Tuesday, April 26, 2016
ENJOYING BEING AT HOME AGAIN
'Anything is possible and that's the problem. Or is it?': Khara Plicanic talking about her experiences of living with OCD and how she attempts to keep her symptoms at bay.
Even though PMT induced me to fall short of accomplishing a couple of exposures this week concerning my obsession that wherever I am in the house, I'm going to poison my beloved cat, Tigger, I was able to reduce my SUDS level from 48 to five by not pandering to the compulsion to seek reassurance from my partner Jan / write down that I hadn’t, in fact, caused him any damage – and I’m beginning to enjoy spending time with him again.
I challenged myself during some of these ERP sessions, to confront this fear head-on; to exercise in the room where Tigger’s food and water are for 20-minute bouts. The intrusive thoughts that flooded my mind afterwards of Tigger dying because I’d poisoned him, were dreadful, but I can now view such thoughts as simply being part and parcel of fighting OCD; the disorder’s pathetic attempt at keeping me a prisoner of my own mind.
Without the encouragement and empathy of Jan and members of Support 4 Everything OCD on Facebook, when certain images, for example, my fetching fly spray from the cupboard with Tigger in the next room, would ‘stick’ in my mind's eye and tempt me to avoid carrying on with exposures, I don’t think I’d have made the progress I have.
For the first time in a long while, I was able to refrain from noting down reassurances to myself that I hadn’t been contaminated when people accidentally bumped into me on busy London streets or on the Tube: As Khara puts it on the above TED talk, I was, in those moments, able to ‘widen my focus’ and know that the chances of someone deliberately sticking a contaminated needle in me while I'm walking along, are very remote indeed. I also continued to delete reassurances I’d written to myself over the years from my iPhone.
CARA; the Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse in Essex emailed me the contact details of Nia; East London Rape Crisis, who I’ll phone for help with the PTSD side of my diagnosis in preparation for tackling my most established OCD: the fear of being raped, attacked or contaminated by men.