Saturday, October 8, 2011

OCD A to Z: Z is for Zero

Vintage Teal Zero Fan

I finally made it to Z! I started this OCD A to Z series in May, 2011. In thinking of a Z word, zero came to mind. For those who have suffered with OCD anxiety, there is a longing to feel zero anxiety ever again. Zero tolerance. Zero it out. Zilch. I remember my deep disappointment when I started Exposure Therapy, when my therapist said that we can't rid ourselves of all anxiety, that humans don't get that option.

OCD anxiety can be so intense, and my belief was that I couldn't cope with any more anxiety in my life. I also had a subset of existential obsessions about why there was suffering in the world, and a fear of strong feelings, with a belief that those would kill me. OCD is sneaky in giving the illusion that it's possible to escape anxiety entirely if you just do the rituals correctly. What I have learned in therapy though is that the wish to eradicate all anxiety is far more corrosive than the actual anxiety of life. OCD is such a heavy burden to add to the stresses and griefs of being human, and it is possible to thrive and get better and deal with the dictatorship of OCD rituals, and live life, in spite of difficult and painful things that happen.


  1. Very well said. Having no anxiety would be numbness, which is no healthier than OCD. It's all about finding a happy medium, isn't it?

  2. Gulp - this somehow feels like an "end" of your blogging. I had to remind myself that it's not the end of your blogging, just the end of this series! GREAT JOB!!! I will miss looking forward to and wondering what the next topic will be.

  3. Congrats on reaching 'Z'! It's a great meme to blog. And I agree, the moment you realize that 'free from anxiety' isn't 'zero anxiety' is sobering. But I think our society is all to wrapped up with 'zero' anyway. The ultimate in black and white. It's not good for anyone. I was at a clothes store with my slender sister, and she noted there are now clothes sized 00. One zero isn't enough for us, now? How much more can we work to eliminate our own need for space? Sigh.
    PS would love to have you submit a blog post or two at my blog carnival for IMHD tomorrow.
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

  4. Hello,
    This site looks really good (I just found it). I will be starting my own OCD blog site soon. Yes, I agree with what is written in this article. I have lived with OCD for around 3 and a half decades. My OCD was bordering on extreme and yes, it is possible to get this dreaded disorder under control. I once never would have believed this though.
    Paul (from Australia).