How to date someone who has obsessive compulsive disorder

You may have a partner with obsessive compulsive disorder, or you might be considering starting a relationship, but hesitant because the object of your affections has
obsessive compulsive disorder. It can certainly be challenging if a person’s symptoms threaten to interfere with all the fun you’d like to have. But then again, nobody’s perfect. We all have something that nags us.

I've met many people with OCD, and without exception, they have been sweet, humble, empathic and without arrogance. OCD sufferers are also highly intelligent and extremely strong in spite of the craziness inside their heads.

If that special someone in your life happens to have OCD, take heart. Many OCD sufferers manage to lead normal (or crazy and normal) lives, which includes marriage, children and career. Just because a person has OCD, does not mean that they cannot be a huge asset to your life and make an excellent partner and parent.

So here are some tips on how to treat your special someone and have a wonderful life regardless of their OCD:

1) Never say, “why can’t you just snap out of it?!”
The answer is no they can’t snap out of it, any more than a diabetic can snap out of being unable to produce insulin. Except in the OCD sufferer it’s serotonin (among other neurotransmitters) that is not being delivered in adequate quantities to the relevant areas of the brain. OCD is a biological disorder of the brain, and needs to be understood as such.

2) Listen to your loved one.
Talking about OCD can be hard, because words often fall short of illustrating the true depth of pain and anxiety experienced by the sufferer. To quote from A Life Lived Ridiculously,

As I listened to the words pour from my mouth, I could have thumped myself in the face. Not because the words evoked emotions, rather I was disappointed by the extent to which the words trivialized the mental anguish associated with these decorating dilemmas. It was like suffering from a broken leg but only having the vocabulary to describe a scraped knee. Words just didn’t do justice to the pain. How do you tell a stranger that you don’t like the shape of your lampshade and at the same time expect them to understand that you are describing a pain that inhabits you fully, inserts itself between your cells like cement and wears your skin like a coat? I just sounded like I was whining.

If you give the impression that you really get it, you will have taken a huge step in making your loved one feel less isolated with their condition.

3) Inform yourself.
For the reasons stated above, go online, get books and learn what it really means to be nagged by intrusive thoughts.

4) If your partner’s OCD is under control
with the use of medication, therapy, or both, be supportive. Never ask them to come off their meds or stop therapy just because they “seem fine now.” Your loved one is fine and able to be in a great relationship with you because they have their OCD under control. OCD is a lifelong illness, and this means that the medications are for life. Asking someone to come off their meds would not only bring back their symptoms, but may make symptoms worse. A relapse can set a person back so far that when they return to their meds, the old dose may not be sufficient and a higher dose would be required.

5) If your partner’s OCD is not under control
, if they are symptomatic and it is causing distress and disruption to their life, then urge and encourage them to get help. Remind them that it is not their fault, that they are unwell, and that they cannot get better alone. You may also offer to become partners in treatment, by attending therapy with them, helping out with exposure exercises, and reminding your loved one to take their medications. This will, at the very least, help to build a strong bond between the two of you.

6) You don’t have to exclude someone because “OCD might be hereditary.”
They might be thinking the same about your hairy back. Again no one is perfect.

7) Accept your partner just the way they are
. After all, you likely fell in love with this person as a whole package that included their issues with anxiety. Acceptance delivers a positive message that may allow you and your loved one to actually become closer. If your loved one is struggling with the idea of getting help, your unconditional acceptance can actually free them to start taking risks which is one of the things they’ll have to do if they want to overcome their anxiety. Change always requires being able to take risks, be vulnerable, and make mistakes. When people feel safe, they can do these things more easily. The best gift you can give is your unconditional love and support.

Many OCD sufferers have their condition under control due to a mix of education, and a willingness to address and treat the problem. So long as a person is prepared to acknowledge their illness and desires to treat it, then there is no reason that they should not make a wonderful life partner. We are all far from perfect, but only those in denial are undatable. Everyone else is fair game. 

dating somone with ocd
_ Eight ways to spot a sociopath (aka con-artist) on your first date

Just because someone you trust is setting you up on a blind date, don’t assume that it’s safe! Even the most well intentioned friend or family member may accidentally introduce you to someone dangerous. After all how well do our friends and family know the object of the set up? If they knew them oh so well, then chances are we’d probably know them too. This is why it is advisable to treat every date with caution, whether it is someone you picked up in a bar or someone introduced to you by your mum.

