Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beginnings


I'm not sure I would call this an exposure, but just as when I actually commit to doing a new exposure further up on my hierarchy, beginning to write publicly (yet anonymously) about my experience with OCD is initially difficult. Reflecting about the ins and outs of my disorder and its treatment is certainly not new to me, but whereas my usual audience, my therapist, is one very familiar and understanding individual, the audience here (if there is one) is unknown. Nevertheless, by starting this blog, I am hoping to accomplish two very tangible things, among many others.

First, I am trying to be more courageous in pursuing those things that I want rather sticking to the safer alternative or what I feel I should do. Pursuing the latter has often been the status quo for me, but I think (and hope) that part of recovering is trying to construct a life that is both productive and enjoyable so that I look forward to getting better and am more motivated to do the difficult work to get there. I have toyed with the idea of starting an OCD blog for a while now, and after having lurked in the shadows, following others' posts, I am finally jumping in not knowing whether the time "feels right" or if I am "as excited" about this as I was hoping to be when the time came. All I know is that, even if at the moment, I suddenly fear that I am not enjoying this as much as I "should," I will continue to write because this is something I have wanted for a long time. That's the trickery of OCD. As soon I begin something that I was looking forward to, I begin to check whether I am getting the satisfaction I sought, and of course, the act of checking, in and of itself, seems to send however I did feel into hiding, leaving in its wake only anxiety about not feeling what I so desperately wanted to feel in the first place.

Nevertheless, my second goal in starting this blog is to satisfy my desire to share my own OCD experiences with others. Since being diagnosed and learning that I have the disorder, it seems that so many things about my life suddenly make sense...why I felt the need to do that or why I had such a hard time changing the way I did this...a lot of things sort of fall into place. Looking at life, both past and present, with this newfound knowledge elicits many different emotions...sadness, anger, frustration...but mostly hope and excitement that knowledge about OCD and its treatment will allow me to live a more satisfying life. Perhaps this is one step in that direction.

2 comments:

  1. Welcome! I am so glad you started this blog. I know it was a leap when I started mine, so I commend you for taking the leap as well. Checking on whether I am feeling satisfaction was one of the most destructive processes in my life. Of all my exposures, the ones where I faced doing something, even if I don't get the "perfect feeling," were the most rewarding in the long run. My compulsion to analyze my feelings and everyday choices, the very fabric of life, leached much of the joy that is possible in this life. Your blog is definitely a step in the direction of living connected with your own life.

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  2. I'm amazed that I never realized this as a symptom of my OCD before. I too tend to analyze the feelings that come from doing something anticipated and find only frustration when I can't pin down the exact response I was hoping for. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. It helps to read others' experiences because it makes me more aware of the many ways OCD touches my life and gives me the desire to change them. :)

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