OCD Hope Drive: Jeff Bell & Liz McIngvale
3 days ago
What if I do the test and it starts a spiral of diagnostic testing? If I am too young, why is she giving me this? What if I do the test wrong? I have to wait until 3 days after my period, but I spot a lot. The disclaimer says that bleeding may not happen all the time, so I have to take two samples. What if I pick the wrong days?It couldn't be simpler. Not with OCD. Fortunately, I don't have the specter of contamination fears as well, but the health anxiety was up to full volume. I decided to get the blood test first before doing the home test, then if it was normal, maybe I could put off the test. But no. My hemoglobin dropped again, and my doctor asked if I'd done the test, and I said no. She said something about urgent, and gastro workup, and it totally made me like a deer in headlights. When I talk to doctors I have trouble thinking clearly, and my mind goes blank. The OCD wants to get in there and "fix" things, and this doesn't usually bode well.
But certainty is not a real choice.OCD is one-minded and will take over my life, and restricts my ability to think. Leonard says that OCD is what makes the anxiety of waiting intolerable. No one likes waiting for test results, but OCD makes it worse, with constantly trying to figure it out, retracing my actions, freezing and not living my life. He left me with this idea, which I struggle with, but also is hopeful:
I can be ok even when uncertain.Related Post:
What if she misses something? The nurse told me to leave my underwear on, what if something dangerous is hidden? Should I ask her about the tiny bumps on my hands after a shower? Am I crazy? If I don't ask I will be swamped with anxiety. If I do ask, I will be humiliated, and the reassurance won't last two minutes, and I'll find a new symptom. I must be a bad person to be struggling with this. She's wear magnifying lenses for godsake, how could she miss something? But how do I know she actually saw everything? Why isn't she worried about the underwear? Oh, god, I'm worrying about underwear. I'm a mess.I felt cursed that my desire to be watched over and taken care of turned into an ever deeper pit of obsessing. As I've been seeing Leonard for ERP therapy, I have learned to have more compassion for myself and how hard it is to actually have something physically wrong related to an old obsession. I've learned that I'm not a bad person for having OCD. I've learned that I can cope with having skin cancer, and that the OCD was more painful than the surgery.