May 3, 2011

Go Figure - OCD Progress!!!

I am doing really well.  I had a fantastic session with my therapist last week and we "unveiled" some of OCD's tricks.  I guess this past week I have been keenly aware of when I am ritualizing. 

Last week my three homework assignments were to:

1. Continue watching "The Talk".
2. Read a book written by a lesbian author (no lesbian content).
3. Listen to lesbian musicians (ie: KD Lang, Melissa Etheridge etc.)

I am now at the point where I look forward to watching "The Talk" at night.  Go figure?!  The show is so funny!  And - I don't even pay any attention to thoughts like: "You look forward to watching it because there's a lesbian on the show."  I feel like for the first time in a long time I am starting to outwit OCD!  I am trying to use mindfulness to be aware of how great I"ve been feeling and exercise some grace so that inevitably - when I slip backwards - I don't fall into yet another OCD trap of thinking I'll be in a bad spot forever. 

I've started reading a book called "Room" which is written by a lesbian author, but is actually about a boy and his mom who are held captive in a room for several years.  It's creepy which definitely starts the OCD, but after a few days the anxiety went away and now I'm just reading an interesting book. 

As for listening to lesbian musicians - I haven't done that.  Only because I haven't gotten organized enough to download some onto my iPod and figure out how to listen to my iPod in my car.  It will happen - at some point. 

Now - these exposure exercises may seem easy and relatively low on the hierarchy, and they are.  But after mastering these few things, my confidence has increased.  I feel like I am ready to move foward to something higher.  As an example of how much I've been avoiding these types of triggers for SO LONG - I was watching our national news morning show and I saw the review of the book "Room".  I thought the book sounded intriguing and interesting, but as soon as I heard that it was written by a lesbian there was NO WAY I was going to go anywhere near that book.  And now I'm doing it!!! 

Giving myself a small pat on the back. 


  1. That's great! I feel I can feel your sense of accomplishment just through your writing! (Let's hope it's contagious :). Having read your blog for a while now, I feel like this is some of the most confidence in your ability to fight back against your OCD that I've seen you have. Congrats on getting to enjoy some things despite their triggering content. Knowing that are doing hard exposures and are able to accept that they don't bother you as much is comforting and inspiring to me. I've been doing a lot of intense exposure work myself lately, and I tend to feel bad for letting myself be more "careless" and not care. It is nice to see that you are succeeding in your exposures, realizing that you are succeeding, and celebrating that fact.

  2. That's really cool. One small victory seems to give a lot of confidence I find. You can start to believe things really can change or be different, which is not what OCD tells you. I'm not sure if it helps but lately I've just been getting angry with my mind (sounds crazy). I'm so sick of what constant anxiety robs me of. I'm not sure if it's therapeutic but I like to separate the problem from myself. Keep up the good work.

  3. Fellow - keep up the great work! And yes - try not to obsess about how you are reacting to doing your ERP. I do that too - "am I getting anxious enough? How do I feel about this?" etc.
    MCat - thanks for the encouragement and welcome! I think getting angry is a great way of coping. Sometimes I manage to have a cynical response to the thoughts and that works too. If I do it in response to something really anxiety provoking, or on a bad day - that just turns out to be reassurance though.