February 21, 2011


I’m feeling so frustrated and lost.  I’ve been trying hard lately to find motivation and hope.  Honestly though – I’m really struggling. 
Looking back on it – I officially had my “OCD breakdown” in June of 2010.  Prior to that I had been seeing a CBT therapist for almost two years; just after starting a new job, and starting to date my (ex) boyfriend, I had recognized that my OCD was flaring up.  So - I did the right thing and located a CBT therapist to try to prevent OCD from doing too much damage in my life (Nice.  Two years later I had to go on disability due to stress, and my boyfriend and I are no longer together.).  I worked with that therapist for TWO WHOLE YEARS – with no improvement.  Why?  I can tell myself that it was because we didn’t do ERP.  I can tell myself that he was relatively inexperienced in treating OCD.  But maybe it wasn't that at all.      
Last June, after my "breakdown", and after taking it upon myself to educate myself about appropriate treatment for this nasty disorder, I decided on my own to start doing ERP.  At the same time, I changed therapists – hoping for someone who had a better understanding of HOCD and ROCD.  I have done A LOT of work on my exposure hierarchy.  I know that I’ve outlined on previous posts all of the things I have done for exposure.     
So what is it?  Is there something wrong with me?  Is my OCD so severe that there is no hope?  Is it the “lack of insight” that I seem to sometimes have regarding my OCD and therefore my need to compulse?  Is it because I have Purely Obsessional OCD?  Is this what I can expect for the rest of my life?  I really hope not. 
Perhaps I have to be a little more patient. 
But – that’s hard too.  It seems like every self-help OCD book I read portrays positive success stories of people with OCD that got better within 5-10 months!  What have I been doing wrong? 
To be honest – I feel like I have just started from the beginning for the THIRD TIME in the last year.  I just started with my new therapist, and we have only had two sessions.  I am trying to trust and have some faith.  I am trying to trust my therapist, and the process and like I said above – try to be patient.
Maybe my lack of progress is due to something I alluded to in my last post.  Maybe I’m scared to overcome OCD because I don’t know who I will become when I am no longer avoiding so many things.  This dawned on me the other day.  That my compulsive avoidance behavior is so entrenched in my life, that even my choice in friends – heck – perhaps even my values have been formed by trying to avoid my feared outcome.  Who the hell am I?    Maybe at the end of the day the pros of overcoming my OCD don't outweigh the cons.  Maybe all of this is just another game that OCD is playing on me trying to scare me into not making changes.  Who knows. 


  1. I just wanted to leave a little note. I wish I could promise that it would all get better immediately, I can't, but I can promise you that just because you feel like you're starting from scratch once again doesn't mean it will never end. I'm sure that every time you start over from scratch your heart and mind are storing things it's learned from every round, helping your healing in this newest round. 5-10 months? Maybe some people, NOT ME!!!

    I'd encourage you to do some digging around in your heart. Be honest with yourself that you're suffering, not doing something horrible. Cut yourself some slack!!!

    And just keep going. Don't give up!

  2. Yeah, the people in the books do seem to get better fast. My experience, one that seems to be backed up by everyone else I see online, is that it's a much slower process, one accompanied by frequent setbacks. But you've had some impressive erp successes, too. Don't give up!

  3. The one thing I don't like about Grayson's book is that it implies that you can get better in like 6 weeks or something. . .When OCD is entrenched with self-concept, when it is tangled up in beliefs, it takes longer to untangle. That sucks, but it's not the same thing as hopeless. You are not hopeless. You are not back at square one. It may feel that way, but there is nothing intrinsically wrong with you that will make getting better impossible. I believed that very thing about myself, but discovered many others with OCD believe the same thing. Hang in there. You are doing the brave work of coming to grips with this disorder.

  4. All of you are THE BEST! Thank you so much for rallying behind me when things get dark. I've said it before, but it warrants saying again - THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support. Your encouragement has helped me rally the attitude I need to move forward and not stay in one place or - even worse - move backwards.
    Leah - I so appreciate your sincere encouragement!!
    Ann - as someone who seems to be taking huge strides forward - I really value your input - thanks for your comment.
    Expwoman - you have such a great way of putting things - and letting me know that I'm not alone with how "entrenched" in my life my OCD is. You also have such a great way of pointing out my thinking errors!!! :o)

  5. I'm discouraged, too. I recently asked a friend on the phone, what am I doing wrong? And she said, nothing. Nothing. I'm just still waiting for the right medication.

    And where I am right now, even though I technically know erp is a good thing, i really don't like the sound of it. Isn't anyone with ocd really intrenched in it?

    Keep hanging in there a moment at a time! That's what I'm doing.