May 15, 2011

A Long OCD Hill to Climb

I am doing better.  I am starting to feel like there’s a light at the end of the perverbial OCD tunnel.  The two original exposures that I had to do, and wrote about in this post, have now actually become enjoyable for me!  I can’t believe it myself.  I am actually enjoying reading my book, and I really like to watch “The Talk”.  The thoughts have virtually gone away.  I can’t believe it. 

I don’t want to diminish my progress, but I also realize that I don’t want to get myself into a false sense of security.  The more work I do in therapy with my awesome psychologist, the more I realize how OCD’s tentacles have wrapped itself around so many parts of my life.  So – ironically, while I can see the little bit of progress I’ve made, and I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in a long time, I also see how much more work I have to do; how many more things I have to expose myself too. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I still have bad days.  Days when a spontaneous, unplanned “spike” bowls me over with intense anxiety and I just can’t hold off on compulsing.  Where I have made progress here, I think, is in recognizing it for what it is – IN THE MOMENT – so that it doesn’t take over like a tsunami, and last for days on end.  I’m almost scared of writing about my progress, and the insight and small amount of control that I have gained over my OCD, because I am worried that it will jinx me.  (That’s not Magical Thikning at work – eh?)

My ERP assignment for this week is significantly harder.  I have to look at the site "AfterEllen" for only five minutes.  The site has a fairly benign pop culture theme, but the focus is on lesbian lifestyle.  So, there are articles about the lesbian couple from “Grey’s Anatomy”, and the lesbian that participated in “The Amazing Race” (who knew?).  But wow – looking at this site gives me immense anxiety, and I am very thankful that I was only assigned to look at it for five minutes this week.  Of course, knowing my therapist, next week it will be for longer – which of course makes sense.  YAY for next week!  (Not.)  Though I’m not enjoying doing this exposure AT ALL, and it gives me intense anxiety – I can say that when I am finished with doing my assignment, I am able to stop obsessing, and move on to something else.  This is HUGE progress for me.  In the past, after doing exposure, I would continue to obsess, and then ritualize for hours on end.  So I am moving forward – albeit slowly. 

I am happy with the pace of my progress, and ERP.  It may cost me thousands of dollars to progress through treatment, but I am willing to take my time and do this at my own pace.  I have had OCD for so many years, that I have finally accepted that it may take a long time to be truly free of the disorder.  I am just thankful that I have a therapist that I can maintain a long term relationship with, so that when I have progressed to the point where I only need to see him once per month (or whatever), I know that he will be available for me.  OCD is a chronic condition, and I think I have finally accepted that.   

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad things are going well for you! I'm impressed by your exposures!
    I don't think I've accepted that OCD is chronic. I think it would help me if I did.