Wednesday, June 23, 2010
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.