This photo is called Uncertainty by Rieke Photography. From the time I had access, over 20 years ago, I was searching on the internet for answers to my uncertainty. I know the feeling of the keys under my fingers, the gentle give of each key when I depress it, the hope that I will get THE answer for my fears.
For a long time, I was glad I had dial-up because at least I was thwarted in compulsive web searching at home, even though I still had it at work. The fact that I have high-speed internet at home now, and do not spend all my time searching, is quite amazing to me.
In the thick of my OCD, before I got any treatment, I couldn't imagine stopping my searches. If I had a health symptom, I searched for answers. If I was trying to figure out an unanswerable question, I searched for answers. I remember when Google first appeared. I was a librarian, and word spread fast that there was this new search engine with a magical algorithm that worked exceedingly well.
But even Google couldn't solve my OCD, because the reassurance I was seeking was a mythical oasis that vanished as soon as I got close. I will grant though that it was through Google that I found the International OCD Foundation. I joined, and started receiving their newsletter. The irony is that I subscribed to the newsletter for 5 years, all the while compulsively searching about OCD, instead of seeking treatment.
Eventually, when I reached my lowest point in 2006, I finally put it together that Exposure Therapy might work for my mental obsessions and health anxiety, and found an Exposure Therapist.
Part of my Exposure Therapy involved stopping a search before I felt "done" and staying with the wave of anxiety until it ebbed. There are still days when I am feeling stressed, and search Google as a way to dull the anxiety, but it is not my default position, hands poised on the keyboard.