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A little progress is a lot when it comes to OCD

First blog post of June! This is exciting, and I’m making sure the first post of June is a positive one. A few days ago I had a very positive and uplifting OCD therapy session, which is something I really can’t say a very often — if at all.

Over the past month or so, I have been able to do things that my OCD protests against and actually fight back for the first time in a while. My OCD puts up fights against doing seemingly simple things for most people — such as wearing the clothes that I’ve worn once yet haven’t washed, touching the photography table at school, touching any part of a sink, touching the side of the shower, touching trash cans, washing my hands in any way different from my rituals, doing laundry and so much more.

I can do these things for the most part, but I just have to wash my hands afterward in a specific way for a specific amount of time. So like I said, for the first time in a while, I was able to do some of these things without washing my hands because I was able to put up a fight against OCD and resist doing my compulsions.

I was able and continue to be able to wear clothes that I’ve worn before yet haven’t washed. I work as an usher now at an opera company, and we wear a uniform that would be impractical to wash each time after I wear it since I work almost every night during the week.

I was able to touch the photography table at school briefly without washing my hands when we had a special breakfast at the table for the last day of school. And I was also able to not wash my hands after I accidently touched an area near a sink and the side of the shower. These are HUGE for me!

I know they seem really easy for most people, but trust me, for me with my OCD these are big accomplishments. I don’t really know why I am able to make this progress now when I wasn’t able to make this kind of progress a month ago.

Maybe my OCD medicine, Lexapro, is finally starting to help me. Maybe it’s the fact that I am out of school and I have less school stress, or maybe I am just more motivated now to fight against OCD because I’m going off to college. I couldn’t tell you which one it is, or if it’s a combination of them all, but I can tell you that whatever it is, I am really glad!

So anyway, I told my OCD therapist about these things at our last session, and she was really blown away. I have been at a standstill with OCD for a long time and haven’t been able to move ahead very much, and when I told her about my recent progress she said that I really really made her day.

I responded with “Really?” because I’m sure my therapist has more important things to make her day but she told me that she gets her happiness from strange places and that I had really truly made her day by telling her this.

I don’t know if she just said this to make me feel good about my progress, or if this really did make her day, or if she just doesn’t have very many patients actually making progress right now, but whichever one it is, I cannot deny that it really made me feel good to hear her say this.

In a few weeks, I am going to start an OCD-intensive program with a behavioral medicine clinic, and this progress that I am making now is really helping me to feel more ready to do the work and to start the program.

I am doing the program now because I don’t want to be inhibited by my OCD in college to the extent that I am effected by it now. College is going to be a challenge already. If my OCD could possibly just be a bit better, then its one less thing that needs to be a  challenge for me in college.

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RuthieP

2 Comments

  1. Thanks! I am so glad things are getting better as far as my OCD goes too! The program I am looking into is in my state and at an anxiety behavioral medicine clinic. Every state should have some sort of behavioral medicine clinic and you can just ask them if they have an anxiety/OCD related intensive program there. Beck of luck!

    Ruthie

  2. Hey, I’m really glad to hear your OCD has progressed! What program are you looking into? I’d definitely like to partake in a behavioural OCD adjustment program, seeing as my symptoms have been getting worse as of late.

    Let me know!

    Cassandra.

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