Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Fear of Losing Interest

A fierce wave of apathy and a new level of busyness in my life have led me away from blogging recently.  This lessening of interest creates additional anxiety on top of everything else:  why am I not so interested in writing anymore?  Am I losing my fascination with OCD?  Am I losing my identity as someone who has suffered and continues to suffer from OCD?  Is finding out that I have OCD no longer an intriguing life revelation and now just one thing more thing to deal with?  I hope not.  Of course, that's exactly why I start obsessing about it.

As I mentioned in a previous post, so much has changed in my life recently.  I have a new apartment and a new roommate.  I also have a new job.  However, with the initial training period for that job now complete, I have drastically fewer hours, and the limited number of hours and my somewhat unpredictable schedule have me feeling less useful than I'd like to feel.  Lack of purpose breeds apathy and apathy breeds trouble adjusting to this new life.  It's getting better, but I still feel somewhat lost at times.

I'm hoping that going to the IOCDF's Annual Conference (which is coming up quickly - it's just a little over a month away!) will remind me of how much this disorder has affected my life, recently and in the past, as well as how intriguing I have found the research and treatment of OCD.

When I finally figured out, almost two years ago now, the cause of some of my strange behaviors as well as the key to freeing myself from those behaviors, CBT with ERP, it was like a whole world had opened up before me.  A world that had always been there but that I had never seen before.  It was a truly life-changing revelation, and since then I have clung to the hope that this revelation provided to buoy me up when things were not so great.  In fact, in some ways, that revelation has led me to cling more tightly to my OCD for fear of losing this thing that had for so long defined my life and the hope that this discovery had to offer.  I am slowly overcoming this fear as I move forward in challenging and letting go of my OCD behaviors, but it's still hard sometimes, and as I get better, it often feels as if my fear is coming true:  it seems like I am losing interest in my disorder and the dream of pursuing a career somehow related to it.

My failure to write here and to read and comment on others' blogs feels like proof of this fear coming true.  In truth, there are probably a number of factors that have contributed to my decreased online activity - all the new things in my life draw my attention elsewhere.  I am often still in the trenches, fighting daily battles with my OCD in so many of the things I do, but they are no longer the only concern that fills my mind.  Now I worry about work and whether I am performing well enough in my job.  I worry about what my future will become.  I worry about my roommate discovering my big OCD "secret" and what she might think of it if I were to straight up tell her about my condition.  There is so much else I feel I "should" be doing that it's hard for me to garner the enthusiasm to write an entire post - even now I feel like I should be showering, changing my sheets, doing laundry, running errands, etc., instead of sitting and leisurely writing a blog post.

I feel like I'm losing something, but I know that this is only one way to look at it.  I could assume the worst and take my changing behavior as proof that I no longer have any interest in my disorder and am back to square one when it comes to figuring out my strange life, OR I could look at the broader picture and think about all else that is currently going on in my life that might draw my attention away from my blog.  I treasure this place to write and to give a receive support within a community of OCD bloggers, and I don't want to lose touch with it.  Still, I don't have to view my decreased activity here as a purely negative thing - perhaps it shows that I am progressing and my relationship with my disorder is evolving.  Sometimes I can even entertain the idea that getting better will bring me CLOSER to my OCD and help me understand and appreciate the role it has played in my life even more, as my therapist suggests.  But all the same, it still scares me!  I don't want to lose touch with this forum for communicating thoughts about life with OCD, nor do I want to lose touch with this wonderful community of individuals who diligently and very kindly offer their empathy and support!!

6 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're going to the conference! Glad to see you on here too. As much as I love your posts and I love to hear from you, I understand that when you don't feel like writing - you just don't. Whether it's because you're moving into a new "realm" of your relationship with your OCD or whatever it is. Hopefully you'll be able to find a new reason to continue writing - whether it be to help support others or build awareness. It sounds like you are doing great though - that's awesome!!!

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  2. I think that as we get better at dealing with OCD, we'll have more time to do other things and think about other things. Like working or getting to know people or whatever. Some of what I feel that OCD stole from me is looking more possible, and I'm so excited (I might worry about it later, but at this moment I'm happy). I'm not planning on quitting my blog anytime soon (though I'm having trouble posting...), and I think our ocd blogging community will be around for a while. I think it's fine to talk about other things, too. We aren't just walking, typing OCD specimens :)
    I hope your job keeps going well.

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  3. Karin said:

    Life is more than ocd. You wouldn't say that a person with diabetes should only focus on that. No, they have a regular life and the illness is only a part of it. It's probably the same with ocd. Once your symptoms decrease there is more energy available to use in focusing on your 'regular' life. So don't feel guilty! Blog about how real life is going too. It doesn\t necessarily mean that you've lost interest in ocd, just that you have found or refound other interests too.

    Way to go!!

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  4. From the point of view of OCD thinking, you are losing interest, but from the point of view of your healthy self, you are getting better! My life was so intertwined with my OCD that it did feel like a loss as I got better, adrift in unfamiliar territory, and I did obsess about it, but I slowly found other things I really wanted to do, and recognized that it's just more OCD to obsess about each step--and I keep moving forward in spite of it.

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  5. I hope you don't quit blogging, but I think all of the things you mentioned are positive! They show that you are moving on from letting this disorder be the main thing in your life. Looking at the broader picture is the right thing to do. :)

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  6. I'll echo other comments - having a life off of teh intarwebs is a very good thing. I love blogging, too, but I made a deal with myself when I started my blog and that was that I wouldn't look at is as just another 'must' or 'should.' When it become a source of anxiety instead of a solution, then it was time to quit. So blog when it helps, and save the 'must do' for work. :)

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