Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kicking OCD When It's Down

Over on the OCD support board on yahoo, there are several people who consider their OCD "mostly" gone who still post regularly. Recently, there have been a couple of reminders from these types that at the first sign up OCD symptoms cropping up, you have push back immediately; you never want to let OCD have a chance to get the upper hand again. I'm a long way from there, but I like the idea of taking out OCD.

It's all too easy for me to pretend that I can get better by only confronting the easy fears, or only doing exposures half of the time. Clearly it doesn't work that way.

Today was a pretty good day. Still spending way too much time thinking and worrying about upcoming travel. But I did some (really cold) yardwork this afternoon in a part of my yard I consider "contaminated." When I came back in, I really wanted to jump in the shower. But instead I did some other chores around the house, pretty much coming into contact with every room in my house. By the end, I still felt vaguely contaminated, but not so bad. I did take a shower, because I was objectively in need of one, but I only stayed in their too long because it was nice and warm, not because I needed to get super clean.

1 comment:

  1. I am so with you! Since starting my intensive treatment program, I have become so much more aware of how I mistakenly thought that I could "get better by only confronting the easy fears, or only doing exposures half of the time." I didn't even realize that I held this misconception until I really dove into exposure and realized that I wasn't suddenly going to end up "OCD free" simply by deciding to really tackle my disorder. I forgot that whole part in the middle between making the decision to get better and actually really being better, the part where you do the work...

    I admire your courage in choosing to work in the "contaminated" area of your yard and resisting showering immediately afterward. The way you describe how you felt afterward - "vaguely contaminated, but not so bad" - describes EXACTLY how I feel right now after some serious exposure during a home session. I'm glad to know that there are others out there with contamination concerns who are able to face their fears and move on despite that feeling. I am so often bothered by NOT feeling worse about my transgressions against OCD, for ONLY feeling "vaguely contaminated" and "not so bad" and not much worse. It makes me feel better to know that feeling only "vaguely contaminated" and "not so bad" after engaging in exposure and response prevention is something others experience and somewhat normal in terms of habituating to fears...

    P.S. Your title here caught my attention - my therapist was just telling today me how I needed continue to kick OCD while it was down!