October 13, 2011

Have Mercy OCD

I spoke too soon.  I’ve been hit with a tsunami of OCD.  I feel as though something just “switched” in my brain and all the peace that I was experiencing washed away.  I’m sure that’s not really what happened, in fact I KNOW that’s not what happened, but I DO know that I am in a very yucky place. 

When I wrote my post yesterday I mentioned that OCD had mercifully stayed at bay for the last few months.....at least until a few days ago.  I’ve been doing some ERP while simultaneously going through a family crisis and I have been handling it quite well.  I don’t know what it was.....perhaps the perspective of watching a loved one die.....but it gave me courage.  I was able to do my ERP and face my OCD with an attitude of acceptance and strength.  Plus, the fact that I had so many other REAL PROBLEMS on my mind prevented me from doing mental compulsions. 

But then I was hit with a few unexpected spikes that are further up my hierarchy.  One....after another....after another....after another.  The first one was bad enough.  I reeled with anxiety and tried very hard to keep the compulsions at bay.  You know – the analyzing, mental checking, and mental reassuring.  I think I did OK.  But then the next one hit me.  And the next one.  And then, finally, JUST after I finished my session with my therapist, I was hit with a BIGGIE.  I inadvertently read someone’s coming out story and I was caught off guard.  And of course my OCD loved to point out areas of the story that I could relate to (even down to the fact that we both have dogs!). 


Panic.  And I haven’t been able to stop analyzing, mental checking, mentally trying to reassure myself and all the other things that I do to try to make the thoughts and feelings of anxiety/panic go away.  I feel as though I slid down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole. 

And then the guilt set in.  Guilt about EVERYTHING.....that I’m not taking good enough care of my dog (and I’m a bad mother), that I’m not eating well enough (and I’m going to get fat and be unhealthy and no one will love me), that I’m spending too much money (and I’m going to end up homeless because I can’t take care of myself), that I’m not working hard enough on the COCDN (and people will realize how useless I am), that I’m not working hard enough on combating my OCD (and I am somehow a flawed human being that will NEVER be able to reach the goals I have in life) and the list goes on and on.  I am tormented. 

I woke up this morning with horrible morning anxiety.  I cried.  I wonder how I am going to get out of this one.  I feel paralyzed.  I feel hopeless.  I begged for OCD to have mercy on me right now.  But I wonder....will OCD EVER allow me to achieve my goals and dreams?  I truly have no doubt in my ability to do this - if OCD would just LEAVE ME ALONE.  I've come far enough in accepting this horrible disorder to know that I will most likely always have to cope with OCD, but I DEPLORE how it latches on to EVERYTHING that is so important to me and robs me of the joy of pursuing my dreams. 

Today I am going to work on accepting this place that I’m in right now; to not fight it because that will just make it worse. I am going to work on letting the very disturbing scary thoughts be there and I will try VERY hard to not react. 

Wish me luck. 


  1. POC, the same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I was doing just fine, I was ACTUALLY in a relationship, feeling very good. When the relationship ended, so did my long run feeling well. OCD crept in the back door, as it sometimes does.

    What you need to to: Get started on your CBT and Exposures. It is so very hard, being in this place, I know. But, you will get out of it. Take deep breaths and do what you know will work for your OCD. Have faith that it will not last and you can get yourself to a better place. I am wishing you luck and I am wishing you peace. You can do this.


  2. I can sooooooooooooo relate Pure O.

    Best of luck!

  3. Karin says:

    Hi Pure O. I just finished reading your last 2 posts and i am very glad for you that ocd left you alone for awhile so you could spend the time with your mom. I also found that ocd leaves when a 'real' crisis is happening- or when i am sick and cannot be bothered by anything more than the absolute necessary stuff. I wonder if looking at how we dealt with ocd at those times would help us deal with it in the 'non' crisis times.

    As for cbt, i find that useful as a FIRST step. Before i can touch or eliminate something i need to convince myself that it really would be ok doing so. After that comes the erp stuff. And then is when i keep telling myself to stay with the feelings but not act, to remember it's just ocd having its tantrum and it will go away IF i don't act on it. It's sooo hard tho, until it's over.

    I am wishing you and your mom and the rest of your family peace and healing and love at this time in your lives.