Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Conundrum

This morning, I woke up not knowing how to proceed.  I was overwhelmed by the feeling of being "off," of not knowing exactly how I had violated all my rules and how to compulsively solve them.  Normally my solution to this problem is to mentally and physically wipe the slate clean by taking a shower and washing whatever I am wearing.  In my mind, showering washes away whatever OCD transgressions I committed so that I don't have to sit there in vain, trying to remember each an every one.  I can let go if I can just shower, and condemn whatever I am wearing to the dirty laundry.  It's my mental restart button, and it seems to reset my life and my ability to discern what is clean v. dirty.

Once I am myself "clean" it is easier to think clearly and start fresh.  I feel like the world has been returned to its "right" state at that point.  I feel like "myself" once I have performed these compulsions and I feel "clean enough" to go about fixing the other problems I see around me, instead of making them worse by potentially "contaminating" them in my possibly "unclean" state. 

But I am not supposed to shower until my home session later today.  And during that shower I will most certainly not be permitted to shower "correctly" or in a way that would set me feeling "right."  And that's fine.  I can deal.  I just have to remember that I am not trying to recreate the world I was living in before.  I'm not trying to constantly pull myself back into that "safe" life by making things feel okay through compulsions.  Instead I'm waiting for the feeling of chaos to settle so that I can get past this, resisting solving my "problems" the compulsive way in the meantime.  My world will return to feeling "right" on its own if I let it.  I just have to wait it out. 

Like I said, the goal of all this is not to cling to and preserve my world as it was before.  The point is to move beyond that world, that life, and realize that things will eventually feel alright again without compulsively returning them to the OCD-defined "correct" state.  I was determined to jump in with both feet and not look back once this process began.  This is my chance to do just that.  The exposure has been done.  Now it's time for some thorough response prevention.  OCD is yelling at me to turn around and run back the other way, but this time I decided that once I got started, there was no turning back.  This is my chance to set myself free, and I'm determined to take it.

2 comments:

  1. Getting past this can make you free to not need to constantly revert to that "clean" state that used to feel so "free" but was really just a prison. Our mind tells us some horrible lies, doesn't it?

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  2. Yes, it's hard, isn't it. But you're doing it! So that's amazing and inspirational, and all that good stuff.

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