High Functioning

High functioning aren’t words I would use to describe myself.

However, recently, Randy stumbled upon an article. He sent the article to me with a note. “This is you.”

The article is about people with high functioning OCD.  I followed a trail and found an article about OCD and hyper responsibility.

While I would not describe myself as high functioning, I have no problem applying the word “hyper” to me. 

Reading these articles with all the subsequent articles I could find (Hahaha, why no, I’m not obsessive) made for a weird and somewhat squirmy afternoon.

Ultimately, I found comfort reading words that describe what goes on in my head. Kind of. I mean, I don’t think I could accurately describe what goes on in my head and I am the world’s leading expert on my head.

I used to joke about being responsible for everyone in the entire world and what a thankless job it is. I honestly had no idea that was a mental health issue.

Boiled down, I have obsessive thoughts, but have compulsions designed to relieve the pain from the constant obsessive thoughts aren’t super intrusive. I can live a normal life, function at my job, and at home. The people around me might mention I play Boggle on my phone obsessively. Or watch and re-watch and re-watch specific TV series.

Speaking of which, I’ve been reading there might be a season 16 of Supernatural. A girl can dream. 

Oh, and the hyper responsibility thing? That is just fucking exhausting.

Last year, my sister gave me a desk calendar for Christmas. Today’s entry, on December 8th, 2023 reads “The path of inner peace begins with four words: ” not my fucking problem.”

You all, I could barely stand to look at the words.

calendar page

Not my fucking problem? Really? Everything is my fucking problem.

I had to obscure the calendar so I could work.

I guess I could have removed it, but then it would have said December 9 and is today, right now December 9? No. No it is not. So, of course, I couldn’t remove the page.

high functioning calendar page don’t know what this revelation means for me, if anything. I do have the option for a few free psychologist visits through my insurance. I guess I could avail myself of that option.

Because I would love to be able to say “not my fucking problem”. I’d also like to stop worrying in a weird ass loop every day.

Anyway, here’s to new discoveries! I guess.

Why Am I Me?

I mentioned, in another post, I’ve been undergoing ketamine treatments.

So far, I haven’t had any real revelations. My brain didn’t show me any memories. Mostly, so far, the treatment just builds and takes down weirdly shaped and colored structures.

Except, one memory. I did have one.

Only, it’s not like this is a forgotten memory, it’s one that I think of often. I asked Randy if I ever told him about it and he said I did not. It wasn’t like it was super private or disturbing or anything, but it’s so much a part of my recollection of youth that I guess I never thought to tell Randy about it. Much like I’ve never said “Hey, have I ever told you about my left eyebrow?” Because my eyebrow is there and he can see it.

A brief ketamine moment, but still somewhat clear. I remembered myself at 9 years old, alone in my room. I sat, curled up in a ball, and rocked back and forth while screaming, “Why am I me” into a pillow.

pillowsI clearly remembered how I felt in that moment. Like a stranger in my own head.

I didn’t understand why I had the thoughts. I didn’t understand why I loved or hated the things I loved and hated. It wasn’t that I questioned my existence, I just didn’t understand who the person in my head was.

I felt a great deal of compassion for her.

I know she was me, but not in the moment in my drug induced reality. In that moment, she was a child who needed comfort. I felt bad for her. I wanted her to be okay, but I knew my arms couldn’t stretch back in time to hold her and stroke her hair.

I think it happened because I felt that same way a bit under the ketamine. That I didn’t know who I was. That I was a stranger to myself. Only, I am an old woman now. It wasn’t upsetting or scary to me to feel removed from myself. I didn’t completely mind being a stranger to myself because, even though I was under the influence, I was aware I was under the influence and I would come back to myself soon enough.

That poor little child wasn’t under the influence of anything. I never viewed it this way, but I think she was in crisis. I think she really needed help that never came.

She was scared all of the time. That poor little girl, in the bedroom, with the broken fireplace, and the rosebud wallpaper.

I wish I could find her and make everything okay. I wish I could find her and show her the kindness and acceptance that she so desperately craved. I wanted to give her the affection and care she deserved.

Looking into the past

I guess the next best thing would be to try to give that kindness and acceptance to myself. I mean, we’re the same. Sort of.

She’s always going to be a scared little girl.

But I guess I could give myself the same kindness and acceptance that she needed and deserved. Because she still does.


I Don’t Know Why I’m Not Stupid

I mean, I know I’m not stupid.

But I don’t know why.

Let me explain. At least I will try. And herein lies the fucking problem.

I guess the easy answer is that I assume I am stupid because as a child, my narcissistic father told me I was stupid. A lot.

Perhaps, it is that simple, but I don’t think so.

I program computers and code in an old ass, not sexy language. Black screen, green letters.

It’s not a friendly language. There are no drop down boxes or anything. You don’t get to skip any steps. There are no wide sweeping “just assume all the following is true” options. You have to tell it every single step in painstaking detail. It’s not easy and as long as I’ve been doing this, I absolutely know I still have way more to learn than I already know.

I don’t understand why I understand what I do.

I don’t know how I know that I need to process data in a specific way to get the expected results. I’m not talking syntax. The syntax is stupid and difficult, but I’ve been doing it so long that I just mostly know it now. I’m not talking about the act of writing the code, I’m saying I don’t understand why I write it the way I do.

I guess if I had a formal education in programming, then it might be different. I learned by listening to cassette tapes in the late eighties. Well, I learned enough to jump down rabbit holes and figure shit out.

I’m terrible at math, which is ludicrous. Literally everything I do is math. I guess it’s true that everything all of us do is math, but you know what I mean. 

But I am terrible at math.

math numbers

When my boss gives me a project and the calculations go anywhere beyond simple addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, then he’s got to write the formula out for me. Because I don’t know. I don’t get it.

It’s a jumbled up mess. Nothing that makes me go from “sort of calm” to “sweating out of my eyeholes”, in seconds, is for someone to ask me a simple math problem. Seriously, I could cry.

If my work day includes my boss speaking these words “so, I need a report that includes gross margin”, then I’m having a bad fucking day.

How can I fucking not get it?

I just don’t understand how I do what I do when I have remedial math skills. And remedial might be a gift.

It’s not just a lack of math skills.

When I have to explain something technical to my boss, it’s painful. I grasp at finding the words to explain something that I just know will work. I do a lot of babbling. It’s cool though, he’s used to it. Most of the time, not all of the time, but most of the time, my babbling will lead to a coherent thought. Mostly, I can end up explaining what I’m doing. But some of the time? I got nothing. I have no idea. It’s embarrassing.

It’s like I have this smart person who lives behind my left ear and whispers shit to me that I can’t really hear, but I can make happen. Since I can’t really hear what she is saying, how the fuck can I explain what she is saying?

I’m not giving up hope. I’ll figure this out one of these days.

Maybe, a veil will be lifted and I’ll totally get math! Maybe, it really is a block that comes from being I was told stupid as a child. Maybe, I’m trying to box in the way my brain works. I have no idea. I don’t know if it matters.

What works for me, is that in the not too distant past, I would have a hard time talking about this.

Obviously, one reason being that I have difficulty explaining things as we just previously talked about. Mostly, though, it’s because I have been embarrassed by this my entire life.

I’m good with it now. It’s my brain. This is how I do.

I guess.


Image by Jae Rue from Pixabay