Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Who would've thought a door handle could induce a celebration?

Yesterday and today were somewhat discouraging for me. I've had a really hard time falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night, so I'm sure my lack of a good night's rest is not helping me throughout the day. I've also had an unusual amount of disturbing dreams...all of which have somehow been related to my OCD....dreaming about compulsions, fears, failing treatment, etc... I'm not opposed to medication, but my goal is to try to beat this without prescriptions. However, I did start taking a low dose of PM over the counter medication last night to see if that would help me sleep....and unfortunately I didn't notice a difference. Please pray that I begin sleeping better and for longer periods of time.

Sleep is the only time I experience true relief from my OCD (besides these last few nights when I've been dreaming about it), so waking up has become more and more difficult as my OCD became worse. Don't misunderstand, I've never been a "Peppy Patty" in the mornings, but the moment I'm welcomed back into reality by my alarm clock, I dread the battle that begins raging in my head. Yesterday morning, that dread just about got the best of me. I finally got out of bed in time to attend group at 9am in my pajamas, but shortly after began panicking and had a meltdown. My behavioral therapist (BT) spent a good portion of the rest of the day helping me learn and use healthy calming techniques, and then encouraging me through several exposures.

I wake up each morning determined to fight my OCD rather than surrender to it. My OCD is not dying easily and is, in fact, stirring up a lot of emotions to try to derail my efforts and discourage my spirit. It may seem weird that I refer to my OCD as its own entity, but this disorder does not define me, change my character, or restrict my being. As I learn to believe that myself, I hope that I will be able to communicate in a way to bring compassionate understanding to people who have the desire to learn. That being said, among the raging war of emotions, yesterday and today were filled with a new wave of embarrassment and shame. I wanted to make everything private again. I hated how "simple" my exposures must seem. I hate the knots in my back, my racing heart beat that jumps in my throat, the heat that runs through my body when I do something that seems ordinary to the general public. The doubts, the indignity, the humiliation began to speak loudly. It's been two very hard, very stress-filled days for me, but I am finally screaming louder again.

The victory I am most proud of today is: I made full hand contact with both sides of my bedroom door handle with no barrier, no washing, and no tears.....and very little anxiety. It was a very, very weird sensation. I did touch multiple door handles as exposures during my treatment in LA, but it was different today, very different. Treatment in LA was good, but was structured at an incredibly faster pace than how treatment is structured here. Because of the fast pace, I never really felt as though I was doing the same exposures enough times to really conquer my fear. Whereas here, take my bedroom door handle exposure for example, I have been working on that one, specific door handle for three days, and finally I feel as though I can make full hand contact with the door handle with significantly low anxiety and with confidence that I can fight off my urges to do any compulsions during or afterwards. I choose to celebrate that.

1 comment:

  1. I'm celebrating your victory!! You go girl. Your persistence and courage continue to amaze me. I'll never lose faith in you... you can do this. I know God knows this and it sounds like you're believing this more and more each day. My arms and heart embrace you. xoxo