Again, Fellow OCD Sufferer has some thoughts that have me thinking, in response to my Anxiety in Disguise post. She talked about the difficulty of response prevention, and the fear of endless rumination and unease. That is the irony of the compulsions we use in OCD to damp down the anxiety--they become odious and cause their own suffering, while stealthily encouraging us to think that we couldn't function without our rituals.
And my life history colludes with this version of reality, because from a young age I used perfectionism as a way to make things right with the world, and allow the possibility I could exist on this planet. I barely registered in my parents' world. I was the invisible girl who still felt she took up too much space. When I delay writing something, because I fear going over it in my mind repeatedly, I am fearing the triggering of this compulsion, and OCD is more than glad to praise me for this. But what is even scarier, is contemplating writing something and sending it out into the world without going over it, and living with the fear that I've done it wrong, that I am inadequate and will be haunted by this distress forever.
And yet, I still get an initial moment of hopefulness when I start my compulsive avoidance, by doing extra research for a post--"maybe this time I will find exactly the right thing." It's like a high, and full of expectation, which quickly crashes to the ground when the searching drags on, my body gets tired, and my mood falls into depression, and yet OCD still claims that it's not worth taking the chance to actually do the writing and purposely let it be imperfect.
Right now I am learning that OCD is on the side of whatever painful things I believe about myself. I do not want to collude with that perniciousness. It comes down to avoidance. OCD would have me avoid so many things, because of a fear of making mistakes, that I would end up avoiding my whole life, and I did this for many years. When I do Exposures, I have the chance to actually live my life. This isn't to say there's no pain in my life, but that there is a possibility of joy as well.