Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This is the Way It's Going to Be?

Sometimes, I just accept that the way my OCD is now is just the way it's going to be. I do fine but not great. I'm functional for sure, but also limited for sure. I avoid dating because it ramps up OCD. I avoid a lot of social events due to OCD.

But my job is good, I can always get myself there, even when stressed, and day to day, I like my life just fine. My family keeps me social even when I shut down friendships.

After all my attempts, and successes, with exposures, I still haven't met my goal of finally pushing through the scary stuff, or even learning to stop being affected by the less scary stuff.

Just this afternoon, I looked outside to see my neighbor filling the garbage can and leaving a extra bag on the side. The last garbage pickup was this morning. Which means there's two more weeks of garbage to overflow before the next pickup. I KNOW I can deal with this, I've dealt with it for a year now. But I STILL find myself ruminating about garbage.

The worst part is that once I start to ruminate, I tend to put aside plans for getting stuff done, and I go into "surf randomly on the internet" mode.

So is the way it's been the way it's always going to be? I don't know. Do I care if it is? I don't know.


  1. Ann, I don't think it has to be the way things will always be, unless that is what you want it to be--which could be fine. You have definitely shown that you have the tools to do the exposures and come out on the other side.

    Old obsessions come back to haunt me. I don't think I'll ever be rid of all of them, forever. I can accept that. I do hope I keep getting better at resisting the compulsions because I'm not satisfied with the way things are now in my life. But that's just me.

  2. Hey Ann! I don't think you give yourself enough credit for how far you have come. AND, one other really, really important thing - you've been doing it on your own without the added help of a therapist. That is an incredible accomplishment and you should really acknowledge that.

    In my battle against OCD, I've learned that losing the anxiety or trying to eliminate being bothered by stuff, is not a necessary goal. In fact, it may be a near impossible goal. We can't change how we feel. We can only change what we do, and what we believe. By trying to tell ourselves we have to be "comfortable" with something, it only creates more focus on our comfort level, and I suspect enhances the anxiety component of doing that particular exposure. I have found that when I'm finally ok with feeling anxiety and doing stuff anyway, it is only then that the anxiety starts to go away, and I think it is because I've not made it a goal to get rid of it. I don't know - does that make any sense?? I feel like I'm rambling here! Acceptance and Commitment Therapy actually teaches that we should not try to set getting rid of anxiety as a goal, but living with anxiety and doing whatever we want in spite of it. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it has worked for me. I know you didn't ask for any advice, but, hopefully you don't mind my two-cents!

    Anyway, I'm being very long winded when I'm really trying to say I think you are much further along than you think, so bravo! I know I've said this before, but you have been an inspiration to me in battling OCD.

  3. I agree with Tina - it might not always be this way, although you sound like you've got a pretty great bunch of family to get you through it!

    You're probably never going to be completely OCD free - how many of us are? - but you'll have better times and worse times.

    When I'm having a bad day, I always think: Today is the worst day: tomorrow is going to be better.