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.