January 25, 2012

The OCD Master.......

My battle with OCD is definitely not going to be one that is clear-cut or quick.  I am wondering if I will ever be one of those sufferers who can call myself “recovered”.  I have just had OCD for so long.  ROCD and HOCD have run my life for over fifteen years.  Both manifestations of OCD have weaved themselves into my world so masterfully.....to a point where I don’t think I can even recognize some of the compulsions that I am doing.  Not only that, the OCD is so brilliant, that no matter what I do, it finds a way to make HOCD and ROCD a theme in my life. 

But the good news is that I am making progress.  I am slowly starting to un-ravel the hold that OCD has had on me for so long.  As I said in my last post, I am doing things now (not always consistently, but definitely more often!) that I would never have done in the past.  I am making choices that go AGAINST my OCD, not in support of it.  What frustrates me - and this is where acceptance and motivation are so important – is that there are some days that no matter what I’ve done in the past – OCD still finds a way to scare me into doing compulsions.  It’s amazing how “smart” OCD is!  It’s amazing how I can have a few days of feeling great and think “OK , I’ve got this.  It will be OK.  I’ve got the upper hand”, and then WHAM!  OCD ups the ante and throws something EVEN SCARIER at me.  Even though I know this about OCD, I don’t think that I have come to actually accept this fact, because EVERY SINGLE TIME, it throws me for a loop. 

My ERP for weeks now has been to write scripts about my worst fears coming true.  I am to vary the “story” each time I write, and some days are easier than others.  On “good” days, when my drive and motivation to fight OCD is good....when I have an attitude of “bring it on!”, my OCD finds ways of twisting this motivation to mean that I am actually really looking forward to doing my ERP because deep down inside I am a lesbian in denial. 

Which lead me to a small flash of insight today:  I have taken reassurance from the idea that I have always thought that being a lesbian would be horrible, and the thought of being with a woman is gross.  Now that I am starting to become habitualized to all of this “stuff” (ie: the lesbian theme in general), it doesn’t bother me as much – exactly what is SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN with therapy.  But guess what?  Good ole’ OCD has found a way of telling me that this is my “coming out process”, that I am slowly just accepting reality.  OCD can always find a twist on the original theme, can’t it? 

What it comes down to is accepting uncertainty.  OCD will always have a way of trying to get me to stop in my tracks.  It’s won many, many battles so far.  But I will keep picking myself up, dusting myself off, and trying again....and again....and again. 

As an aside, I got my period, and I am starting to feel better.  It’s amazing how a “switch” just seems to go off, and my motivation just changes. 


  1. I have the same problem- being 'surprised' that ocd is back. Like i expect it to have disappeared for good (which is what i want), so i am stunned when it shows up, especially after a few good day. But Schwartz, in Brain Lock says we're supposed to EXPECT ocd to show up, so we're not surprised and then defeated by it. I guess that's part of the acceptance of having ocd, that i'm still fighting against. I don't have a problem saying i HAD ocd, but i dont want to HAVE it, except as a memory. That's where what i want and reality come to heads. Maybe when we COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY accept it, ocd will get bored and leave. But then we won't care anymore.

  2. Glad you're feeling better! I know what you mean about wanting OCD to be in the past. I've had symptoms since I was around 10, and I'm 48 now. I don't expect it to be cured, but I want "remission." I don't even know if that exists in OCD.

    When I first started taking medication for it, some twenty odd years ago, I thought it was pretty much behind me. But it is still with me. It waxes and wanes. The depression is still with me too, in varying degrees. I have had to accept that. I think it helped me that my first psychiatrist told me I'd probably be on medication the rest of my life. And I've had a subsequent doctor say the depression will always need to be treated with medication.

    Just because I'm on medication doesn't mean I don't have to do anything else, though. I've been slow to learn that! I'm looking forward to starting CBT next week. And I'm still exploring mindfulness and meditation.

    You are very aware of what's OCD and what's not. That is great! Even when you are being hit with OCD, you recognize it. And that is so valuable. You are doing great!

  3. Good for you Pure O! It's so obvious that you are working very hard. I think acceptance has been one of the hardest things for me, but it has been so necessary to my recovery. And when I say recovery, I definitely don't mean fully healed or anything like that. In fact, I've finally accepted that I will live with this forever to some degree. I think (well at least most days) I am ok with that.

    Don't beat yourself up about not recognizing some compulsions. I think that takes a long time. I still don't recognize everything, but I'm getting better at it. As long as I'm generally making forward progress, then I'm satisfied, or I at least try to be.

    Pick yourself up and dust yourself off - yep I like that. Great attitude. You have a lot to be proud of. You encourage me.

  4. It's all about picking yourself up and trying again, for sure. I feel some days like I'm a master too! Just know that the more we use our tools, the easier it becomes and the more set free we will feel. I hope you're well!

  5. I think you have an amazing attitude and insight......you hit the nail on the head when you said it is all about accepting uncertainty...I'm glad you keep picking yourself up and dusting yourself off.....good for you!!

  6. There is so much information on the International OCD Foundation website. There you could not only find a world of knowledge about OCD but many many links to hook up to. Good Luck

  7. I just stumbled across your blog, as I too am a canuck with OCD! I was just reading some of your blogs on motivation, as I too,find it hard to stay consistantly movitated!