February 23, 2011

OCD Odds & Ends

Today I have a few things that I want to comment on.  Just little "tid bits" of things that I want to share.  
FEELING BETTER – Sincere thanks and smiles to all of my blogging friends who can relate to the long road that accompanies recovering from OCD, and who reached out to give me support in response to my last blog post.  You all have great wisdom to impart and I really do appreciate everything that you write!  Not to mention – the “virtual cheerleading” – Keep going!!  Keep going!  Is so important too. 
Since writing that post, I am feeling better.  I received some very insightful comments from my therapist (I also sent him an email when I was in the height of my panic).  His word reminded me that I DO need to be patient.  And yes – in some ways – I am starting anew with a different therapist, but hopefully (and time will only tell) – this experience will turn out to be the one that helps me make marked improvement.  That being said – we have only had two sessions.  And perhaps it is appropriate for us to start at the beginning – even if I’ve been at the beginning several times before.  Where else would we start?  He has already identified so many more errors in my thinking patterns than any other therapist in the past has – so that’s a good step! 

EXPOSURES – I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the purpose of exposure therapy for OCD.  I’ve also been thinking so much about the fact that OCD is chronic and never really goes away completely.  One of the pieces that I think I’m finally beginning to understand is that planned exposure therapy is really just practice.  The idea of it is to help one start to “exercise the muscle” of both not avoiding, and getting used to the scary thoughts being in our head without doing anything about it.  In other words – as I continue on in life – there will be lots of opportunities for exposure – and just because I’m practicing ERP “in vivo” (or in a planned situation) – in order for me to continue to manage my OCD I will have to take those “spontaneous” opportunities on as well.  This is a tough one for me to swallow.  Mostly because I seem to have MANY opportunities in a SINGLE DAY to practice spontaneous exposure.  Sometimes – it just seems like too much.....so overwhelming.  How does one expose oneself “perfectly” to everything?  I’m scared that if I don’t do that then my OCD will gain a foothold.  Expwoman made an interesting comment to me that illustrates my point.  She said: “Never take lightly how much of an exposure it is to just exist in the world when you have OCD.”  She is so right. 

THE LOVE OF MY LIFE – I wanted to share with you something personal that I am incredibly grateful for.  I have written lately about my dysfunctional family, my relationship breakdown, and my loneliness.  I do, however have something very special in my life, and that is my dog.  I have always lived with dogs, and it was my father who instilled in me the amazing value they have as pets and companions.  There was a time period when I was younger, and single, and living in an apartment, that I wasn’t in the right “position” to have a dog.  A couple of years ago, after purchasing my own condo – I decided that I was tired of waiting for the “right time”.  So I got Zoe.  She is a Goldendoodle.  She is now four years old, but acts like a puppy still.  She has personality plus, and absolutely LOVES ME like no other.  She is my loyal companion and comes with me almost everywhere I go.  (She sometimes has to spend some time in the car – but she’s OK with that.)  She sleeps on the bed.  Believe it or not – she actually smiles.  On rough days – when the OCD bully has attacked me as soon as I’ve woken up – Zoe is the one who motivates me to keep going.  EVERY SINGLE MORNING since she was a puppy – she has waited for me to open my eyes up, and say “Good Morning” to her.  She then moves up to the top of the bed, lays down and spoons with me while I give her a belly rub.  She really is my best friend. 


  1. How special and important to have a little face that loves you and you love back! It's also good to have somebody that you need to be pushed to care for.