The novel, A Life Lived Ridiculously, is a prime example of how a setup from a trusted source can go horribly wrong, after Maxine’s parents inadvertently set her up with a sociopath.

So before you fall hopelessly in love with your mum’s best friend’s mahjong partner’s nephew, be aware of sociopaths (social predators who exploit just about everyone they meet). Because with 1 in 25 people falling under the classic definition of a sociopath, we need to be aware of them before they prey on us.

Sociopaths have impressive social skills, thereby making them extremely hard to spot. They are charming, funny and exciting. This is why we need to be aware. If your new romantic interest exhibits all or most of the following behaviors, be careful. He or she might be a sociopath.

1) Charisma and charm:
 They’re smooth talkers, always have an answer, never miss a beat. They seem to be very exciting. Their manners are impeccable; they are well groomed; they fulfill the codes of romance and courtship to a tee. They are likely to be eloquent talkers who lace their speech with impressive sounding facts and figures. They may be fun, laugh a lot, sweep their partner off their feet with their sweetness. 
2) Enormous ego: They act like the smartest, richest or most successful people around. They may actually come out and tell you that.

3) Lies and gaps in the story. You ask questions, and the answers are vague. They tell stupid lies. They tell outrageous lies. They lie when they’d make out better telling the truth. If you probe deeper, you’ll find that their stories never stack up.
4) Pity play: They appeal to your sympathy. They want you to feel sorry for their abusive childhood, psychotic ex, incurable disease or financial setbacks.

5) Blame others: Nothing is ever their fault. They always have an excuse. Someone else causes their problems.
6) Jekyll and Hyde personality: One minute they love you; the next minute they hate you. Their personality changes like flipping a switch.
) Overly attentive: They call, text and e-mail constantly. They want to be with you every moment. They resent time you spend with your family and  friends.
8) Move fast: They quickly proclaim that you’re their true love and soul mate. They want to move in together or get married quickly.

Some doctors call them sociopaths, others refer to them as psychopaths. Either way, the terms are used to describe individuals who have a range of personality disorders. These people are NOT certifiably mentally ill; they are biological carriers of socially and personally problematic traits. Such traits may have been manifested from childhood in acts of cruelty to animals, property or people. These characteristics can disrupt relationships, create financial and emotional crises, and, at their worst, lead the person to callously undertake acts of vandalism, theft, rape or murder. Being aware what constitutes a sociopath can help one resist their charm and the errors inherent in establishing a life with them.

Sociopaths know exactly what they are doing, and most of them never kill anyone. But they are social predators who exploit just about everyone they meet. They have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. 

You can’t ‘cure’ a sociopath or help them to see the error of their ways. They don't see the world as we do, so the only thing you can do, is save yourself and walk away.
_ When alcohol and anxiety are a dangerous mix

During the holidays most of us are thrown headfirst into social situations whether we like it or not. There’s the work holiday party, friend’s parties where everyone is trying to be more dynamic than the next person, and those memorable family gatherings where relatives think it’s okay to squeeze your face just because they haven’t seen you in a year. Some of it may make you nervous, and some may bore you half to death, and you’ll probably get through it all with a smile on your face and a drink in your hand.

Why then do people say that anxiety sufferers should avoid alcohol lest their anxiety increase? That doesn’t seem logical, when alcohol does such a great job of instantly calming your nerves as you pucker up and ask that hot guy in sales for a big, wet kiss?

