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Get out of your head.

February 23, 2011

Unfortunately, today I had an intense, pretty big OCD freakout.
Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize that it was OCD, which happens when I’m in it.

Fortunately, it happened when I was with the only person in the world who a) understands the exact nature of my OCD, b) could recognize that it was OCD and not my core’s true and pure thoughts and beliefs, c) still had compassion and not hatred for me, despite the nature of the spin.

And for that…well, there are no words to express how thankful I am.

The guilt is still there because I’m an awful friend. I fought off the big tears for hours, until just now when I finally got home and am finally alone, and I am just absolutely sobbing. And while I hate that, I know it’s a release that needed to happen. Release the guilt, release the exhaustion of what happened, release the emotion of the situation, release the fear of what could’ve happened had this person not been who she is.

I’m fighting the urge to write every little detail about what happened, and examine it from all sorts of points of view, because I know, I know, it’s not about the content of the thoughts. But I also know that I have to keep fighting the urge to replay, word-for-word, what happened, what could have happened, etc. etc. I know going down that road is not, and never has been productive–nor useful. But it’s hard.

So instead…I guess that my time is better spent a) letting myself cry it out, but also b) helping myself prepare for the next time this happens–“this” being an OCD explosion. What is so frustrating for me is that when I’m in it, it’s so hard for me to realize that I’m in it, because everything SEEMS real, SEEMS to have a logical explanation, SEEMS to make sense–like, “of course I need to wash my hands again, of course I’m an awful friend for doing/saying x, y, and z.” It’s not until after the fact that it becomes so obvious that it was OCD. I remember for years, in therapy, getting those worksheets and things that were like, “Warning signs that your actions are becoming behaviors” or whatnot–like, “Only eating if you know you’ll be able to workout later.” So….

My Warning Signs that I’m in it:

  • Feeling a need to confess every thought and emotion
  • Having “should” thoughts (“Should I say what I’m thinking, should I not, what does it say about me if I don’t,” etc.)
  • Having trouble leaving my apartment or going to sleep because I’m checking, whatever the checking may be (it’s not about the content)
  • Feeling the need to replay scenarios over and over again in my head–either things that have already happened, or things that could happen
  • Worrying about what someone might be thinking about me, after they have given me reassurance once
  • Having trouble making minute decisions (like today when I could not decide between coffee or tea and texted a friend to see which I should have…..)
  • Not being able to fall asleep at night because of racing thoughts
  • Lots of cleaning, handwashing, etc., to the degree of constantly feeling like I have to do it again
  • Thoughts that I’m a horrible ____ (friend, student, daughter, etc.)

I still can’t stop crying, and the guilt is huge, and I’m drained and feeling foggy…but if I can hear what a compassionate person would tell me, and I think that would be something like, “You don’t have to beat yourself up, you have OCD, be kind to yourself, and let’s move on.” And I’m not in a place where I can conjure that up myself and believe it, but I’ll try. Even if I don’t deserve it Even if it’s hard right now.

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