December 18, 2011

Acceptance & OCD

Brief ERP update:  I went to my friend’s party last night – the one where the lesbian was supposed to make an appearance.  I was actually quite calm, because I was determined.  But – I felt “weird” the whole night.  I stayed for almost six hours.  I was sooo tired.  She didn’t show up.  I finally left.  I don’t know if she showed up after I left or not.  Then this morning, I realized that I left my purse at my friend’s house.  So I texted her and asked if I could swing by to pick it up.  Of course my mind said to me: “I wonder if she will be at A’s house when you go to pick up your purse? Maybe it’s fate – you were meant to meet her.”  I purposely DID NOT ask my friend if anyone was at her house and I went anyway.  No one was there.  There is a part of me that wishes that A’s friend showed up last night.  I wanted to put some of my determination into practice.  The thing is – that’s not really the point of ERP I don’t think.  The point of ERP is to live your life in the way that you normally would without doing any safety behaviours.  I will have another opportunity to not avoid a party because a lesbian may be attending I am sure.  I will just have to wait for next time. 


When I started doing my ERP scripts, my therapist said to me that I may start to feel depressed and sad.  I really think that I’ve been doing quite well this week with disciplining myself and making the choice in the moment to do the opposite of what my OCD wants me to do – at least most of the time.  But I still have a really long way to go. 

I think one of the concepts that I have struggled with is the notion that in order to not struggle with OCD, I am going to have to make the difficult (sometimes it feels almost impossible!) choice to turn towards the anxiety and other yucky feelings.  It’s kinda like that saying “short term pain for long term gain”.  There are times when I start to feel sorry for myself that I was dealt the “OCD cards”.  There are days when I am depressed that in order to be healthy and happy, I have to continuously and consistently put myself in uncomfortable situations.  Some days I really just want a break, and want things to be easy.  The other day I was reminded of a line in a song....I think it’s by Cold Play....”nobody said it would be easy”.  So true.  And I think even more true for those of us who have OCD. 

For some people who have OCD and have gone through ERP - they seem to not struggle anymore.  I wonder if that will ever happen to me.  I suppose I need to accept that it might not.

Ann from The Beat OCD Blog wrote about acceptance on one other blog posts last week.  It got me thinking – what exactly do I have to face/accept about my OCD themes in order to get better?  Do I have to accept that I may actually be a lesbian in denial?  Do I have to accept that someday, despite the fact that I meet and man and have a relationship, that I might suddenly find myself in love with a woman or even another man (one of my ROCD themes)? 


  1. I struggle daily with my intrusive thoughts, for sure, even after ERP. It's just getting comfortable with living with the uncertainty. The high anxiety you get from doing mini-exposures or mini-imaginals in your head almost becomes common place. But daily, it is a struggle.

    I have been dealing with HOCD a lot lately. My therapist told me that I should have "lesbian days." Sounds weird, but she said that on days where I wake up and it's my first thought, that I should go throughout the day, doing lesbian imaginals, saying to myself that I'm a lesbian and letting the anxiety get as high as it can, look at other women on the street and rate them, etc. It's funny, when I start a day like this, by mid-day I usually forget I ever started.

    Acceptance is the HARDEST part of OCD, once we do accept our OCD, it takes a bit of the edge off. In the most random parts of my day I say to myself, "I have OCD, it's normal that I am obsessing about this because I have OCD. I will work on it, and when it comes on again in the future, it is OK, because I have OCD and I will work on it like I have before."

    Hope this helps a bit, just some of what I do to "cope" with this blasted disorder. Hope you're well. :)

  2. Lolly - thanks for your feedback and support - it really does help to know how you cope!!! I agree with the "lesbian days" actually because that accomplishes two things - one: you are inviting OCD to give you it's best shot and two: you are more than accepting the thoughts you are inviting them! I've thought about that too - tried to have days like that to - "be as lesbian as I can be" today. It does actually help!!! I hope you're well too!! :o)

  3. I am really, really proud of you. HOCD used to be a HUGE concern for me ... and I honestly feel that it is no longer an issue at all, and I really believe that you'll get there too. I could have written your same posts years ago.

    Keep on rockin' the ERP. It is like walking through hell to get to heaven, but it is WORTH IT.

  4. Thanks Jackie! Yes - ERP is hard, but it does get better and easier! I've started to see the benefits already! Thanks for your support!!!