Thursday, October 14, 2010


So I got a cold. I've had this idea for quite a while that if I just got a cold and realized that nothing terrible resulted, that would be really good for my OCD progress. Well, it turns out that it wasn't true.

I had a cold. Nothing happened, no one got it from me (that I know of). So you know what happened? I'm even more afraid of the next cold, because it will surely be worse, and bad things will happen.

I can't even tell you how sad and frustrated this makes me. I'm trying TRYING to tell myself that I need to run toward anxiety producing events, or I'll never ever ever get better, and I want that so much. But it's incredibly hard. So instead I'm just on the verge of tears all the time. And still trying to plan my life so that I get it "right."


  1. Sorry to hear that you're having a rough time! Perhaps you can try to look at it another way in terms of ERP? I know you thought it would be great exposure to have a cold and maybe it was! Maybe now you are still in the sort of "response prevention" phase where you have to deal with the feelings that arise AFTER the exposure. Now could be the time where you just have to ride out all the thoughts and feelings (like "Next time will be worse!!") that came from the exposure. And of course OCD wants to take what seems like a blow to its existence and turn it into a way to get back at you! Now's the time when you just have to keep going and NOT change your behavior just because OCD is trying to throw all sorts of crap at you!

    That said, sometimes at times like this you don't need to "run toward the anxiety" because you are already in it. Sometimes you don't need to seek out more but just ride out the anxiety you are already experiencing. You got a cold, survived it, and now OCD wants to find new ways to worm its way in. It realizes that, if it doesn't, it might soon lose its power!

    Maybe next time you get a cold it will be worse. Maybe it won't. OCD wants you to know for sure what will happen RIGHT NOW. But you handled this cold, and you can handle more. OCD just wants you to know for sure!

    I hope you feel better soon!

  2. Oh, I feel for you! I do this a lot. I agree with Fellow Sufferer that it's another level of exposure, tolerating the thoughts of "next time it will be worse"--or even making a script to listen to about what you fear will happen and listen to it until you get used to it. I did that with my fear of bladder infection--it was hard at first, but in the long run it really helped stop the cycle of drinking gallons of water and cranberry juice that ensured I was running to the bathroom constantly.

  3. Man, that is rough. Sorry you are feeling so down and frustrated - sometimes it just seems like there is no time to catch your breath between scares. Joining the bandwagon - I agree w above, it seems like it was a successful exposure, in that it made you deal with all the really tough stuff of "what next?". Certainly one moderate cold won't be able to shake years of cold fear. But it is another step, and you are taking them. And speaking with my oh, so copious wisdom (har) it does seem like you are doing many parts of life just "right" already.
    Adventures in Anxiety Land