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.