52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.
Wednesday, 23 August 2006
crazy in the coconut
That’s it. I’ve had enough of this and I’m going to seek some professional help. I think my brain has always had a tendency to latch onto some of the smaller things in life and then refuse to let them go, but it’s now getting silly. I’m sure everybody goes through phases where they worry if they’ve locked the front door, left the gas on or forgotten to put the handbrake on in the car. I’ve done all of these things, but the one that has really been wearing me down is my obsession with my glasses. I wish I could be one of those people who picks up a pair of specs from the optician and then wears them for the next couple of years without giving them a second thought. I wish that I could wear them easily without worrying about the fit and fretting about whether or not they’re rubbing on my nose or riding up over my ear. I wish I could learn that they only need cleaning when they are dirty and that a scratch on the lens isn’t important unless it obscures my vision.
I wish I could, but apparently I can’t.
When one of these things starts to play on my mind, I find it incredibly hard to forget about it. If I think that one of the arms is catching on my ear, then I will concentrate so hard on it that it feels as though all my senses are being focused on that ear. Of course, this makes it more or less impossible to tell if it actually is catching or not, and if I go into an optician and get an adjustment made, then I find I have become so hyper-focused on it that it will probably impossible to ever get the fit right until I just relax and forget about it. I find going to the optician a deeply humiliating experience because I find myself almost completely unable to articulate why my glasses feel uncomfortable, just knowing that they aren’t right.
It wears me out.
Like most people who are utterly dependent on glasses to see, I have a spare pair of specs at home in case of accidents. My spare pair are now quite old and are hardly the height of fashion, but in the last few months I’ve taken to wearing them every night when I get home and for most of the weekend. Why? Because they have glass lenses, and glass lenses are almost impossible to scratch. I am so obsessed with the idea of scratching my main pair – which have plastic lenses – that I would rather put them away and give my brain a break than wear them.
Of course, now I find myself worrying about the fit of my spare pair.
It’s time for this to stop. My logical brain tells me that this obsession is very unlikely to be simply about my glasses: after all, millions of people wear glasses every day and don’t seem to let it bother them. I cringe when I see people cleaning their specs on whatever comes to hand, but clearly scratching doesn’t bother them like it bothers me (I always use a microfibre cloth to clean my lenses). No, my obsession with my specs is probably a manifestation of some other problem – maybe the WTs – and I think it’s time I did something about it. I’m thinking about hypnotherapy to address the specific issue (‘look into the eyes, the eyes… not around the eyes, into the eyes” etc), but I’m also going to look into getting some psychotherapy to see if we can discover what I’m really worried about and to address the root cause.
If I believed what I saw on TV, then I’d think that every single American is in therapy. Maybe they are, but I don’t think I know a single person in the UK who has been to see a psychiatrist. Not one. What do you do? Look them up in Yellow Pages? Put your underpants on your head, pencils up your nostrils and say “wibble” and wait until they come to you?