Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two Years of Exposing OCD

It's Exposing OCD's blog anniversary! I've been writing this blog for two years. I am grateful for all the readers who contribute to a rich community of comments, and for those who read these words, and go on to start their own blogs. My blog roll has gotten longer and longer, and this makes OCD less isolating and lonely.

November and December were a struggle, and I pulled inward. The darkness, the cold, my back pain and subsequently spending much of my time inside and alone, contributed to depression.
Fortunately, when I called my therapist, in the midst of this lowness, he encouraged me to realize I am a social being, even if I am introverted, that I need human contact, and I focused on getting out of the house and meeting with friends or going to networking events. I also found someone who gives lessons in the Alexander Technique, who is also an artist, like I am, and he has been helping me with my posture so that when I am in the studio I don't aggravate my back.

In the mix with all this, I did my breast self-exam and felt an unfamiliar lumpiness, and started into a cascade of "What's wrong with you? Maybe you are just hyper-sensitive to your body, and that means you are a bad person. Or maybe you have cancer, and it's all your fault. . ." and on and on. I was able to wait a week or two, and do my self-exam again, to make my best guess, since I still felt something, and make an appointment to see a doctor, not knowing for sure if it was OCD-warped perception, or something wrong.

The doctor couldn't feel anything. In the past, I would have had a panic attack about how stupid I was to go, or find another doctor to make sure. He did prescribe an ultrasound, and then my annual mammogram which came back normal. I have a follow-up appointment in February. That I can deal with potential health problems is really big, and as much as I hate the uncertainty, I know I have much more ability to cope with it. I am reading a book, Present Perfect, about perfectionism and the author says that if we are alive, we are all survivors of uncertainty. Uncertainty is all around us, but OCD hones in on certain ones, and says, "If you don't know this, you can't go on" but we go on all the time--we just don't realize it.

20 comments:

  1. Great blog. Thank you for sharing. Uncertainty sucks, but it is what OCD thrives on. I like the line about how we move on all the time but don't realize it. I am glad you are doing better! Keep fighting!

    Jason

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  2. SO GREAT TO SEE YOU BACK!!! I have been wondering how you are doing and hoping that your "absence" has been for positive things, not OCD/depression. Yes I read "Present Perfect" - it is a wonderful book filled with so many quotes that resonated with me. I hope you will be inspired to write more on your blog, you are so helpful to those of us who read what you have to say. Take Good Care.

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    1. Thank you for your affirmations! I always am heartened by that.

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  3. And congratulations on two years of Exposing OCD!!!

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  4. I'm so glad I found your blog. Congrats on the two years!

    Good point about the way we go on despite uncertainty. That's so true, but I had never thought about it in that way.

    I'm sorry you've had a low time, but hope you're feeling better.

    I look forward to reading past posts and future ones.

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    1. Welcome Tina! Glad you found the blog, and are writing your own.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing! You are incredibly brave to put your feelings out there, and you have no idea how many people you are helping just by sharing your story. I also wanted to add that there's some great advice for living with OCD on the following link. I found it so helpful, and hope others will too.
    http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/surviving-ocd

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    1. Hi Anon--thank you for sharing the onlineceucredit info--I hadn't seen that resource before and it looks very helpful for those clinicians who want to learn more about ocd.

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  6. Congratulations on two years! Thank you for sharing part of your life with all of us. Please know that you are making a difference in the fight against OCD.

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    1. Welcome 71! I just checked out your blog. You are doing brave work, and I congratulate you on starting a blog on your experiences.

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  7. Congradulations on your 2 yr anniversary!!

    I think you handled your scare very well. I hope Feb.'s appointment turns out ok too. I'm glad you're getting out. Winter is such a hard time to force myself to go out.

    Do you have pic's of your artwork you can post on your blog?

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    1. Thank you for asking about my art! I will see about getting some photos up.

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  8. Thank you all for the congratulations! I really appreciate it.

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  9. Happy anniversary and thanks for this blog. As an OCD sufferer myself I found it very useful.

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  10. Congratulations on your two year blogging anniversary.....yes, living with uncertainty is what we all have to do, even though we may not realize it. Thanks for a great post!

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  11. Congratulations on your second year anniversary. Indeed, uncertainty in life has it good points, too. so take it is and relax and always remember to talk to someone that will truly listen to your concerns. :)

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  12. I'm just starting reading this blog. It's so wonderful to find another female OCD sufferer (I'm a little older than you) and to know we're not alone. Thank you for this blog!

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  13. Such a great post, and blog! I've lived with OCD for most of my life, and it's the little moments and steps that we take that should be celebrated. Every time I resist my compulsions, I worry, but I try to focus on the positives instead. Another great resource is http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/social-work-ceus-ocd. Keep up the good work on this blog!

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  14. Thank you for the continuing support and congratulations! I really appreciate it.

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