Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Monday, December 7, 2015

OCD And Children

The only thing worse than seeing someone else struggle with the pain of OCD, is seeing a child struggle with the pain of OCD. It's hard enough making sense of intense anxiety as an adult. Though my symptoms of OCD were not full blown until I reached adulthood, I've always had terrible anxiety since I was a very small child. As a child, you are not capable of truly articulating your feelings and experiences. I just remember my fear of doing anything wrong and how that would mean I was not a "good" girl. I would even tattle on myself to adults if I did something wrong, because the guilt was so intense! I also remember recognizing (at a really young age) that somehow I seemed to be much more "sensitive" to people and things, compared to other children I knew. I felt different, and I never understood why. I'm only just starting to understand . . .

This is one of many reasons why I was very happy to learn about the IOCDF's new website which is written specifically for families and treatment providers of children suffering with OCD (www.ocdinkids.org). I learned about this in an article written by Jeff Smith, IOCDF Director of Development, which appeared in the IOCDF Fall 2015 quarterly newsletter.

The article also outlined a few other interesting developments with regard to expanding treatment to children with OCD. Specifically, this past spring, the IOCDF held the 3rd installment of the pediatric version of its therapist training program called the Behavioral Therapy Training Institute (BTTI). The remarkable thing about this program? According to Mr. Smith, it "sold out in 20 minutes, an indication of the severe demand and need for this type of training . . ." (Emphasis mine.) Think about that for a moment. 20 minutes. For a therapist training program.

Moreover, the IOCDF created the Pediatrician Partnership Program (PPP), which seeks to arm pediatricians with information to help them more properly identify pediatric onset OCD. The PPP is now being implemented in the Boston, Massachusetts area (the IOCDF headquarters is located in Boston). The plan is to hopefully bring this program throughout the rest of the United States.

Great news for suffering children and their families.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Worry vs. GAD vs. OCD

Another wonderful session that I attended at the IOCDF Annual Conference was led by Martin N. Seif, Ph.D., who is the co-founder of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Dr. Seif was a great speaker and he kept us entertained with his witty commentary while sharing some really good material. I thoroughly enjoyed his very informative presentation. Specifically, it was titled, "Worry and Subtle Forms of OCD: When Rational Refutation, Problem Solving, Stress Management, and Coping Skills are Counterproductive."

Dr. Seif's talk gave me a lot to think about, both in regard to OCD, but also in regard to my struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Though, to the best of my knowledge, I have never been officially diagnosed with GAD, I'm 1000% positive that I have it. As Dr. Seif put it, there is a continuum of GAD to OCD, where GAD worries are ordinary in content (but overblown), and OCD worries are irrational and can even become quite bizarre. I've often wondered if everyone with OCD might also have GAD. If you tend to worry about bizarre, irrational things, doesn't it follow suit that you would also be worried about normal, every day kinds of things too? If I understood this talk correctly, I think worry looks like the continuum below:


<____________________________________________________________>
  Regular worry (ordinary content)   GAD (ordinary content)            OCD (irrational/bizarre content)
   Husband's serious illness              Husband's serious illness                                   hit a person
   Ability to pay bills                        Abilty to pay bills                                         I will be arrested
   My child's future/safety                My child's future/safety            My germs will make others sick
                                                           
My worries toward the left and center of the continuum are ordinary type worries, which most people have. And notice that the worry contents are the same for regular worry and GAD. However, they turn into GAD for me, because my mind tends to blow them up and I do obsess about them. (And I found out, I tend to perform compulsions too.)

Something important to note is that not all worry is neurotic. According to Dr. Seif, (roughly quoting) "if a plan is created and the 'what if' thought is put to rest, then that is productive worry." (That is the worry at the far left of the continuum.) Unhealthy worry is worry that is toxic, and it keeps repeating itself and does not go away. So if I am worried about something of normal content, but after I've done some decent research and put a plan together, but I keep thinking, "Well, what if this happens or what if that happens?" and I can't let the subject drop, I have probably entered the territory of toxic worry. Hmmm . . . almost sounds like OCD. Also, like OCD, the content of the worry (if it is the toxic type) does not matter. Apparently, it is almost never helpful to spend time analyzing the content of toxic worries. Again, that sounds remarkably like OCD.

Ironically, like OCD, GAD and unhealthy worry can have compulsive-like behavior that accompanies it. Believe it or not, even some standard coping skills like "thinking positive thoughts" can become compulsive if they are repeatedly used over and over again in order to lower anxiety. The key here is repetition. Avoidance could certainly be a compulsion here as well. I suspect that rumination and reassurance seeking (in all its forms - whether it is asking others, or over-researching a subject, etc.) may be compulsions, again, if done repetitively.  I suppose making elaborate plans over and over in your mind (like I often do!) in order to deal with or prevent a feared worry from coming true might also be compulsive. Of course, if it is compulsive, any relief would be short lived and would not stop the anxiety. That "what if" would still be present. That is probably the key to identifying unhealthy worry or anxiety.

So how to deal with worry? First I think we need to recognize it. Apparently, worry is thinking, not feeling. I sure often mistake it for feeling. I know I really need to recognize that. Dr. Seif said that we shouldn't engage with the content. The thought will be there, but we don't need to respond to it. In fact, he likened the worry thoughts to having a rude comment yelled at us by a stranger while we are walking down the street. What's the best way to handle that? Well, you hear the comment and of course, you internally acknowledge it and it might be initially upsetting, but it's probably best to not dignify the comment with any type of response, and to just keep on walking. Just like OCD, we need to learn to sit with and tolerate the unpleasant thoughts/feelings.

