As I believe I might’ve mentioned here once or twice, I have worked tirelessly through years of living with depression, only to emerge, hopeful and blinking into the sunlight, to discover that now I have to learn to manage an anxiety disorder. (As I am trying to make this a mostly-family-friendly blog, I’ll just go ahead and censor my reaction to this little discovery.)
You wouldn’t really know it unless you were my husband, and had to listen this every time you came to visit me in my office: “Oh my god, you did NOT just throw your dirty socks on my office floor, did you?! Oh, the pain! The burning! I’m m-e-l-t-i-n-g…”
I used to think that this was just one of my, um, “personality quirks” until I went to a new therapist and had to fill out an anxiety assessment. As in, “Does your need to clean interfere with your daily life?” (My Response: None of your damn business!) Also, there was an entire section that dealt with one’s anxiety in dealing with “fecal matter” (hm, can’t wait to see what kind of spam I start to get now), which made me feel a lot better about the fact that in 35 years I have never once changed a diaper, and as God as my witness, I NEVER WILL!!, bonding with any future nieces and nephews be damned!
The main way that this disorder manifests for me is that in my mind, whenever I’m reading a book, watching TV, listening to the radio, or listening to anyone speak, I am constantly counting the number of syllables I hear and gathering them into groups of even-numbered words that add up to eight syllables (as in, eight one-syllable words, two four-syllable words, etc.)
So I’m on this new medication to help ease all my symptoms of anxiety, and I’m eagerly awaiting the day when my mind will once again belong to me rather than my OCD thoughts, and then we bought the game “Brain Age” for the Nintendo DS. It’s this little regimen of activities to help enhance your brain function, and do you know what one of the training exercises is? That’s right-syllable counting.
Someone is actually lauding my crazy-ass mental disorder as a skill to be devoutly desired and actively pursued. In a competitive, timed game that rewards you, the quicker and more accurate your syllable-counting skill becomes.
Somehow, that just doesn’t seem right.
But of course I played it, because who wouldn‘t leap on the chance to actively flaunt what is, (unfortunately, in this case), the one thing they are best at in the whole entire world.
When you finish the test they rank your ability in terms of things that move, like a person walking, a bicycle, etc.
Can you guess what my speed was?
I can’t decide whether to celebrate, or to ask for an increase in my meds.