Moments of Sanity

God I’ve been a terrible procrastinator lately. My only excuse is that being a nanny wears me the hell out, but that’s still not a good excuse because I have plenty of time to write at work. I don’t know why I have been so reluctant. I have so many exciting things to share.

I know Prozac isn’t for everyone, but it has allowed me to reach a place which I thought I wouldn’t see for years. I’m sure I’ll backslide before I get steady footing here, but I’m so thankful to be here, even if it’s only for a little while.

I am beginning to experience moments, very short moments, of real relief from OCD. I am actually beginning to experience moments without OCD. I haven’t had a moment without OCD in as long as I can remember. Most of my childhood memories, all the way back to when I was a very small child, include OCD in some way or another. I don’t remember what non-OCD thinking feels like. I don’t remember what it feels like not to have anxiety constantly smothering me.

But now I have moments of that kind of sanity. For instance, I frequently take the kids I babysit to McDonald’s for lunch so they can burn off some energy in the playplace while I enjoy air-conditioning. The only thing I will eat at McDonald’s is fries, so I’m usually still very hungry when the kids finish eating and go off to play. The three year old never finishes his fries. I used to throw them away and was unable to finish them for him before. His dirty little hands were all over them, after all. But twice now, I have eaten his left-over fries once he ran off to play. Disgusting, right? But I didn’t feel any anxiety while eating them. It was exhilarating not to be afraid of the contamination I was most definitely ingesting.

Now I’ve done lots of things that OCD doesn’t want me to do through exposure therapy. The difference between all of those things and this is the anxiety. When I do an exposure, I experience a lot of anxiety and have to wait for it to come down. With the fries, I had zero anxiety to begin with.

I can’t really put into words how amazing it feels. Like I said, they’re very short-lived moments of sanity, but they’re there all the same. I still have so far to go, so much work to do, but this taste of what it feels like not to be burdened by constant anxiety is a huge motivator. All these years, I have been working toward a goal that I couldn’t wrap my mind around, a state of mind I couldn’t remember ever experiencing. Now I have a couple of moments to remember as I continue, and those moments give me so much strength.

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20 thoughts on “Moments of Sanity

  1. What wonderful news! I wish you not only more “moments of sanity”, but longer stretches that will turn into days, weeks, months and years…..

    1. I know! I couldn’t believe it the first time I did it. I wasn’t extremely hungry because I’d had my own fries, but they were there, and I thought, “I’d hate to waste those fries.” It really surprised me! Halfway through eating them, I thought, “Wait a second. Am I REALLY eating this kid’s fries?!” haha

  2. Well done Elly! 🙂 I’m glad you’re improving more and more, keep going!
    Thanks to therapy, I feel so different now than when I started having OCD tendencies. I still have some, but they are what they are, just tendencies. My life doesn’t revolve around constant anxiety, obsessions and compulsions anymore, I just hope this lasts.

  3. Elly,

    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog so far. I, too, am living with OCD and have recently decided to start writing about it. No one really knows I have started a blog, but I find it very therapeutic so far! I have added your blog to the list that I follow, and hope that maybe you or your readers would be interested in taking a look at my blog as well. I hope you’re finding everyday to be a little easier, I look forward to hearing more from you!

  4. Hi Elly,
    I can really relate to your childhood OCD issues. Everything in my life has always had a kind of obsessiveness about it.

  5. I can really relate to Elly’s comments about childhood and OCD. Everything in my life has always had the cloud of obsessiveness and extremity about it. Check out my story at scottkernaghan.dinstudio.com.

  6. Luckily I do remeber a time before OCD, when I was a teenager but now often do something and really don’t know how a ‘normal’ person would act as it has been 10 years since I didn’t have OCD, had this conversation lately with my mum and she said there was no ‘normal’ as everone OCD or not has different tolerance on cleanliness, sopposed she is right.

    1. Yes, “normal” is definitely relative. Lots of people don’t have OCD but have other things they’re dealing with instead. There is no perfect “normal.”

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