to care for them. You have to feed them every time they squeak or they will drop dead, and that would make the relative very angry and they would probably come and bash you with a huge steel meat tenderiser for an extended period of time.

No one wants that.

So you take the cluster of needy, whiny pets everywhere with you. And they dash off in all directions following every scent they find, they run around your feet trying to trip you up, and they all want all of your attention all the time. And you must do what they want or something terrible might happen. You know that the relative will probably never come back for them; it is possible that you are doing all of this for absolutely no reason, but there is no way of knowing for sure so you do what you think is necessary to prevent that potential meat-tenderiser-related torture.

And it just goes on and on. And it is exhausting. You are very aware of how ludicrous the situation is, but letting them die – or even passing the responsibility over to someone else – is simply not an option because you are so completely terrified of the potential consequences.

OCD is repeatedly performing some insane task which you know is totally illogical, to prevent a consequence that will probably never happen but it’s so scary that you are not willing to take that risk.