Well it turns out that although alcohol, in the short term, reduces anxiety, in the long term, alcohol actually makes anxiety worse:

Here’s what you can expect from alcohol…

Short term effects of alcohol
  • Alcohol is a depressant because it acts quickly to depress the central nervous system, giving a feeling of relaxation for a short period of time.
  • Alcohol increases the chemical inhibitory neurotransmitter Gamma-aminobutyric acid (or “GABA”), which has the effect of stopping the anxious feelings being produced.
  • Alcohol’s chemical effect therefore makes it a fast acting “anxiolytic” – i.e. an anxiety reducer.
Long term effects of alcohol
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are experienced as anxiety. This can fuel more alcohol intake, which results in a vicious cycle of anxiety and alcohol consumption. Patients with panic disorder who are alcohol dependent are unable to distinguish panic symptoms, with the exception of tremor, from alcohol withdrawal.
    (Panic attacks and alcohol withdrawal: Can subjects differentiate the symptoms?)
  • Alcohol can impair the functions of hormone-releasing glands and their target tissues. Most significant is the effect of alcohol on blood sugar. Insulin and glucagon are the two main hormones that regulate blood sugar (glucose) from dietary sources, plus the body can also synthesize its own glucose if needed. However alcohol impairs the functions of these two hormones and also impairs the body’s ability to synthesize glucose, all of which results in hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia causes dizziness, confusion, weakness, nervousness, shaking and numbness. Although the body can both store and synthesize glucose, the brain cannot, and depends entirely on glucose supplied by the blood, and even brief periods of low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) can cause brain damage and trigger anxiety.
    (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism No. 26 PH 352 October 1994)
  • GABA is the major inhibitory (i.e. calming) neurotransmitter system in the central nervous system. It has been shown that long-term exposure to alcohol reduces the levels and function of the GABA-benzodiazepine (or “GBzR”) receptor in the central nervous system. In other words, long-term consumption actually reduces the anxiolytic function in the brain, making us less able to cope with anxiety in the long run.
    (Reduced levels of the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor in alcohol dependency in the absence of grey matter atrophy)
  • Serotonin Depletion. Alcohol consumption over a long period of time leads to a depletion of serotonin in the brain. As serotonin is a 'happiness' hormone this can lead to depression, and depression is often linked to anxiety. 
    (The Role of Serotonin in Alcohol's Effects on the Brain)
Unless you are in a coma or are a sociopath, everyone has a certain degree of anxiety. Anxiety is normal, but anxiety disorders are not. Yet anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., afflicting 40 million adults. And alcohol is an easily accessible form of self-medication for your anxiety. But it could also end up becoming your only source of relief and your worst enemy.

So, as you toast the new year with that third (or tenth) glass of mulled wine, ask yourself, is this getting get me through another inane conversation with that woman in accounting who insists on showing me photos of her cats, or do I need this just to get through another terrifying day on earth?

Happy, healthy holidays, and safe drinking to everyone….

Don’t mention your novel, because someone might get offended

What happens when the anti spam police go too far? In a fashion not unlike the effect of the PC police, we end up unable to say anything without offending someone. This article highlights the frustrations of authors struggling to be heard on the internet, yet having to do so under impossibly restrictive conditions.

Ok we get it, spam is bad. No one wants their newsfeed clogged with thousands of irrelevant adverts, or even relevant advertising, but a thousand times a day. We get it!

But I also think many people are taking their loathing of spam too far...

Let's say you're a writer with a new book about to come out. You may join writer's forums. And let’s say your book has a heavy rock-climbing theme, so you'll probably also join rock-climbing forums. And in all these forums you'll talk to hundreds of like-minded people who'll be happy to learn all about you… all that is except for the fact that you've written a book!

The moment you so much as hint at your achievement, bam the petty police (we all know who they are, every forum has at least one) send you hostile and bitter emails that this forum is not the place for self promotion.

Well if you're a writer in a writer's forum, then, one should be surprised if you DIDN'T have a book up your sleeve.

As mentioned before (this needs to be repeated, lest some self-righteous petty betty who didn’t read the first paragraph, says something asinine about spam) there is a difference between alerting relevant parties of your new product and bashing them over the head with it in the form of spam. A huge difference!

My editor put out a press release in which she explained that thanks to her fabulous editing, my book has found a publisher. Well of course I shared it to all my social media. It appeared on my Facebook wall (once) in relevant Facebook groups (once), on Twitter, Stumbleupon and LinkedIn (all once), among others. For the most part people were receptive and offered congratulations. But then there was the bitter mafia, who accused me of everything, from spamming to even faking the press release. One group member said that my publisher wasn't sufficiently well known for me to claim that I had found a publisher, whilst another said that the press release contained “too much extraneous capitalization,” which made her suspicious.

