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New Variations on an Old Theme

It's been a long while since I have posted here. Years, in fact. This is typically where I turn when I am thinking a lot about my OCD and want an outlet for expressing my thoughts on my experience with the disorder. The current demands on my time make it a bit tricky to find much space for myself, much less to write about OCD, so even when I have found myself yearning to write, like now, I often turn to other tasks that seem more pressing. However, circumstances have brought OCD back into my life in a very real way, and I thought that posting some of my thoughts and experiences here, when I do make the time, might be helpful. I have a fascination with this disorder, both as someone who has suffered with it since childhood and as someone interested in it from an academic perspective. So, when increased stress and a lot of major life changes brought OCD back into my life in full force, I experienced that process with both horror and fascination. I have been amazed at how OCD can hi
Recent posts

Spreading the Word: OCD on the Air

I'm an avid listener of NPR and always enjoy their various shows and podcasts, and I was recently delighted when I stumbled upon not one, but two, radio segments dedicated to OCD - both what it is and how it is treated.  I have heard so many stories like my own, but I am still drawn to new accounts of others who have suffered.  Likewise, I appreciate it when professional reporters and story-tellers so aptly paint the picture of what it's like to experience OCD for the general public.  Because, while I live in a world where others know what OCD is, where others believe that most thoughts are just thoughts and have no hidden meaning about who or what we are, so many out there, including some therapists, still respond to OCD-type thoughts as meaningful in their own right and as potentially dangerous or harmful.  That mindset can be so heart-breakingly bewildering and detrimental to someone suffering from OCD.  I know it was for me.  The more awareness can be raised by storie

"Post"-OCD Life

The title of this post, I am well aware, is very much a misnomer.  OCD is still a living, breathing part of my daily existence, and always will be, to a certain degree.  However, I'm starting to feel as though I've entered a new stage in my recovery, one where I have to figure out that troubling and very confusing question:  what now? For a solid three years my goal was to tackle my OCD.  Year one started with my life falling apart shortly after I graduated from college.  School had always been my life and provided a certain amount of structure and sense of purpose.  As I started my first year of work post-college the following fall, everything seemed to fall apart as one compulsion lead to another until I was having a hard time making it through just a single day at work.  This was followed by the search for help.  I was lucky in that I relatively quickly stumbled upon the name for my disorder and found an excellent treatment provider, one who was ready to help me fight b

A Return

It's been A LONG time.  In fact, so long that I'm just relieved to see that so many of the wonderful bloggers that were out there before are still around.  I'm grateful to be able to come back to this world and know that it is still here. My life has drifted away from focusing so much on my OCD (which is good) but I have also drifted away from actively fighting it on a daily basis (which is not so good).  In fact, I've found it's easy to forget how much I'm letting things slip when I am not checking in with a therapist as frequently and when my life is so full of other things.  I've been working up a storm, but in-between, when I'm at home and on the weekends, the problems persist.  I've just gotten really good at working around them.  I want to return to this world, though, and to keep fighting and sharing my stories along the way.  This place has been an invaluable outlet in the past - a forum to relate, share, learn, and feel "normal"

Phone Jitters

Though I probably don't have enough of it to warrant a label, I think I do have some social anxiety.  It's gotten a lot better over the years - when I was a kid it was really so much worse.  Back then, I was often labeled "shy" or "quiet" and hated it because every time someone used one of those adjectives to describe me, it just seemed that much harder to overcome my difficulty of speaking up.  Those jolts of anxiety I got from voicing my opinion were intensified when I discovered that, despite my desire to be talkative and efforts to be outgoing, I was still perceived as being "quiet."   I had a hard time as it was being more vocal when not at ease, but when someone commented on how I was "shy," the self-consciousness would flare up even more, creating an even bigger hurdle to overcome when I wanted to express myself. Like I said, it's a lot better now.  I think through accidental exposure and repeated confrontation of social situ

Tired in a Good Way

I'm tired and a little down this evening as I relax after a full day of intensive treatment and then work.  I want to go to bed but I also want to get my exposure work done.  I'm dreading doing the dishes in a way that I haven't normally lately - it probably has something to do with the fact that I have been putting them off several days and have started doing some new exposures that make me feel a bit dirty to be doing them.  Other than that I need to shower - 10 minutes is the current goal.  I took a 12 minute shower the other day and a 13 minute shower this morning.  Those are the obstacles (or opportunities, I suppose) that await me before going to bed.  Last night I put off showering for so long that I ended up not sleeping in my bed and not taking my meds (which make me sleep much better than I would otherwise).  And the night before that I only got about 5 hours of sleep, so I'm a bit run-down and tired.  Mostly I just feel like there's an overwhelming amount

Intensive Treatment Update

It's been an eventful few weeks.  I can hardly believe it, but I have been in my intensive treatment for almost a full month now and am about 2/3 of the way through the program.  Four hours a day, five days a week, I've been in treatment for OCD.  And I think I'm finally getting what I needed to propel me forward - a more aggressive, thorough, and persistent attack on my disorder, a sort of fight that I struggled to make with just one hour a week of therapy. Perhaps I'll write more in depth on the actual experience of being in the program later, but right now I have another topic on my mind:  what will I do when I am out?  My number one fear:  slipping, losing not only the gains I've made but the forward momentum I've collected.  What I hope to take away with me is not necessarily the ability to face any one specific fear, but rather the willingness and readiness to do what it takes to get better.  It's so much easier to do what needs to be done when you a