Friday, November 6, 2015

My Progress So Far

As always, some successes, some... not successes.

At work this month, I'm assigned to cleaning the bathrooms. Not a perfect job for one with contamination OCD. Three months ago, when I put the chore list together, it seemed like a good chance for exposures. And it still is, of course.

In fact, the cleaning part went surprisingly well. I even "contaminated" myself at one point and didn't do anything about it. Now my car is presumably contaminated as well, and I'm fine with it. So hooray!

BUT... after I left the office, I thought, did I leave the sink running? One, I knew I hadn't, and two, if I had, the next person to use the restroom could have just turned it off. I came really close to not checking, and I knew I shouldn't check. But I did. Of course the sink was off. The dumbest part about checking is that I know it doesn't really help, because after I checked, I still wasn't certain it was off as I left the office yet again. But that time I didn't go back and check,thank goodness. That's a vicious cycle.

So there's day one. Room for improvement, but feeling okay with what I did accomplish.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Getting My Thoughts on "Paper"

I keep thinking "oh, I should blog about this." And then I don't. By the time I sit down to do it, I've usually forgotten what I was planning to write about.

I've found that over the last month or so, while my anxiety is still there, I'm feeling so much more energy and motivation to do things I want to do. I've been riding my bike to work and for exercise, doing crafts and a bit of volunteering, and continuing to downsize my clutter.

Travel is way up there on my "terrifying" list, but I've been making lists of places I want to visit. Actually taking a trip will be a big step, of course, but it's really been years since I even wanted to travel much.

So, this winter, I will try to get my thoughts down here, especially as I've been starting to do some scary exposures.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Inching Forward

I'm doing better. A lot better. The medication hasn't been a game changer exactly, but it's given me just enough boost (or perhaps I'm just in an natural ebb from OCD, but I'll take it), to work more productively on exposures.

Over the last week, I've been working on "avoiding avoiding" when things are scary. I'm not always successful, but more than usual. And I can tell that the success builds on itself. The more exposures I do, the more exposures I'm willing to do going forward.

I still need to commit myself more fully to meditation/mindfulness. I really enjoy it when I do it, but somehow it still always seems HARD. But I'll keep trying.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Small Zig in my Path

As I've noted in recent posts, I was trying Celexa, but while it may have been starting to work, the side effects were too much: pain from stomach acid and nearly daily migraines. So earlier this week, I switched to Zoloft. On day two, I thought the stomach and migraine issues had returned, but I don't think that's the case, so I've still got my fingers crossed.

My anxiety has improved, but it still jumps up to surprise me with its intensity at times. I'm inching toward being more disciplined with my mindfulness practices, and I hope to make bigger strides as I work with my therapist over the summer.

My mother continues to be a HUGE source of exposures for me. I find it extremely frustrating, as if I didn't know better I'd swear she goes out of her way to not only contaminate herself and me, but to call me up to tell me about it. But I know she's just oblivious, and I also know that in the long run, it's better that she accidentally forces me into exposures.

Today's adventure: finding a nest of baby mice while cleaning in her basement. Good times!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

So Terrible at "Response Prevention"

I'm so good at the academic principles of OCD treatment. I've mentioned before how many books on OCD I have and how many more I've read.

I'm not as good at actually following through on hard exposures. It's taken me all these years to finally really hear the message that part of getting better is learning that the feeling of anxiety is uncomfortable, but that's okay, you can survive it. And when you do, you learn that anxiety isn't as scary as you thought. My brain hasn't learned that part yet. But I'm working on it.

Over many years of therapy, with professionals and on my own, I've only been able to go so far, and then the exposures have seemed too scary, the anxiety too much. For what I think is the first time, I'm trying to push through on harder exposures. I'm not enjoying it one bit, and I haven't really been doing it long enough to say how well it's working, in the big picture. But I'm trying my hardest.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Made it Through Jury Duty

And that was good. I am still lurching from "what if" situation to "what if" situation. I am working to stay in the present, and I do think I'm getting a little better at it. But still experience more than usual anxiety. I've found a great psychiatric nurse, who I think will be helpful in trying to figure out a better medication solution. Celexa doesn't seem to be doing it, although I'm giving it another week or two to make sure.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Finally Slowing Down

I think the medication is starting to kick in. Hooray! I met with the new therapist yesterday. She's very different from people I've seen before, in that she doesn't specialize in OCD. But she does use cognitive therapy, and I like that her focus is on the whole person, and not just the sliver of my OCD. So we'll see how it goes!