Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Exhaustion and OCD

I went through several hundred possible images to start this post off. My frustration with myself is mammoth right now, since the part of the point of this blog is to do it as an exposure, and not do it compulsively "perfectly." But I am regrouping now, and starting this post without an image, even though there's still 3 or 4 pages of images that I left midstream, and the temptation to look through the rest to finish it and feel done is big. Of course, I probably wouldn't feel done. I'd probably go look at more images on a different site.

The irony here--and OCD seems to bring lots of irony with it--is that I wanted to write about exhaustion. . .this is progress to just start writing, before the point of complete exhaustion. Jon Grayson says something in his book about sometimes someone with OCD stops ritualizing because they are tired, completely drained, exhausted totally. We haven't met the demands of the OCD yet, but we stop because we don't have the energy to continue.

There's a small window of opportunity at this point to wedge a bit of myself back into my mind and heart. Often I will just pick up where I left off at a later time, but sometimes I have a moment of understanding the futility of satisfying the OCD. No amount ritualizing is going to completely satisfy the OCD. It's like the games of jump rope I played as a kid--we'd all shout out rules, arbitrary, goofy, and the favorite one was making the rule of "no more rules."

It feels imperative when I'm in the OC anxiety to do whatever it says, but I've survived doing my ritualizing inadequately, and even if I met all the requirements, OCD would escalate it to the next level.


  1. Looking so thoroughly for the image is the right way to exhaustion :)

  2. holly- Chicago IllinoisAugust 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    I agree. I am 23 and have been dealing with the pains of OCD since the age of 17. I am currently on zoloft to help with the anxiety. I have noticed that when I am physically exhausted I do find it hard to battle my disorder. It's harder to block out the monsterous OCD thoughts when your body just wants to sleep. I understand your pain and I appreciate your honesty. Keep on the journey.

  3. Welcome Holly! I realized I didn't respond to your comment. I also notice with myself it's a vicious cycle--if I'm tired my OCD acts up and then I have trouble sleeping.