March 10, 2011

I'm tired of having OCD

Does anyone else ever feel this way? 
My therapist and I have been talking lately about the “OCD Bully” that is in my head.  How it will always be there.  That perhaps I need to accept the “risk” of only enjoying life 80% while I have this horrible disorder.  He gave an explanation of OCD that I really liked – and helped me to cope better with the bully.  He suggested that people with OCD have a big flood light in their heads and our brains have a tremendous ability to be able to shed light on thoughts that many people probably don’t even notice.  Perhaps one could call that “hyper awareness” - I don’t know.  He reminded me that we think a lot of thoughts – both good and bad.  But – of course – I don’t remember all the other thoughts – just the ones that I find threatening or scary for some reason. 
Since my therapist explained OCD to me in this way – I have noticed a lot of silly, crazy or exaggerated thoughts that I’ve had.  I’ve noticed that I have an uncanny ability to IMAGINE THE WORST CASE SCENARIO (EXAGGERATED?) FOR EVERY POSSIBLE EVENT that transpires in life.  (Call this “Catastrophizing” I guess.)  It’s just the way my brain works.  I know for a fact that not all people are like this, but I definitely am.  And you know what?  It’s exhausting sometimes.  But realizing this and accepting it – will go a long way in recovering from OCD. 
I had a great day yesterday.   Being able to conceptualize OCD in this way seems to have helped me.  It’s made me realize that I will always probably think of the “worst case scenario” in a situation.  This is only a small step towards recovery though.  I need to be able to take the next step – which is realizing the pattern, and what I do to avoid the “worst case scenario” from happening – which is ritualizing. 
Today was tough.  I didn’t sleep well last night, and immediately I woke up and the analyzing, mental checking started.  I was pulled into the pattern AGAIN.  IT’S SO FRUSTRATING.  Why can’t I see the pattern for what it is and stop myself from getting pulled into the monster’s game?????  It just got worse from there.  I tried to recognize the situation for what it was, but my desire to avoid the anxiety won the battle.   
It’s days like this when I am left feeling defeated, frustrated and tired.  I read a post from someone on the Yahoo OCD Support Board and he said “you have to be willing to take the risk – there is no magic bullet”.  This is so true.  For me – the “knee jerk” reaction in many situations is still to avoid that anxiety.  To avoid the feared consequence, and not take the risk.  It all happens so fast.  And then I start obsessing about obsessing.  And checking for whether or not I have improved since starting to see my new therapist.  And will I ever improve?  And why not?  And how? 
I hate that I have OCD.  I hate that my brain thinks this way, and that it probably always will.  I realize that I may not have control over my thoughts, but I do have control over how I react to my thoughts, and my behavior.  Right now the “OCD Bully” is winning the game.  But I haven’t given up.     

2 comments:

  1. Yes, I get tired of having OCD, too. I went so far as to pretend I didn't have it ("now, that's real helpful, isn't it?" my therapist responded sarcastically). Maybe I'm there again. I have anxiety, but surely I don't ritualize. I have no obsessions nor compulsions (just let me check to make sure my car is actually parked in the lines and didn't hit the car it is twelve inches away from). At least OCD is funny. That's one of the best things I can think of about OCD. It comes up with really humerous thoughts. Write a book so you can earn money off of your misery. And I'm glad you haven't given up fighting. I have - for the day, maybe a few days, but not for forever.

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  2. Abigail - believe me I've thought about writing a book! I wish I kept a journal all these years. I wish I could have a sense of humour about my OCD. Actually - I really wish I could get to a place of acceptance. To me that would be 1/2 the battle.

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