July 16, 2011

OCD Exposures Update

These days I’m swapping between the stress of ERP for my OCD, and the stress of dealing with a very sick mom, and some other big family problems.  These days, I’m quite happy to stay home alone and watch some of my favourite shows on TV......I guess you could call that hibernating.     

This is what happened today:
I finished watching “Lianna”.  It was OK......aside from the fact that the movie was made in the early 1980’s and the acting was horrible.  My therapist said that my immense criticism of the movie was kind of like a compulsion – preventing me from feeling the feared outcome.  He’s probably right.  My feared outcome here is “What if I am married and in an unhappy, loveless, unfulfilling marriage and I meet and fall in love with a woman and become a lesbian?”  I still need to work on this feared outcome.  I was still compulsing while watching this movie.  The big culprit – THOUGHT STOPPING. 

I was also dealing with what we-who-deal-with-OCD call “the backdoor spike”.  It goes something like this: “Wow – watching these two women together isn’t bothering me anymore.  What does this mean?  Maybe it means that I’m finally accepting my true self and I’m in the process of coming out of the closet.” 

Those are the two big things that I need to tackle in the next little while – thought stopping and dealing with the backdoor spike.  More to come on both of those topics.  Sometimes I just find it so hard to exaggerate my thoughts. 

After I finished watching “Lianna” I was feeling quite proud of myself and I had a great sense of accomplishment.  Then the thought came to my mind “You should go look on the movie website and see what other gay and lesbian movies they have.”  I’m sure you can imagine where this is going.  Anxiety surged through my veins.  Why did you just think that?  Are you starting to like these movies?  Maybe you really are enjoying these movies!  Maybe you really are coming out of the closet!”  So I forced myself to go to the website and peruse the lesbian and gay movies.  I found a couple that triggered me immensely.  So I decided that I would start watching one tomorrow for my next ERP assignment. 
This is BIG for me for two reasons:
1.   Normally I would wait for my psychologist to recommend a movie to me.  This has been reassuring because I know that he has watched it and “pre-approved” it for me. 

2.  I really don’t know exactly what is going to happen in this movie.  I am throwing myself into complete UNCERTAINTY territory.  Supposedly I have to learn to become OK with the uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen in a movie and what thoughts this will bring up for me.
Isn't this SO MUCH FUN?????


  1. I have pure-o OCD as well and your blog is an excellent way for me to relate to someone. One of the worst parts about having pure-o is nobody thinks it's OCD because to society a person with OCD is just someone who likes washing there hands a lot and organizing things perfectly.

    One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear somebody say something like "I have to arrange all my skittles by the same color before I eat them! I have really bad OCD!" I don't think I've ever actually encountered anyone with OCD who makes statements like that to everyone.

    OCD stigma isn't usually highly negative, like say paranoid schizophrenia, in fact I usually have the opposite problem. People assume OCD is just an odd quirky personality that people afflicted with it could just "stop".

    I totally relate to your blog. It's awesome to read about somebody going through the same exact thing as me.

    By the way, I haven't read through all your posts yet so forgive me if you've already answered this, but have you ever had somebody flat out tell you you didn't have OCD because you didn't show the stereotypical compulsions?

  2. Anon - thanks for your comments! Great to hear from you. I don't know if I've ever really written a post about how long it took for someone to actually diagnose me with OCD. But after that it was a long, convoluted journey to therapist after therapist. I don't tell a lot of people that I have OCD for the reasons you express above. Many people would just say "yeah right you have OCD - you don't wash your hands!". And I've had plenty of therapists tell me that I don't have OCD, but that I have GAD. Very frustrating. Thank goodness there has been a lot of progress in recent years about recognizing mental compulsions. I look forward to hearing more from you.

  3. I have just discovered your blog and look forward to reading more. I also blog about my OCD.