The best was the sour puss who wrote "is this self promotion or are you advertising the services of your editor? If it’s the latter then fine, but if it's the former then it has NO place in this forum!" Then what exactly is this ‘writer's forum’ for, you sad, miserable witch?!

By the end of a day that had started upbeat and full of hope, due to the arrival of the press release, I was totally deflated and broken by so much hostility and plain nastiness. I must add that my book exists purely for entertainment purposes. I am not trying to sell anyone on a concept or a product, so I don't see the harm in letting people know that it's out there.

So what promotes this apparent aversion to other people's attempts to make something of themselves? Is it envy, the desire to see someone fail, or the fear that someone might succeed? And if that is the case, then don't worry petty police, by the time you're done muzzling and breaking the spirits of people you've never even met before, many I'm sure will have given up hope and abandoned the project.

As for me, I'm still fighting the good fight, trying to navigate the increasingly strict rules of social media and the oversensitivity of petty people.

Because I may or may not have a have a novel coming out. I'd love to tell you more about it, but can't in case it offends someone. So I'll just say this, the title begins with A. Also I have a website, but you can't have the link because giving someone a link is a major spam crime.

So if you want me you can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn, talking about everything and anything, and always diligently avoiding mentioning that I may or may not soon be a published author.

Oh, and if another person tells me to join google+, I'll throttle them - I get abused on enough social sites as it is.

(PS, in case anyone is wondering, the most vicious petty betties live on LinkedIn, so beware…)

petty betty, bitter, looking throgh magnifying glass
OCD-UK discussion forum may be a fraud

Due to the fact that the administrators at OCD-UK have been stingy and not allowed links to any other websites relating to OCD, I must remove myself from this forum.

I can no longer support a forum that is clearly interested only in its own popularity and not in the needs of the OCD sufferers, who require as much information as possible, even if that means getting it from multiple sources.

To quote OCD-UK, “we don't allow links to external websites as there are so many ill-informed websites out there.”

Yes there are, but there is also a wealth of very useful information out there. Isn’t it up to the individual to decide what to read and what to ignore? Or are we living under a communist regime? Keep the masses in the dark!

OCD-UK even deleted one post in which I had merely suggested (no links here) that you Google ‘The OCD Circuit,’ claiming that “telling people to Google a certain subject could bring up all sorts of websites which can lead to confusion and people getting bad information.”

Again, yes it could, but FIRSTLY it is not up to you to protect us from Google. And SECONDLY it is probably thanks to Google that many of OCD-UK's users found OCD-UK. It's certainly how I found them. Perhaps OCD-UK is providing "bad information" since they too are searchable on Google....
Methinks therefore that this excuse might also be a pathetic ploy to ensure that traffic is never driven away from OCD-UK.

It seems that OCD-UK wants their site filled with sufferers, who cry for help, but never get any real answers. Because the more people remain ignorant of the facts, the more likely they are to remain in the forum looking for answers. This is why the moment someone comes along with any helpful ideas, OCD-UK shuts them down and deletes their posts.  OCD-UK needs to keep its users in darkness and continually suffering.

I recommend that all members leave OCD-UK, and find a more genuine forum. You will find many OCD support groups and discussion forums on the internet.

Here are just a few:
  • OCD Tribe
  • OCD Action (another UK based forum)
  • Neurotic Planet
  • SupportGroups
  • Social Phobia
  • Stuck In a Doorway
  • Many many many many many many many many OCD groups on Facebook
Be well, be healthy and always stay informed...

Keep suffering, it's better for our website rankings...

_ Hoarding vs Clutter Phobia, which one is really OCD?

Why is the media so fixated on
OCD being about hoarding, when hoarding is the opposite of everything that OCD stands for? People with OCD tend to be organized, neat freaks and clean. Hoarders on the other hand are disorganized, messy and a general health and safety hazard. They could not be further from the definition of obsessive compulsive disorder if they tried.

Do hoarders even have the obsessions and compulsions that are so integral to
OCD, or is their hoarding mindless? Most hoarders will tell you that they don't even know how their hoarding got so out of hand. Is that the meticulous attitude of someone with OCD? I don't think so! It's a mystery how hoarding ever got labeled as OCD. Less than 1% of the population hoards, and 2.5% of the population has OCD. According to the Mayo Clinic, many people who hoard don't have other OCD-related symptoms. Furthermore, according to Dr Staab of the Mayo Clinic, "recent functional brain imaging studies suggest a different pattern of brain activity in patients with hoarding versus other OCD symptoms. All of these data support the separation of hoarding from OCD."

