Wednesday, October 13, 2010
There are weeks where I really just feel like I am moving forward for the sole sake of moving forward. Step by step, inch by inch. This is one of those weeks. I am finding that even the simplest of things are starting to feel like monumental tasks again - brushing my teeth, making my bed, washing my face, getting dressed. Even writing here, which is usually quite enjoyable, seems somewhat like a task I must goad myself into doing.
I think a lot of it has to do with the ups and downs of progress in fighting my OCD. As I get better there are periods where I really challenge the thoughts I have and the urge to perform compulsions. I feel free and alive. The shackles seem temporarily removed. And then I get used to that level of freedom. It is no longer exciting, and those chains that still remain seem like an even heavier burden to bear. What suddenly seemed easier with less weight to carry, starts to seem harder again. There are still a lot of barriers to overcome, and the excitement and energy of overcoming the previous one has faded. The memory of my triumph is disappearing as I stare down the next challenge and feel helpless in its presence.
I have started to go backwards in hand-washing and showering, meaning that both are getting longer in general. And this is despite the fact that I have been able to eliminate a lot of compulsions that previously went into both of these forms of washing. I don't wash my hands in the shower anymore; I don't do "pre-washes" prior to my "real hand-wash" when I feel my hands are extra dirty. But somehow, even with certain steps like these eliminated, the remaining compulsions expand to fill the empty space and beyond. The initial victories that cut back on the overall time it took to complete these activities are quickly, and almost imperceptibly, replaced with something else. One step forward, two steps back. I'm feeling tired. Just existing and getting through my very non-busy, non-stressful life at this point sometimes seems like it takes all my effort and motivation.
I have faith that I will get there. That I will get to a point where I don't feel like each step forward takes all my energy, all my focus. There are ups and downs all the time. There will be more ups. And there will also be more downs. I just have to keep moving forward. I may feel like I am trying to run up an escalator that is going down, but eventually the direction of movement will change. I will no longer feel like I am moving backwards by default, moving back to start every time I take a break to catch my breath. Things will even out. I will find that I can keep up with the pace of the world moving at me. And eventually I will feel like I am on a moving sidewalk, where, with each movement, I am propelled forward farther than I expected, gaining momentum to tackle life.