Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stiff Upper Lip?

I've been at war with myself inside lately.  Half of me wants to give in, to let myself breakdown and complain about the difficulties I am currently struggling with.  The other half of me whispers, "You are choosing this.  You are choosing to be unhappy.  You know how to make things better.  You just won't.  So you can't complain."  I never know at what point I can justifiably be stressed.  It's like I spend so much time trying to be strong and just keep going because I don't want to be that person who portrays every slight struggle as a disastrous life setback.  So at what point am I allowed to give myself a reprieve?  At what point am I allowed to believe that what I am going through is difficult?  At what point am I allowed to believe that maybe, just maybe, I'm actually fighting really hard?  It's just so difficult for me to see or believe.  I always feel like I could be trying harder, doing better.  I constantly feel like I am CHOOSING to be this way.  To have OCD.  To go into a state of apathy and numbness like the one I am in right now.  And I don't know if it's because the OCD will always say that I could do more, that I could try harder, or if I really could be and should be doing more and trying harder.

4 comments:

  1. I have a similar war, but depression takes more of the spotlight instead of OCD. If I wasn't such a bad person indulging in depressive thoughts, I wouldn't have depression. Oh, and if I actually DID the OCD exposures, I could get rid of that, too. I like how you said, "At what point am I allowed to believe that maybe, just maybe, I'm actually fighting really hard?" Because if I am really fighting that hard, I should give myself a break. Hopefully we'll some day learn to be as kind to ourselves as we are to others...

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  2. Oooooo boy - I can relate to this!!! Not only with my OCD struggles, but with all of my life "challenges". I can't help you out or even share with you any of my insights because I was just talking with my therapist about this during my last session! It sounds like you've hit some bumps with regards to OCD and some other areas. I hope you're able to give yourself a break - while still moving forward - if that's even possible! Hehe!!!

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  3. I have definitely felt the same way, like I'm not doing enough and that I'm not making any progress. I think part of that is just the OCD talking, making me feel bad that I'm not perfect. One thing that helps me to feel better about how I'm doing is to look at the things I used to do, that I've overcome. Like I used to be so freaked out about touching door handles that I would actually open doors with my feet. (I know. WEIRD!) Anyway, thinking about that makes me realize that I've really come a long way, and helps me believe that I can continue to do hard things as I try to overcome other compulsions and rituals I have.
    Good luck!

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  4. Abigail - Agreed! Hopefully we will learn to be as kind to ourselves as we are to others. It's funny that you said that, because I recently had a conversation about just that - treating yourself like you would treat others - with a friend who has OCD. I met her at the conference last year, and she was recently telling me how in one of the seminars, the speaker said, "treat yourself like you would treat a friend." We decided that we like a modified version of that even better: "Treat yourself like you would treat a friend with OCD!" I would never look at this friend (or any of my fellow bloggers with OCD, for that matter!) in the same light that I sometimes look at myself. I look at others and are amazed by their strength and tenacity in fighting back. I wouldn't dream of questioning their efforts or the degree of their illness like I do for myself. And thinking about that always helps me step out of myself for a minute and realize how twisted up in self-judgment I can get!

    Pure O Canuck - I hope your own challenges are becoming easier. It never helps when, on top of the challenges themselves, we question our right to feel like they are challenges! Quite a while ago, my therapist and I talked about how feelings about feelings (like anger at myself for being upset about "difficulties") are usually rooted in OCD. Being upset is bad enough. Being upset with yourself about being upset just makes the problem even worse! Maybe mindfulness is the way to go - just accepting how you feel WITHOUT placing judgment on those feelings...I don't know...still trying to figure things out! Thanks for your support!

    Sam - Your own self-commentary made me smile inside :). I have done (and still do) SO MANY weird things as part of compulsions. (I never opened doors with my feet, but I have gotten quite good at using my feet for other things, lol.) I think you're right, that a lot of it is just OCD coming in and making us feel bad about our progress no matter where we are or what we have accomplished. Thinking back over past successes can be helpful, indeed, although in my case, I think I use that information for reassurance, too. It's a tricky path. I've been trying to be more mindful about all this - to let myself feel without judging my self for feeling.

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