Where Do I Go From Here?

Dear Diary,

It’s midnight as I write this and I’m snacking on chocolate M&M’s. Today has been a mixed day to be honest. Two days ago I made a decision to tidy up my bedroom and start putting an effort into my appearance/cleanliness/etc – basically I am trying to get out of my cycle of depression.

It has been going mostly well, even though a hotdog I was eating from the garage had a hair in it, causing me to freak out. My health is better – although I won’t be walking to the shops any time soon as I still get tired very easily.

However the doctor still hasn’t called me to tell me what I should be doing now. I’m a lot better sure, but what’s the reason for my previous ill-health and how do I stop it from happening again? I fear that because I’m better than I was that these questions will go unanswered for a while.

I haven’t been to a driving lesson in ages due to my ill-health and feel uncomfortable resuming them until I can guarentee that this will not happen again. I’m terrified about university next year, I’m terrified about what I’m supposed to do with myself for the next few months and I feel very lost.

When I wake up tired in the morning and have nothing planned for the day (especially when other people are also asleep) I struggle to find the urgency to get up. When I know I’m going shopping for food with my Mum, visiting my grandparents or going out to breakfast I have a purpose but most days I just feel like there is nothing to look forward to.

This is an obvious problem as one cannot do something exciting every single day and chores seem non-urgent enough to not get myself out of bed at a quick pace.

Being miserable and depressed is a lot easier than trying to help yourself. Helping yourself get out of a misery pattern requires facing all the things that you want to avoid and actively trying to find solutions to your problems and negative feelings which is tiring and scary.

What is OCD Rehab?(+Merry Christmas)

Dear Diary,

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.

Merry Christmas and let me know if OCD Rehab has helped you.

OCD Turning Night Into Day

Dear Diary,

A favourite saying of my mother’s is “you’re turning night into day” and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing lately. At night I’ve been having irrational OCD worries that I’ll pee myself and so I have been unable to sleep at night. Then I’ve been sleeping in until lunch or napping for hours on end.

The problem is that my OCD is for lack of a better word – confused. I’m not quite down the rabbit hole of OCD mayhem but I’m also by no means doing well. For the last three or four days I’ve been deliberately wearing dirty clothes and have been taking no effort into my appearance. And when I say no effort I mean barely brushing my hair etc. It doesn’t make me feel happy to not at least look and feel presentable.

My OCD is ‘confused’ right now because I’m avoiding things like my OCD wants but I’m also not making an effort to rectify when I accidentally don’t avoid something. I feel in limbo unsure of wether my next actions will feed into my OCD or fight it.

So what am I going to do? I’m going to get through today and I’m going to enjoy my dinner which will be roast chicken breasts, rice and vegetables. Then I’m going to do my best to distract myself. My not-so-rational logic is that tonight I’m going to somehow have an epiphany and get back on track so let’s just see how that goes.

The Ghosts Of OCD Christmas’ Past

Dear Diary,

I’m not sure what exactly, about the Christmas experience is the root cause of all my crippiling mental health problems during this time. Perhaps it’s the expectation to be happy, the overall hustle and bustle of Christmas or something else entirely but I every year find myself in a dark place.

My OCD is nowhere near as horrific at Christmas time as it used to be when I was younger but the ghosts of OCD Christmas’ past still haunt me. Not just the memories of being so unhappy and anxious, not just the saddness that I wasted so much of my childhood consumed with OCD but also because the similar, familiar feelings of anxiety, guilt and depression greet me again.

Today is the 19th of December and I’m off on my Christmas holiday’s, except all I’m feeling is guilt. I feel guilty for things I may or may not have said, done or felt during the darkest periods of my life. I feel guilty for not liking people for reasons I can’t completely remember. I feel guilty for my social failures then and now. I feel guilty for not being able to understand others’ feelings when I was eleven and undiagnosed.

I’m scared for Christmas. I’m scared that I’ll fall into old patterns and give in to my OCD so much so that it ruins my whole day. I’m frightened that I’m going to fall into a depression that never ends. I’m scared that I won’t enjoy Christmas.

I remember so many Christmas’ where I cried and washed my hands compulsively to the extend that they bled. I remember my shoulders aching with pain because I was holding myself in a way as to not touch certain things. I remember being so anxious and unhappy.

So what should I do? That’s the million dollar question. For now however I’m going to focus on not going into a coma of misery each hour until the feelings of stress, sadness, guilt and whatever else subsides.

Will update soon. Hope everyone else is feeling okay.