September 26, 2011

OCD Odds & Ends Part Deux

This still isn't the post that I've been planning.....

Alas.

I was driving to work today, thinking about my friend OCD, and how it has a knack for popping up at the worst possible times.  Then, I thought to myself "it also has been giving me some reprieve during this horrible time too".  The point is - OCD IS IN CONTROL. 

My train of thought went something like this:

"Geez I hope OCD is gentle with me today.  I just don't know if I can handle any more yuckiness today."

"You know - the more you let room for OCD to be there, the better off you'll be."

"I know, I know, but for some reason, OCD finds the perfect/worst times to invade my mind.  Just when I don't know if I can handle anymore stress/anxiety."

"But you know that you need to take charge.  You need to not be afraid of the OCD bully.  You need to bully over OCD so it goes back in it's corner."

My question is this:  How is that even possible - when, in reality OCD ALWAYS gets to pick when to invade our minds.  OCD IS IN CONTROL because it gets to dole out the yucky, scary thoughts.  And then on the very worst days, it takes advantage of us.  Days when we just don't think we can handle the anxiety, days when we feel like we HAVE to do the compulsion, so that we can have some peace. 

Overcoming OCD really does require strength.  CHOOSING to not compulse, to NOT do something that will make you feel better, when you are ALREADY in a yucky, vulnerable spot.  Well....I don't think that's something most people would do.  And some days I just don't feel strong enough to resist. 

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My therapist and many of my OCD blogging friends have been saying to me "be kind to yourself right now".  Even my cousin said that to me yesterday when I was talking to her on the phone.  The thing is - what in heaven's name does that mean???????

I really don't understand what "being kind to myself" means, and I'm sure that speaks to my level of perfectionism.  I've never been great at giving myself credit.  And I suppose I just don't understand HOW to be kind to myself.  I think I'm learning, but to conceptualize what being kind to myself actually looks like.....I'm at a loss. 

On one hand I have to keep moving forward.  I have to keep checking things off my "to do" list.  I have to keep trying to take care of myself - going to the gym, eating well, seeing friends etc.  But you see - those are the kinds of things that I beat myself up for not doing.  Where's the balance?  I haven't eaten well since my mom went into the hospital in July.  I feel swamped with everything else in life, so most of the time I just grab a bowl of cereal and eat it quickly.  Or a coffee and muffin while I'm driving somewhere.  I know that isn't good for me in the long run, but if I'm ''KIND" to myself aren't I giving myself permission to slack off? 

I hope some of you who struggle with perfectionism will help me to figure out this conundrum that I am in regarding understanding what being kind to myself looks like. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh... Pure O, I don't know if I have any words of wisdom for you, for I too struggle with this.

    In fact, I think part of my personal definition for "taking care of myself" means slacking off on the things I really need to do to take care of myself so in the end, I'm making things worse for myself (i.e., choosing to lounge around on my sofa and watch reality TV rather than go for a walk or do some other type of exercise).

    Perfectionism is the pits, isn't it?

    So although I can only empathize and I have no real wisdom to offer you-- just know you're not alone.

    Hugs,
    Elizabeth

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