February 8, 2013

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde....with OCD.

Sometimes I do wonder if I have bi-polar disorder AND OCD (and yes, in the past I have obsessed about the possibility of having bi-polar disorder!), because I really do feel like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde on some days.  

The last few days have been EXCELLENT.  Things have taken a huge turn for the better.  I feel like my old/new self.  Why?  Who knows.   

I had a fantastic session with my therapist a couple of days ago (have I mentioned how much I love my therapist?).  We're at the point in our relationship now where he doesn't really give me a lot of new information.  Let's face it - I know what I have to do.  But he gives me some "tough love” in his very kind, friendly, supportive way.  And he still catches me....and has an amazing way of making me think differently about things.  I am re-motivated again. 
Plus, I hate to admit it - but I do think my difficulties in the last little while were somewhat PMS related.  I’ve written before about how PMS affects my OCD, and I suppose that happened again.  I am flabbergasted by how – within a day or so – my mind-set can COMPLETELY CHANGE!  The way I view things, my emotions....all of it. 

Anyway, my courage seems to have come back again.  I’ve got some exposure homework to do, and I’m not dreading it, or even all that scared.  Go figure. 
Once again I am reminded of the eternal truth:  “This too shall pass” 

I am grateful. 
I hope everyone is well.  :o)

February 3, 2013

More on....willingness....

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the subtle “nuances” that seem (at least in my case) to make the difference between struggling with my OCD, and feeling like I am beating the monster.  It really does come down to having the attitude of being willing to accept, face and deal with my worst fears coming true.....in every single moment of every day.  And not just "parroting" the words to myself when faced with a fear.  Nope.  It's a deep, personal commitment to myself.  In my opinion, this requires mindfulness and a lot of courage.  I'm still struggling with the acceptance and courage pieces, I think. (Heck, I’m still challenged by all of it!) 
Why is it that those of us with OCD need to be courageous all the time? 
The whole world avoids their fears.  I know of people who are terrified of driving, but live perfectly fine lives taking the bus.  I know people who are scared of dogs....so they just don’t have a dog as a pet.  I can think of many examples of this happening in everyday life.  The curse (and possibly blessing?) of those of us with OCD is that we just don’t get to have that luxury....we don’t get to avoid our fears.  And there are still times for me that this fact makes me angry. 
I alluded to this in my last post.  Geez it frustrates me that during the times that we really want to be OCD-free - times like holidays, special events, or times where most people would be "care free" and having fun - this is when OCD loves to latch on.  What a rip off.  Seriously. 
Perhaps the fact that we don’t have the “luxury” of being able to avoid our fears is a blessing in disguise.  We develop courage.  We become stronger people.  We get to fully live life to the fullest, learning not to be halted with “road blocks” that might stop others from realizing their full potential.  Or, maybe we’re just more fearful people to begin with.  Who knows.  I do know that most people would agree that the best way to live life fully is to face our fears....to live life courageously....to be strong. 
This is a new “skill” that I am still developing.  I'm still learning how to live a good life while being OK with accepting that really everything in the future is uncertain.  What do we know FOR SURE, anyway? I'm still learning to not "crave" security and appreciate the beauty of uncertainty.