Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fighting Like Hell

It's been a long time since I posted and even longer since I've made posts regularly.  But, tonight, well I'm feeling in the mood to write, and goodness, there's plenty to write about.

A couple weeks ago now I began an intensive treatment program.  I'm basically in treatment about 20 hours a week.  And in the time since I started that program, well, I have done things that I am not even sure I would have done BEFORE my contamination OCD flared out of control.  As I write, I feel dirty, but I am also determined to keep going, to resist the urges to avoid and perform other compulsions that would be so easy to give in to.  I feel as though I'm finally making a solid effort to wholeheartedly commit to doing ERP as I know it needs to be done.  I'm finally breaking the rules that, for so long, I felt couldn't be broken, even while I was doing active exposure work in the past.  I am rebelling against my OCD and doing what I know, deep down, I want to do - I want to stop dragging my feet, stop undermining my treatment, and go towards those things I feel a need to avoid.  It has its ups and downs, but I feel like I have finally broken down my fear of fighting back fully.

Before I always felt like I HAD TO self-sabotage, like I had to wait for explicit and specific directions from my therapist to do an exposure.  If I didn't, well, I felt like I was being some sort of hypocritical, negligent individual who "couldn't really have OCD."  Even then, I would find myself pulled away from compliance by urges to hold myself back until someone "forced" me to do what needed to be done.  While self-handicapping is still tempting, it doesn't feel quite so mandatory.  I feel like, for the first time, I can independently make the choice to do exposures and to do them without perfect "permission" from a therapist.  And that feels like the key:  for so long I have desperately NEEDED the self-sufficiency and adaptability of being able to chose therapeutic decisions on my own.  It's still a challenge, but I'm finally seeing and feeling a glimmer of independence that has long been buried deep, tangled amidst the myriad of twisted "rules" and compulsions.


  1. You're doing great, good for you for going through with this treatment and doing the exposures on your own. It is hard has hell, but makes you feel like you're making progress, right? Be well, and congrats on your progress.

  2. I can FINALLY comment on blogs I think. It is great to hear from you and I'm surprised (but happy for you) to hear that you are in intensive ERP. Since you haven't been posting regularily, I feel so out of the loop! :o)
    It sounds like you are really battling past some of your perfectionism which is allowing you to really dive into ERP therapy. Good luck and take good care and stay in touch!!

  3. "I want to stop dragging my feet, stop undermining my treatment, and go towards those things I feel a need to avoid." I agree that this is a critical piece. There is so much courage needed to do this, but it is the only way. I hope can can continue to come up with the courage, too!
    Pls come by my blog carnival and submit a post or two about 'investing in mental health' for tomorrow. You know alot about what's needed, in the system and out.
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

  4. Karin says:

    Hi! I am glad you are making such good progress in your ocd.

    Isn't it interesting how people with out ocd can easily spout off: i'm sooo ocd, while those of us who HAVE it, are constantly looking to 'prove' to ourselves that we REALLY DO have the problem and aren't just being weird or lazy.

    Congrats on battling your self-sabatoge. That's often the hardest thing to see, so well done!



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