Sunday, January 31, 2016

THE SEARCH FOR HOPE

This is a study entitled 'Allotment #1' of my beloved allotment I made where, for the past year, I've been able to care LESS: A good thing for an OCD sufferer like myself who is hypervigilant much of the time!

I'm on the cusp of beginning self-directed Exposure and Response Prevention. For an explanation of what this means, please visit this page on the International OCD Foundation's website: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/treatment/erp/

Right now, my OCD is so severe that I can barely differentiate my 'OCD' fears from reality, and so I recently compiled this list of affirmations to myself based on the hard work I've already put into my recovery. I have them displayed on the wall of my office so that I can re-read them whenever I feel the need:

BREAKING FREE FROM OCD:
  • Life is not about 'losing' or 'winning'.
  • Breathe and the anxiety will lessen.
  • I can trust myself to protect myself and others.
  • I am able to remember very clearly what has happened to me.
  • I am no longer as vulnerable as I once was.
  • If I break free, I won't feel as shackled to this 'other person' that is OCD.
  • I am a strong, resilient, intelligent woman.
  • If I break free, I shall be able to look to the future instead of the past.
  • If I act on my compulsions, the underlying anxiety will remain.
  • I need to (in a healthy way) make myself feel more 'complete'.
  • I can remain in control of my life without OCD.
  • I can believe in good things.
  • I am a lot less self-destructive than I was.
  • I am able to reason with my OCD.
  • If I break free, I will be able to live in the present more - or if I am able to live in the present, I will be able to break free.
  • Work on rescuing myself rather than others.
  • I am naturally careful and thorough and so am unlikely to miss / lose vital pieces of information.
  • I make mistakes and that's OK.
  • I am an inspiration to others.
  • I am capable of overcoming massive obstacles.
  • If I break free, I will be more at peace with the unpredictability of living.
  • I deserve to be happy.
  • If I break free, I will free my partner from my need for repeated reassurance. 
OCD is a bully, and because I'm fighting it, (not uncommonly), the symptoms have been intensifying: I used the toilet at the allotments on Friday and when I'd finished, found myself checking a number of times that I hadn't locked the black and white cat that roams the plots, inside, upon leaving. I asked my partner, Jan, for reassurance that I hadn't / wouldn't do this, and was so tempted to go back and check that the toilet was empty - but I resisted. It was a while, though, before I could shake the intrusive thought of the poor cat dying horribly through my having trapped it in the toilet: I know that if I'm not careful, this 'toilet checking' will develop into another OCD to add to my already extensive list, and that having PMT at the time made the experience significantly more difficult to handle - but handle it I did.

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