OCD is Everywhere All the Time

The scary thing about getting treatment for OCD is that it shines a really bright light on a part of our lives that we tend to prefer keeping dark.  Before treatment, we can pretend like OCD is a small part of our lives, something that can be swept under the rug or hidden in a closet.  We can pretend like things are better than they are.

But it’s all pretend, and this kind of pretending is more dangerous than helpful.  When you start therapy, OCD gets bigger, a LOT bigger.  It seems like OCD is suddenly everywhere all the time.  The reality is that OCD has always been everywhere all the time, but you were ignoring it—sort of—really just pretending.  It has always been there, but now you’re shining a spotlight on it, and you can’t ignore it anymore.

And when you start to fight back, OCD seems scarier.  It’s like a bully: as long as you do what it says, it doesn’t make a huge fuss, but the moment you turn around and refuse its orders, OCD has to puff up its chest and be as intimidating as possible.  It wants to scare you back into submission.

But if you hold your ground, if you refuse to submit, if you throw a punch or two back, then that bully, OCD, will begin to shrink back, slowly, but it will.  When you assert your dominance, OCD begins to lose control; its grip on your life begins to loosen.

So therapy is scary at first.  I know.  I have spent the last year realizing just how crazy I am, and that has been super scary!  I tried to pretend otherwise for years.  It seems like OCD has suddenly become my life, but, really, it already controlled every aspect of my life.  It already influenced every decision in my life—no matter the size.  I just refused to see it before.

Now, it’s impossible to ignore it.  I see it everywhere.  Everywhere.  And that makes me mad, furious as hell.  That anger is a great motivator, though.  That anger spurs me to fight, to win.

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9 thoughts on “OCD is Everywhere All the Time

  1. Yes – this is very true – I am learning the same thing. I am becoming more aware of my compulsions and when I’m doing them etc. What I do to avoid anxiety, spiking myself etc. I have recently started ERP again and you are SO RIGHT – OCD finds new ways of trying to “win the game” – as soon as I start to get a leg up on it. So very frustrating – I feel like I have to keep finding new ways to beat OCD, but first of all it requires me to understand the game first.

  2. Ever since I first became aware of Disordered Brain, I’ve become a bit obsessed by it. I notice it much more now, especially as I’ve just started therapy myself. Disordered Brain really doesn’t like the therapy and is doing its best to stop me. It’s weird because I’m well aware of what’s happening (although it seems so natural that it takes me a while to twig sometimes) but still I can’t even get out of bed.

  3. This completely describes how I have felt over the last year in therapy. When I first started, OCD grabbed a hold of my life worse than it ever had before. I found it really hard for awhile to function at work. Luckily, I was able to pull myself together enough to make it through the day until I got home. OCD can seriously take over if you do not fight back. I realized more and more that I needed to start therapy because OCD was taking over my life worse every year. I am so proud to say that I have literally punched and drop-kicked my OCD monster. OCD is still there, but I can control him rather than him controlling me.

    1. Congrats on the ass kicking! I can’t wait to be able to say that myself. Sometimes, I get to feel like I have control over it, but most of the time, I feel helpless. It’s good to hear that if I keep fighting, it can get better!

  4. I like the word you used, bully, that is exactly what it is like. I just found this blog when I was trying to find out how scary ERP is (or rather torture myself by looking at how scary ERP is.) I have been seeing a counselor for nearly a year (and have been on medication for just as long) but it was mostly just for support which is what I needed after a break-down because of my OCD. I was’t ready at the time to start anything other than learning coping skills for stress and talking about how to deal with certain happenings in my life. I have had OCD for all of my life, but growing up I hid it as I got in trouble for the things I did and I was afraid of what was inside my head. I thought there was something wrong with me and that I was completely alone in it, so I hid it. I only just found out a year ago that I wasn’t alone and had OCD (I am 21 now.) Because of new stresses though my OCD has gotten considerably worse and now is the point in my counseling when we are really about to target it and I am absolutely terrified. I don’t know if I have ever been so scared. She called it the Exposure and Response therapy and said that we could take it very slow but still I am so scared. Talking about my deepest darkest OCD thoughts is only something I have just been able to do and only ever to my counselor, no one else, ever. So the thought of forcing myself to face my OCD makes me want to run and hide and just cry. I wouldn’t be able to face it at all if I didn’t trust my counselor so much, but still, I don’t know how I will handle this. That is why I find your blog helpful, just to see that it is possible to do and to handle. I especially liked the “16 mantras for bad ocd days” as I tend to beat myself up on a daily basis. So what I am trying to say is, thank you for having the courage to write all of this, I have found it very helpful so far and, even though I know I am not alone now, it is still a relief when I find reminders and can hear it from someone else.

    1. I am so so sorry I didn’t respond to this sooner. I haven’t been on here in awhile because school keeps me so busy.

      I hope that things have improved. I hope that you’ve pushed through with therapy and had some breakthroughs. I’d love to hear how you’re doing.

      I just updated today, and I hope you’ll read my new post because I wrote it to offer encouragement to people struggling through therapy. You can find it here.

      Please feel free to email me if you ever just need to chat or vent about therapy. I’m more likely to respond to that quickly. You can read me about ocdjourneyblog@gmail.com

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