Isn’t it time we debunk the hoarding myth and instead give recognition to hoarding’s opposite,
Obsessive Compulsive Spartanism, a real and distressing version of OCD that deserves to be recognized?. Obsessive compulsive spartans, really do obsess about their space and their stuff, organizing, counting, arranging, rearranging and purging, constantly feeling cluttered even though they live in minimalistic, Spartan conditions. Obsessive compulsive spartans are so strict about what comes into and what remains in their home, that it causes major distress and/or disruption to daily living.

Sadly though, The American Psychiatric Association does not officially recognize obsessive compulsive spartanism as a psychiatric disorder. Even more frustrating is that, in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV, hoarding has been categorized as a symptom of
OCD. Thankfully, though, it looks like hoarding will be classified as a separate illness in the DSM V edition, due to be published in 2013.

It is very important to note that obsessive compulsive spartanism has NOTHING to do with contamination
OCD (cleaning, hand washing etc). And that just like cleaning and checking, obsessive compulsive spartanism can stand alone and cause plenty of distress as is.

I would suggest that obsessive compulsive spartanism manifests itself as follows:

1) Need to have minimum things in your home.
2) Need to have specific numbers of everything that you do have in your home.
3) Everything must fit into a category, or you cannot have it at all
4) Everything has a very specific place.

OCDpart is the constant editing: Is this the right shelf for my books, why do I have 6 pairs of shoes, maybe I should have five? A screwdriver doesn't fit into any of my acceptable categories, so I won't have one even if it means constantly bothering the neighbor to borrow theirs. I know I'm about to miss my flight but I can't leave the house until I am happy that my kitchen cabinet doesn't look cluttered.

Because this brand of
OCD never appears in any of the textbooks, and is never spoken about, it is likely there are many sufferers out there struggling in silence and wishing they had any other more famous OCD symptoms instead, just so they wouldn't feel so weird and alone. Some unfortunate souls probably have no idea they have OCD at all, and that treatment is available, just as it is to other OCD patients.

Hoarders have recognition of their suffering, obsessive compulsive spartans do not. Perhaps it is far less interesting or scandalous than hoarding, but it is torture, as only an
OCD sufferer can know.

Think about it. There's:
  • Contamination OCD
  • Checking
  • Ordering
  • Counting
  • Hoarding !!!
  • Scrupulosity (religious OCD)
  • HOCD
  • Sexual OCD
  • Pure O
  • Skin picking
Everyone's pain is recognized, except for the obsessive compulsive spartans! If you are a clutter phobe, this should make you furious, and keen to raise awareness about this type of torment.

Time to come out of some very neat closets…

And hoarders, please go away, get out of our space and get your own diagnosis. OCD belongs to the clutter phobes!!

How much more social media can one person handle?

How many of you are going to switch to Google+ and abandon Facebook?  Stick with Facebook and never in a billion years go on to Google+?  Keep a hand in each and use one for writer connections one for personal stuff with your family?  Use both for both?

And how many of you just hung your heads in horror and said, Why why why why?? FOR GOODNESS SAKES, not another social media site that I HAVE TO contribute to in order to succeed, or else risk disappearing into the great abyss known as failure.

I mean really? Doesn’t all the pre-existing social media already suck the life and soul out of your day? Do we really need another added to our endless to do list?

I am very unhappy about Google +. I just don’t have time for it, as well as for everything else !!!!!!

Social Media
We don’t need manners, we’re New Yorkers

I was raised to write thank you notes, return phone calls, keep appointments and make my friends feel important. Oh and in case you are wondering, I'm not 105 years old, I'm 36 and happen to have not been raised in New York City.

I know we're all busy, but for some reason New Yorkers are busier than everyone else, and this seems to be a perfectly acceptable excuse for disrespect and lack of basic manners? I have lived here just one year and other than utter disgust at the behavior of my 'friends' I am seriously baffled as to how anyone actually has friends when they treat one another with such disregard?

