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.