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.