Barefoot

I’m excited to actually have something upbeat to blog about this time. I hate writing dark posts because I don’t want pity. I write them because I want to be honest and give a full account of what it is to fight OCD. It’s not pretty. But I also want to give people hope. Every time I beat a compulsion, my first thought is sharing it with all of you to show you that it’s possible. Unfortunately, I usually fail at actually posting because of OCD, but I’m working on it.

So much has happened since I last updated. I’m still struggling with the dark cloud, but I’m not depressed; it’s not constant.

In May, I increased my dosage of Prozac to 60 mg/day. The previous dosage, 40 mg/day, had begun to take the edge off general anxiety but had not yet helped with OCD. This current dosage, though, has been amazing. I’m doing so many things that I never thought I’d do. It’s too much to cover in one post, so this will be the first of a series of updates on how Prozac, OCD, and I are getting along

First up: my fear of being barefoot

I have been unable to be barefoot for years. Yes, this includes at home and in bed. I have been terrified of leaving my feet unprotected from contamination. I have been for years, but this particular fear got a lot worse a couple of years ago when I got a fungal infection in my toenails that took forever to fight off. I didn’t understand it at the time. I am SO careful about my feet. I regularly took the girl I babysat to the pool. I didn’t swim (that’s a whole other fear), but I walked around the pool area in sandals. As soon as we would get home each day, I’d ditch the sandals for my socks, thinking they would offer more protection.

I was wrong, though. OCD completely misled me. Surprise, surprise, right? Wearing socks 24/7 actually helped the infection along. If I had just suffered through being barefoot a little, I would not have had to deal with all of that crap.

ANYWAY, the point of all of this is to say that I am getting better about being barefoot. A couple of months ago, I started a barefoot exposure on my own. Instead of putting on socks immediately after showering, I had to walk downstairs into the living room before I could put my socks on. I didn’t always make it all the way down before caving. However, the past couple of weeks, I have been sleeping without socks EVERY night. I don’t remember exactly when I started going without, but I have not worn socks one night since. It’s amazing.

It was really hard the first few nights. I kept a clean pair of socks in my pillow case just in case I couldn’t make it through the night, just in case I panicked. But I never used them. I don’t even get nervous about getting in bed now. I habituated SO quickly.

I was really skeptical about trying Prozac, as I’m sure many of you remember. I almost quit so many times during the process of building up to this dosage. I’m so glad I didn’t, though. It has made ERP therapy so much easier. Doing my homework doesn’t seem like such a tremendously impossible chore anymore. This sock thing wasn’t even homework; it was just something I decided to try on my own.

On the other side, I’m still majorly struggling with stupid little things like TV remotes and steering wheels and kitchen counters. I’m still paralyzed when it comes to cleaning my house, which is infuriating, but I’m hoping that will loosen up soon.

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17 thoughts on “Barefoot

  1. I’ve been skimming your blog and am glad to read such a positive post! I don’t have OCD but my son (your age) was completely debilitated by severe OCD several years ago. ERP Therapy literally saved his life. If you are interested in checking out his story, I talk about it a lot on my blog: http://www.ocdtalk.wordpress.com. I look forward to keeping up with your progress. Good Luck!

  2. I just found your blog googling OCD blogs. A few months ago I was diagnosed with OCD. It’s really nice to know there are other people out there struggling with this because even though I have a great support system they don’t really understand my need to do these compulsive behaviors or why. Thanks for writing about this it makes me feel a bit better about the stuff I do.

    1. I totally understand. I have an amazing support system, too, but it is also necessary to have people who understand my disorder and know what I’m going through. My family and friends are wonderful, but, except for the couple of them who have OCD, they can’t understand the extreme anxiety that I have to fight all the time. Like you said, they can’t understand my compulsive behaviors. They can’t fully understand how my mind works. It can be soooo so so so helpful to talk to others with OCD in addition to my friends and family. It’s important to remember that we are not alone in our struggles, especially since OCD can be such an isolating disorder.

  3. Till my psychologist told me to google OCD forums and blogs it felt like I was basically alone even though I know I’m not. Reading your blog though I feel less insane about the stuff I do. It’s so hard to explain to people why I have to tap things or fear washing the dishes so reading this really means a lot know at least there are people out there you can talk to about this. Thank you so much!

    1. I’m glad we could connect! I used to think I didn’t need support. I used to think support groups were for weak people. But after I went to a support group for the first time, I got it. Email me anytime if you need to vent or whatever to a fellow OCD sufferer. ocdjourneyblog@gmail.com

      1. Ya I am starting to realize that I can’t do this by myself. I have always been able to deal with stuff by myself and get over it but this is a bit out side my abilities. I will definitely be emailing you as it’s amazing to be able to talk to someone with this.

        1. I look forward to hearing from you then!

          I spent so many years (ages 12-22) trying to deal with all of it alone. But going it alone didn’t work. I only got crazier. haha

  4. Congratulations girl! I am so proud of you. This is really awesome. Just remember to take one day at a time and take baby steps. This is a huge accomplishment for you and you should celebrate!

  5. Huzzah! I am so happy for you. What a success.

    I am so glad the medication seems to be helping. And I am so proud of you for choosing to work on things that are bugging you that aren’t even homework. You are in charge!

  6. I have a fear of my feet being touched, exspecially my ankles, I hate being barefoot and if my feet get touched I wont feel safe unless I put another pair of socks and have a discomfort with cutting my toenails and my feet being submerged in water.

    1. Feet are weird! I don’t get foot fetishes. I think feet are the absolutely weirdest body part we have. They’re functional, but I have no affinity for them past that.

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