Tuesday Q&A: Kimberley Quinlan
1 day ago
The thing that I kind of overlooked was that whole middle part - you know, the part where you have to do the work and you don't like it and you feel like it's "too soon" or "too much" or "not time yet." Yeah, I kind of forgot about that part. . .I overlooked the middle part too. Like Fellow OCD Sufferer, I am an "OCD Nerd" and had read a thesis' worth of information about OCD, and wanted to do my Exposure Therapy perfectly, which delayed me actually doing much in the way of exposures for my perfectionism for almost a year. In spite of muddling along, I am getting better. My therapist would say there is no other way, that perfection is never an option. This is both liberating and scary. The perfectionism chimes in with "Well, if you can get better, then you will REALLY have to be perfect." I am getting better at recognizing all the guises of my perfectionism, and how rickety the arguments are, and how stifling. I am heartened to read posts where a fellow sufferer gets to the heart of the matter, the moment where you move forward, in the midst of all the "not ready" "not yet" "not right" moments.
Waiting for the day when I feel like being "better" to take action, waiting for a time when I'm 100% sure I want to be well and want to do exposure, isn't exactly a sure-fire strategy. In fact, in retrospect, it's almost doomed to fail. It is unlikely that there will come a day when suddenly getting "better" seems easy or completely "right." If that day does come, it probably means that I'm doing something wrong...
As seen through the distorted lens of unhealthy doubt, "good"Some of the choices that I want to make, cause me anxiety, and my OCD tendency would be to label them bad, and this crashes directly into an essential part of my soul that knows I want to make these choices, that there are things I want in this life, things I desire to accomplish and experience. With OCD it's hard to inhabit your own life. When I think about all I've lost to compulsions, I feel a deep grief, but every Exposure I do allows me to move back into my own life.
choices are those that reduce our anxiety, while "bad" choices are
those that increase our fear and introduce uncertainty.