Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1 Year of Exposing OCD!

Not that way

I began this blog, Exposing OCD, a year ago. I have learned immensely from the process of writing the posts, reading and responding to comments, and in discovering other bloggers who write about the experience of having OCD. I was initially inspired to start a blog when I came across The Beat OCD Blog: Overcoming OCD One Exposure at a Time. The author was blogging anonymously and about doing exposures, and it was like a door opened to the idea that I could write about my experiences as well. I had been writing articles for an OCD newsletter, but it came out only a few times a year, and I'd noticed writing had been helpful for gaining distance from my old patterns. I'd like to give a shout out to The Beat OCD Blogger(or Ann as she now calls herself), and her incredible persistence in doing exposures and reclaiming her life from exhausting OCD rituals and avoidance of the living she really wanted to do.

I wanted to write about my experience doing Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy(ERP), and as a motivator to actually do more exposures. Ironically I started the blog while at work, where my compulsing ate up many of my days, and avoidance was mixed into my other aims. Writing the blog was a distraction, but as readers found my blog, it helped focus my attention on the nature of OCD as a disorder, especially mental obsessions, intrusive thoughts, indecision, perfectionism and health anxiety. OCD is still a mystery to many people, and the most discouraging is how many therapists also find it a mystery, and either don't realize their client has OCD, or doesn't know about ERP. I hope that in some small way I am helping to describe OCD experiences such a way that others can recognize what they may have found impossible to articulate, and to offer hope that it's possible to get better, to be an inhabitant of your own life, rather than living a life of compulsions.

Writing each post was an exposure, since my perfectionism often had resulted in avoiding writing anything unless it was "perfect," along with fears of saying the wrong thing, or choosing the wrong topic or the incorrect photo. I have been honored by people's willingness to share their own experiences with me by leaving comments on the blog, and encouraged by the number of OCD blogs I've found over the course of the past year. My blog roll has grown, and although I wouldn't wish OCD on anyone, I am thankful for companions for the journey of courage in facing OCD.

9 comments:

  1. Congrats on a year of facing your fears! I've enjoyed your posts.

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  2. Congratulations on one year! Your blog is encouraging.

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  3. You inspire me to keep fighting the OCD battle - one exposure at a time. Congratulations - you definitely have a hold on your OCD - not the other way around!

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  4. Aww, thanks! I love reading and being inspired by everyone's blogs. Congrats, too!

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  5. Congratulations! I am truly grateful that you started this blog and so thankful that I discovered it. Just as Ann inspired you to start writing about your OCD online, you inspired me to do the same. At the same time, through your blog I was able to discover the world of other OCD bloggers that I have since had the pleasure of joining! Thank you for the inspiration and thank you for sharing you own experiences in battling this disorder and the insights you have gained from it.

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  6. Thank you so much for creating this blog. I was researching intrusive thoughts today when I found it. I'm only fourteen and I suffer from intrusive thoughts like the ones you've described. I'm so happy I was able to stumble upon on your blog, there really doesn't seem to be that much information on the internet about this. It's just nice to know other people have gone through the same thing and there is hope. Thank you so much!

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  7. Thank you all for the congratulations! I appreciate it, and feel honored to have readers!

    Anon--I am glad I could help in some way with the intrusive thoughts. I remember how alone I felt when I was dealing with them at age 9 or 10. I encourage you to check out the International OCD Foundation, and their list of therapists who specialize in OCD:
    http://www.ocfoundation.info/treatment-providers-list.php
    and their support group list:
    http://www.ocfoundation.org/find_a_support_group.aspx

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  8. I hope that in some small way I am helping to describe OCD experiences such a way that others can recognize what they may have found impossible to articulate, This hits the nail on the head for me. I enjoy reading these posts as it puts things into words that I've never been able to explain myself. I'm not yet positive I have ocd as I've seemed to have gotten along in life adapting to my surroundings, keeping my true self hidden so to speak and blending in. It's only when I get down or am really stressed that I seem to have trouble around people and cause myself problems, which I think is because of low energy to put in extra effort to hide it. Then it just seems like I'm looking for attention in actual fact I'm just letting loose. I'm afraid that I'm wrong and afraid to be right so I haven't gotten the courage to go or even have the words to describe it. Your posts are helping me understand myself and I can relate to the experiences and feelings and thoughts that a lot of you have here. I have the workbook for OCD which I'm filling out in hopes if just walking in to a therapists office and going 'here' read it and work out my compulsions and obsessions and help me to see what hinders me. Or tell me why I don't have ocd because I need to know either way. Or tell me I've just researched ocd way too much and know what to say and I'm being a hypochondriac. Sorry got carried away there but anyway your posts are helping me and thank you

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  9. Anon ~ I am glad my posts have been helpful to you! When I belonged to an OCD support group, I found that many of the participants had spent a lot of time trying to figure out if they actually had OCD ~ it seems to be part of the disorder! I encourage you to go to the International OCD Foundation site and see if a support group is near you ~ it really helped me to see patterns, and that I was not alone.

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