Thursday, April 29, 2010

6 months, 4 days.....

Six months and four days ago I entered into treatment to get help for my OCD. Some days the tunnel seemed so long, that I wondered if there was light at the end at all. Other days, the light seemed to be shining bright, giving me hope that I was progressing. With each transition through this journey.....from "residential" in L.A., to residential in Wisconsin, then back to L.A. for intensive outpatient.....I've had a whirlwind of emotions and fears.

Today is my last day at the intensive outpatient OCD program at UCLA medical center and again, I have a mix of emotions.....a beautiful mix of emotions. Ya, I'm nervous about transitioning back into "full-time normal" life, but I'm so excited as well. I feel different than I did 6 months ago. By no means am I skipping through my days living in the ecstasy of being free as a butterfly, but my overall approach to life is more relaxed. My automatic response to stress and anxiety is not compulsions anymore. I still feel anxiety, and I still have compulsions, but to such a lesser degree that it feels as though I'm a new person.

My time at UCLA was predominately spent fine-tuning the skills I had learned at Roger's. I also crossed the line from "normal" into some things that aren't quite so "normal" while at UCLA, in regards to exposures that is. :) Research has found that most patients who go through treatment for their OCD, tend to slip back a little after treatment. So turning up the heat and doing some slightly extreme exposures is necessary to allow for patients to settle into the "normal" range. That's a brief explanation, but I will address this whole topic again very soon.

My car is packed, and in just a few minutes I will be leaving L.A. and driving back down to Dana Point and unpacking and settling in at home for hopefully a long time. :) The challenge is going to be not feeling too comfortable in my home. Exposures will have to continue to be a daily part of my life. Facing fears and doing things that cause me anxiety every day is a necessity. Sounds sadistic, I know......oh believe me, I know......but it's what is going to keep me from relapsing.

My journey is not over. Just those words well up excitement within. In some ways, it seems like life may just be beginning.


Grace is what comes to mind right now. God's grace is crazy amazing, crazy humbling, and passionately gentle. I'm so thankful.

Here I go.....

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