July 11, 2012

I didn't think the day would come...... (knock on wood)

So typical of someone with OCD to be superstitious hey?  ;o)

I really didn’t think the day would come.  I have been writing this blog for 1 ½ years.  When I first started writing, and started following some fantastic bloggers such as Exposure Woman, The Beat OCD Blog, and OCD Reflections (to name a few), I remember wondering how, despite their progress battling their OCD, they always seemed to find an interesting topic to write about.  I wondered if I would be able to continue to come up with interesting topics – when/if the eventual day came that OCD wasn’t plaguing me as it was back then.   

As I have written in my last few blog posts, I am doing really well.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had the odd rough day, but I’ve managed to pick myself back up and get back “on track”.  I’m not taking it for granted, and I’m not holding on with too much attachment to feeling good, but I am actually going for almost three weeks without a therapy appointment – that’s GOOD for me!! 

When I reflect on what exactly it is that I think might be helping me cope so well, I would have to narrow it down to the following:

1.       Exercise – I am exercising regularily – and strenuously.  Wow, I remember when I first started getting back into exercising a few months ago – how my mind would try and try to talk me out of going for a run.  (I write about it briefly in this post.)  But part of my new attitude has been to learn to “embrace discomfort” in all areas of my life, and I thought that facing the discomfort of exercising would be MUCH easier than facing the discomfort of the anxiety of OCD!!! I am doing lots of cross-training which helps my back and keeps me from getting injured.  And I am doing yoga – which I am loving for many reasons! 

2.       Attitude – this one sounds simple, but requires lots and lots of work to maintain motivation, but I must continually remind myself to “embrace discomfort”.  I have been sooooo conditioned to avoid any sort of challenge and all of the difficult emotions!  Recognizing when I am in “avoidance mode” has taken a lot of mindfulness. 

3.       Mindfulness and meditation – By far the biggest contributor to my improvement.  I’ve been trying to practice mindfulness for the last few years, and I think I’ve actually become quite good at it (after all, aren’t all people with OCD fantastic at self-reflection????).  However,  I don’t think that I quite made the final connection, and just didn’t take it to that next level.  I  didn’t “get it”.  Reading books on Buddhism has really helped with that.  Maybe I needed the spiritual side of things in order for it all to click with me.  Who knows. 

4.       Feelings “work” – I’m really working at recognizing my feelings – especially the more challenging or negative feelings.  I’m noticing when I’m anxious, sad or angry.  I’m sitting with it.  And I’m learning that these feelings aren’t so bad.  This is also not the easiest – because I’m such an emotional/feeling person – my feelings definitely sometimes overwhelm me and I wonder if I’ll be uncomfortable or in pain forever.  They DO pass though – even if it sometimes does take time. 

I’ve also noticed a few other of my “compulsions” through my new strides with mindfulness.  I’ve noticed that when I experience difficult feelings, I immediately start to analyze WHY I’m feeling that way, and then start to beat myself up for having the feelings!  (Actually, I should give my therapist some credit for noticing this too.)  It’s all in an effort to make the feelings go away.  I seem to have been able to get a real handle on my “figuring out” compulsion too – all thanks to being mindful and being willing to take the risk and experience the anxiety. 

When I sat down to write this post, I really had no idea what I would say.  I hope that I will continue to cope well with my OCD, and I also hope that I will continue to be able to think of useful topics for people who read my blog. 

I am heading to the IOCDF conference in a few weeks and I’m looking forward to meeting some of you!   

5 comments:

  1. Hey I'm going to be at the conference too! Would love to meet you!

    I'm so glad you are feeling well. I agree with you - attitude sounds easy, but boy is it HARD. I constantly have to keep adjusting my attitude but it does get easier with time.

    Funny, I worry about running out of things to write about too! ha ha

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  2. Hi Sunny - yes let's meet up for sure! Can you send me an email to jojobear29@yahoo.ca? We can arrange something.

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  3. So glad that you are doing so well and that our hard work is paying off. I'll also be at the conference and would love to meet up with you and Sunny :)

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  4. Wow Great work, Pure o! I'm glad things are going so well for you.

    I worry about not having things to write too... (as noted on my no-show for a month on my blog).

    Now i'm jealous. I want to meet you gals too, but i'm not going to the conference. Boo hoo. But i'm happy for all of you who are going. It should be interesting and then meeting ea. other in real life will be the icing on the cake! Have a great time!

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