November 2, 2011

Attitude and OCD

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself lately, and I hate when I feel sorry for myself.  But “hating” the feeling of self-pity doesn’t make matters any better, does it? 

One thing I’ve really noticed that fluctuates for me is my attitude towards getting up every day and battling my OCD and depression.  I find that when I am positively sick and tired of it all and am truly able to say to myself “I don’t care anymore if I become a man-hating lesbian – come get me!” – things miraculously change.  I suppose I am garnering the resolve to TRULY fight back.  And what is interesting, is that the horrible, sick feeling, and yucky rumination almost completely disappear. 

In all honesty though – most of the time my attitude is more one of “Ugh – I don’t think I can handle another day like this.”  At least that’s how it has been lately.  And that definitely isn’t an attitude of acceptance. 

How do I change that?  On one hand I feel like it’s not helpful to be coming from a “victim place”, but on the other hand I feel like it’s helpful to accept my feelings just as they are and not try and change them.  This is all very confusing for me.  Does anyone else have any helpful advice on this?

Someone wrote something on a message board (yes – in my OCD, depression desperation I was reading message boards – which – has been rare for me these days) that I found quite poignant and thought-provoking.  They said something like:  Don’t expect there to be a cure for your anxiety.  And recognize and be thankful for every opportunity to grow.  Realize that every storm you weather, and every challenge you meet is a part of the recovery process.”  Wow.  That really shook me. ....because usually for me – I LOVE the times that I am free of OCD and anxiety.  I cherish them greatly.  I feel STRONG, and hopeful and......normal.  And on the day that I have an OCD spike, after a period of peace my thoughts aren’t “Thank you OCD – you are giving me another opportunity to grow.”  My thoughts are more like:  “Really?  Again?  Will this EVER go away?  Will I EVER have peace?  How am I going to get through this?”  And on and on it goes. 

I think it really is about attitude.  But how, how, how, how, HOW do I cultivate that attitude on a daily basis so that I can achieve more progress?????? 


  1. Your blog is very inspiring and I have added it to the list of links on my blog.

  2. BINGO. You did exactly the right thing by telling ocd that you don't care if you are lesbian or not. It has nothing to say to you then. After all ocd is about doubt- what if...When you just don't care the doubt is gone so ocd leaves. For a bit anyway. The hard part is to keep it gone. CAuse ocd has a sneaky way of slithering in thru a back window and tapping you on the shoulder and saying: you don't really mean that do you? And when you say: well, no ... or even if you just say:uh... ocd then whispers those fears right back at you. The problem is that ocd also knows when you are lying. Saying you don't care, when you really do doesn't faze ocd a bit cause it knows. Isn't that what the habituation (erp)is supposed to do for you? To help you not care if you are or aren't gay?

    Easy for me to say right? AS long as noone is trying to make ME touch a garbage can. :). But it's kind of like what i tell myself after going to value village: no, it's not going to hurt me, there's nothing wrong with it. Trying to say no problem to the 'what if's of the ocd.

    The first time you make ocd go away is the hardest. Hang in there!

  3. 'And recognize and be thankful for every opportunity to grow. Realize that every storm you weather, and every challenge you meet is a part of the recovery process'

    To me that means to work with every opportunity ocd gives you to become stronger and kick it's butt. Then it becomes a 'growth experience'. (But that's sooooo easy to SAY. Wait til i'm being told: go wash your hands and see how i am then!). I don't think it means to never get rid of ocd. I sure plan to get rid of mine. But anxiety as a human experience doesn't go away. And we may have to notice it earlier so it does not become a big problem.

    Think of someone who broke their foot. You'd never tell them: it's a growth experience. Let's not put a cast on it.' That would be silly. But while the cast is on and the foot is healing, the person can either have a growth experience- learn patience, appreciation for havin feet, etc. A person who does not use it as a growth experience would be testy, impatient and ungrateful for other's help and kindness and doesn't develop appreciation. But both people have healed their broken foot.

    I think we do the best we can, given our own personal lives and what is going on on a daily basis. Sometimes we beat ocd to the door and say 'yeah' and others we let it beat us and then we get up the next day and try again. Hopefully as we look back over our struggles we see improvement in the things we can do, or the length of time ocd isn't in our brains causing trouble.

  4. oh, one other thing: just hang in there! You're still grieving and your emotions will probably be all over the place for the next little while. ((HUGS)). Give your self a break too.

  5. Um, my attitude towards ocd and depression is probably not very good. I know what you mean about having a bad day after a good day and being really discouraged. Also, I really get frustrated with some of the happy "you're growing" type talk. I guess right now I'm at a, "I hate you OCD and I'm sick of fighting you so as long as you don't start demanding too much, I'll give in" type mood. Maybe my attitude (and yours) will change some day, but you are not alone in struggling.