Thursday, March 3, 2016
KEEPING THE FAITH
'I Have OCD. This Is What It's Like To Be In My Mind For 3 Minutes' by Torre Catalano
My OCD is off the scale, still, and so I'm regularly going to bed early to rest my body and mind as much as possible: I'm craving 'psychological' space out from people because my brain is so rammed with obsessions, compulsions and healing from them, that I can't cope with much else. Through his use of voices, Catalano expresses this inner wrestling really accurately in his video above.
I wondered if I'm strong enough to do ERP therapy alone, but then I read Janet's 'The Truth About ERP Therapy' ocdtalk blog: https://ocdtalk.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/the-truth-about-erp-therapy/, which gave me the confidence to think that if I apply myself, I should be able to give it a decent go.
In the knowledge that I shall be taking on my OCDs one at a time, I'm not beating myself up for giving in to the more severe ones at the moment - so long as I can still function enough to do my work as a musician and writer.
I felt panicky reading the section of The OCD Workbook entitled 'Carry Out the Exposure, Allowing Your Discomfort to Rise', and had to have a breather while focusing on my potential 'Exposure Pitfalls'; namely that I could be tempted to perform private rituals such as counting / self-harm to neutralize anxiety; I might want to ask my partner, Jan, for reassurance that bad things haven't happened, and that I could become too perfectionist about the process as a whole. In order to get maximum benefit from exposures, therefore, I decided to start off with my least fear-provoking OCD (over-checking page numbers), and to gradually try to reduce the amount of times I seek reassurance from Jan.
When I was alone at home all day on Monday, I was scared I'd poison the cat: I had fresh in my memory, though, what I'd read the previous day about the process of habituation; the nervous system's natural response to prolonged stimuli, explained excellently in this article: http://beyondocd.org/expert-perspectives/articles/what-does-habituation-mean. For a little while, at least, I was able to refrain from writing down reassurances to myself (that I hadn't poisoned the cat), as well as from seeking reassurance from Jan that I hadn't poisoned him.
Only a few weeks ago, my OCD was nowhere near this severe, but I'm trying to trust that these symptoms are all part and parcel of having set myself on the road to recovery - and that I'm not going completely crazy.