Last week I invited a total of twelve people to an event and failed to get a definite answer from a single one of them. When I've extended invitations in other worlds in which I’ve lived (San Francisco, London, Geneva), I always received a timely response involving “yes please” or “no thank you.” Simple as that.

Those that eventually did bother to acknowledge the invitation, did so the day after the event, and without exception whined that their phones had “died.” I know we love to moan about our service providers, but with the current epidemic of “dying” phones, it’s amazing that any of the phone companies are still in business.

When asked if I am free, I look in my diary and provide a yes or no answer. It really is not more complicated than that. That's how I was raised...not in New York. Why is this basic step so hard for New Yorkers to fathom?

Having said all of that, even when your New York friends actually do bother to meet you, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be treated with respect.

I was attending a dinner party at a friend's home, when her husband rose from the table, grabbed his laptop and moved to the couch, whereupon he ignored his guests and worked for a solid hour. Clearly his work is so important that he doesn't have to adhere to social norms and wait until the guests have actually left. And in case you're wondering, this person was not a doctor who’d interrupted the evening to restart a heart or cure cancer.

The crazy thing, though was that no one, neither his wife nor his friends, batted an eyelid. Everyone just went on with their conversations, as though this rude behavior were the most natural thing in the world.

Later, when I asked his wife about it, she said ever so casually, “he works for a bank, so it’s OK. Everyone gets it.” Well forgive me for being the party pooper, but I really don’t “get it.” I understand that some people are extremely busy, but if you're too busy to spend time with your friends, then don't invite them to your house for dinner.

Everyone deserves a minimum of respect and politeness. What has gone wrong in New York society that we no longer have the right to expect the most basic of common manners? I have lived in several different cities, and never experienced flakiness on this pathological scale. The question is why do New Yorkers think they are exempt from common decency? And why do we let them get away with it?

I'm better than you, ocd, sociopath
The rudeness of arriving early

You're a new mum. You need to feed your little darling every three hours, and it takes an hour to feed her. Then you have to take care of the laundry, the cleaning and if you're pumping breast milk that's another thirty minutes right there. Suddenly twenty four hours in a day isn't enough. Not that thirty hours would be any better, since you'd only have to feed your munchkin more. 

As soon as the sun goes down and baby's asleep, you drag your wretched carcass to bed, hoping to snatch two hour bursts throughout the night in between feeds. 

And while all this is going on, you neglect to pay the bills, answer the phone, write thank you cards or brush your teeth. Food gets tossed at your mouth at light-speed, normally while you're on the loo wasting precious seconds changing Always maxi-pads because remember you're also hemorrhaging all day. 

After about a week of this mayhem, by which time your dining table is no longer visible under the pile of unopened mail, you decide to retake control of your life, and figure that if you plan with military precision, you can salvage an hour and a half period during baby’s daytime nap to attend to the admin of your life. 

So, after depositing your little cream puff in her crib, you thrust yourself at your laptop and embrace the process of reintegration into civilized society.  By embrace I mean multitask like it’s your last day on earth. You squeeze so much into that precious ninety minutes, that what used to take hours, now takes mere seconds, as you answer emails and write thank you cards with one hand whilst listing duplicate gifts on ebay with the other, all the while balancing a breast pump and your boobs on your knees. Yes that hour and a half is your time to get things done and it is worth more than gold and feels better than sex. 

So when inconsiderate visitors arrive fifteen minutes early and steal from that valuable time, it is probably the cruelest form of stress that can be inflicted on a new mum. My ninety minute me-time comes around only once every twenty-four hours, and anything not accomplished today will have to be added to the hundred tasks that I will have just ninety minutes to complete tomorrow. You see how unsettling that can be? 

So if I seem distracted, stressed and impatient when you visit, don't assume it's because of the baby. The baby seems to know that I need that time and kindly falls asleep. I am stressed because of you and your thoughtless thieving of my precious time. Pre-baby, I spent fourteen hours a day on the computer. Now I have to squeeze it all into one and a half hours. You steal even one minute of that and consider yourself lucky if I erase your name from my phone book, and do not dunk you in mayonnaise and chase you down the street with a pack of underfed pit bulls. 

