Disclaimer: I’m not a trained professional, I’m just a girl with OCD and autism who has developed a strategy that helps me and may help someone out there. (I created this strategy completely on my own.)
Hello. My name is Medusa and I’m an addict. I think of OCD as like an addiction much like gambling or alcoholism. I’m addicted to the false feeling of control and relief I get when I listen to my OCD. Addictions are a way of coping – or rather not-coping – with stress or just life in general. They are heartbreaking and unhealthy. OCD much like addictions causes me to have relapses and stints in personal rehabilitation.
The feeling of relief and the flood of endorphins I get mixed in with the severe nervous energy every time I give in to my compulsions or avoidances is a sort of high. Momentarily It feels better, It feels like I’m in control of my life and that everything is going to be good. But this is a slippery slope that will almost always lead to a severe relapse and is merely an illusion. Every time I let my OCD win it comes back stronger and more often.
OCD Rehabilitation is what I like to call the process in which I go cold turkey on all my compulsions all at once. It isn’t a place or a facility it is merely a decision to put myself through what truly feels like the most impossible thing imaginable. It results in days of feeling confused and uncertain or even excited.
My rules: 1. Go cold turkey on your OCD and wait for the pain and anguish that your compulsions usually temporarily relieve to eventually fade. 2. Realise that this is your chance to get your life back, be pissed, be reckless in your disregard for your OCD’s demands. Do not negotiate with that terrorist.
After my first time in OCD Rehab I was in a sense sober. After days of confusion, pain and going against what felt like my very nature I, after nearly all of my life felt somewhat in control of my OCD. My anxiety and depression still needing to be managed but the OCD is just an unhealthy manifestation of them, the removal of that enables the true work to be done. I still have OCD but it is locked away in a locked box somewhere Doctor Sleep style and sometimes I slip up and open it without realising.
Much like a sober alcoholic, I cannot indulge in the occasional compulsion. No matter how good or hard things get I cannot even for one moment give in. A hand wash there because I’m worried I’ll ruin something means that next time I feel ‘contaminated’ I’ll be more reluctant to fight it. OCD is as familiar as the back of my hand and any regression made could result in returning to my darkest days.
I have relapsed before. Hell, I’m borderline relapsing now. Stressful events such as Christmas bring on the desires of avoidance and compulsions and it’s hard to hold it together.
If you relapse like I did and will do again, check yourself back in. I hope this has helped someone. Believe me I understand how impossible it feels to resist the temptation of your OCD and if you asked me two years ago if I’d be doing this I would have thought it impossible. But I’m doing it!
Please take care of yourselves this Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful time. It may get hard or stressful but we’re all in this together and we will all get through this because we have to.