Thursday, May 5, 2016

REFINDING THE THREAD OF REASON

Gardening on my allotment allows me the space I need to relax and feel a sense of meaningful connection with the world.

With regards to my obsession that wherever I am in the house, I'm going to poison my beloved cat, Tigger, I managed to get my SUDS level down from five to one by not giving in to the compulsion to seek reassurance from my partner Jan / write down that I hadn’t poisoned him. I still feel anxious around the cat, but I’ll be happy if I can sustain this level of control I've gained over this particular obsession.

My ability to complete these exposures satisfactorily, however, varied inexplicably from day to day: Often during this week I felt tense, headachy and hypervigilant, and wasn’t able to do ERP. It was tempting to view this as failure, but instead, I showed myself some compassion, reached out for support from those I know understand, and determined to carry on with exposures either later on or the next day.

So long as I can constantly challenge my OCD, the more chance I have of being able to hold on to the ‘thread of reason’ that (as my friend and fellow OCD sufferer, Sarah, reminded me), is always there whenever this terrible ‘doubting disease’ gets a grip of my senses.

I phoned Nia; East London Rape Crisis, who emailed me information about their services plus an application form for free counselling to help me to talk about painful family issues, and to detangle unresolved traumas which make my OCD worse.

Doing this felt like a massive step in the right direction, but I soon began subconsciously engaging in self-sabotaging behaviour by making partial contact with people from my past I know should remain firmly there; in my past.

I also had nightmares which played on my most deep-seated insecurities about my body, so I’m waking up feeling more tired than I did when I went to bed!

On the wall in my office I have a list of affirmations I wrote down to myself when I first started work on my recovery from OCD, and re-reading them helped when I was really struggling.

Now it’s time, after a holiday (I wish)! to tackle the next OCD; probably one of my multiple ‘checking’ ones… 

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