So come on people. Be on time. Be a little late even. It's fashionable and will get you a welcoming smile, a cooing baby and perhaps even a drink and a snack.

ocd, sociopath
Why the 3rd Trimester is the Best Trimester

I know all the baby books wax on about how the second trimester is the most amazing, because you’re high on estrogen and so horny that you’re likely to sexually assault strangers in the street. That your husband can expect a lot of sex at this time and that you’re simply a joy to be around. Yes that’s what the baby books say. 

And perhaps that is the case for many women, but right now I would like to give credence to a group of women for whom the second trimester is not a three month long rave party. Rather, for these women the third trimester is where they finally come into their own, find inner peace and start to truly relax and enjoy their pregnancies. 

If you are among this group then you will know just what I mean. Your ankles may be the size of fish tanks and you can’t stand upright for more than a few minutes at a time, but you are rewarded with advantages that far outweigh the physical discomfort. Advantages such as these: 

1) First and most important of all, you can finally relax and not worry about baby’s health, as baby may be born at any time now and have a full chance of survival. No amount of second trimester hornyness can trump that. 

2) The regular kicking serves as a constant reminder that your baby is alive. Now you are truly aware of being pregnant, rather than just looking pregnant and feeling fat. 

3) You have long given up trying to figure out what portion of your new weight gain is you and what is baby and are most likely just enjoying those deserts and shelving your guilt until after the birth. 

4) It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a heavy meal and feel bloated because you don’t look any different than you did before the meal. So there really isn’t any point in allowing bloatedness to ruin the rest of your evening, as it might have done previously. 

5) Everyone smiles at you and offers congratulations. Random strangers start up conversations and some even confide their life stories. So what if you can’t see your feet, you wouldn’t want to anyway. The world is smiling at you, smile back! 

6) Finally and best of all, there are no expectations of you, you don’t even have to lift a finger. Now come on ladies, don’t tell me you don’t quickly get used to taking cabs everywhere, to being invited to the front of every line and of course to having first dibs on the last empty chair. We all yearn to feel special, and the third trimester finally gives you a taste of how sweet life is when you actually can be special. 

The only downside to the third trimester is that it is only three months long. Frankly I wish it would last forever! 

In comparison, trimesters one and two are pure hell and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Trimester one is all about the fear of miscarriage, accompanied by what I can only describe as progesterone psychosis. Progesterone being the hormone responsible for PMS that makes you want to chase your husband around the room with a knife.In a nutshell, trimester one is three months of pure, intense and unrelenting PMS. I am certain that women’s prisons are filled with perfectly reasonable females whose dead husbands made the fatal mistake of switching on ESPN during that critical and badly misunderstood time. Not only that, but at this time, generally no one but you knows that you’re pregnant so you end up going through all this mental torture on your own. 

Trimester two doesn’t get any better, except of course, for all those women who annoy the rest of us by claiming to have transformed into sex goddesses overnight. You might be feeling less bloodthirsty, but now you find yourself anxiously waiting for the first moment when baby will kick and you won’t have to call the doctor day and night to inform them that clearly it’s died. It certainly doesn’t help to be bombarded by pregnancy propaganda that dictates that you are supposed to feel ecstatic, energetic and sex crazed on account of progesterone being replaced by oodles of estrogen. With a thickening waistline and an imaginary dead baby inside, happy and sexy can be very hard to conjure at this time. 

And then finally, after six long months of mental and physical anguish, you graduate to the third trimester. And you are literally blooming. The world smiles at you and a calm descends upon you. You also realize that the world is full of morons because your baby is never safer and you are never happier. No more progesterone psychosis, no more fear for baby’s life, but because everyone can see that you’re pregnant they decide that now is the time to dish out the special treatment. So my advice to you ladies is to MILK IT. Milk it to make up for trimesters one and two when you really needed the sensitivity of others but it was not forthcoming. Milk it as a reward to yourself and your baby for surviving that cruel first trimester where everything can go wrong yet no one was prepared to give up a seat or let you get away with a soul crushing insult or two. Milk it because it is only three months long and when baby comes you will no longer be entitled to special treatment, downgrading from most important person in the room to social nuisance with noise making brat. Milk it because the third trimester really is the best time of your life! 

Third trimester, OCD, sociopath
Three months of me-time