Interestingly, the treatment sounds awfully similar to the treatment for OCD. It seems to me that the biggest differences between these illnesses are the content of the anxiety producing thoughts, and perhaps the difference in the types of compulsions? From what I can tell, people with GAD (who do not have co-morbid OCD) don't seem to have irrational compulsions like people with OCD do, such as excessive hand washing, or counting, or re-checking things over and over. I don't know, maybe they do? I'm speculating here, but it's almost as if the more irrational the thoughts, the more irrational the compulsions. Just thinking out loud . . .

This workshop was very eye opening to me, as it answered questions that I had had for years. I knew that GAD was similar in a way, but I did not understand just how similar. Ultimately the goal is the same in either disorder - I need to learn to tolerate uncertainty.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Scrupulosity And Exposures That Do Not Compromise Faith

At last weekend's IOCDF Conference, I was lucky enough to sit in on a workshop co-led by one of my favorite IOCDF presenters, Ted Witzig, Jr. (FYI, his Christian counseling group has a great website). This year, instead of just talking about scrupulosity, the panel that he was on discussed appropriate ERP's for religious scrupulosity. I was really looking forward to this workshop, and it did not disappoint.

Anyone who is familiar with the treatment for OCD understands that the basic idea of ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) is to do the opposite of what OCD tells you to do. So if I obsess about Hit and Run OCD (like I did yesterday!) and my OCD tells me to drive back to check the "scene of the crime," proper ERP treatment tells me I should not drive back to check. Do the opposite of what OCD tells you to do. This can be less straightforward though, if your obsessions involve things of a moral or religious nature. However, Dr. Witzig very strongly believes that we do not have to compromise our faith to treat our OCD. I agree.

Here is an example from my own life: For some reason, I developed a fear that someone (in particular, another Christian) would find inappropriate material in my possession and that they would repeat this fact to others in my faith community and that they would all hate me. Here is the crazy part about this - uh, I don't actually have inappropriate materials in my possession! So why I even thought someone would ever find something of an inappropriate nature, well, I guess that just demonstrates how irrational OCD is. I was always anxious about leaving my phone, or iPad, or Kindle behind somewhere to be found by another person. Then one day, I downloaded a book to my Kindle. As I was reading the book, I came across a section that was inappropriate (of a sexual/violent nature, if I recall correctly). I did not know it was in the book before I purchased it, and I certainly would not have purchased it if I had known. Regardless, I had purchased it and it was downloaded to my Kindle and now I was horrified that there was a permanent "record" that I bought this item. This and other similar events caused significant distress for me.

Oh how I love my Kindle!
One of my therapist's suggestions to fight this obsession was to go to a bookstore and purchase (ugh in public!) a "girlie" magazine. It was never in the plan to read it/look at it, but I was just supposed to buy it and throw it out when I got home. Instantly, I had second thoughts about doing this, though I'll admit, I considered going through with it. But I just did not feel right about purchasing such an item and also giving my money to something that I found morally wrong. I summoned the courage to discuss this situation with a member of my church staff (who already knew the basics of OCD because I had previously educated him). He expressed discomfort with that ERP as well. I did tell my therapist that I was really not comfortable with this ERP and the idea was quickly discarded out of respect for my faith. (A good therapist will never force you to do something against your will.)

Ironically, just talking about the situation with one of my church pastors took a lot of the sting out of this whole obsession. It really started to bother me a lot less and I never pursued any more ERP for this issue. But what are some exposures I could have done that would not have compromised my faith? I could have purposely left any of my electronics out in the open for anyone to pick up and peruse and I would have had to live with the uncertainty of what they thought about any material they saw. I also could have done some imaginal scripting in order to raise my anxiety (on purpose) and force myself to sit with the uncertainty of the situation. In an imaginal exposure, I could write out a scenario something like this:

I buy something inappropriate. Someone from church somehow finds out about it. They repeat it to others in my church. Then it gets back to the church staff. Everyone in church now knows about it. They all think I'm a bad Christian. They don't let me serve in any ministries. I get laughed at behind my back. I get looked down on. The staff calls me in to the office to reprimand me. I feel so bad that I end up leaving the church. I lose all my friends. My life falls apart. My family is embarrassed and ashamed. I'm a loser and I'm all alone. God is disappointed and ashamed of me, etc., etc.

On and on the script would go - laying out every terrible consequence that I think could happen because of it. I believe the idea is to read the script over and over again, until finally, it just doesn't scare you anymore. See Jon Grayson's book for some good suggestions on imaginal scripting and how to properly implement this into your treatment program.

These are just two different ways that I could have done an ERP that would still challenge the fears without challenging my faith.

Additional common fears that a lot of Christian people with OCD have are swearing in church, or cursing God. Again, a sufferer doesn't actually have to do these things to get the benefit of ERP. He/she can write out the "what if" scenario that would play out if they actually did the very things that they fear doing. Another critically important ERP is to not avoid going to church or religious functions.

The point is, ERP can be done in a way that doesn't damage the integrity of a person's religious beliefs. It just may take a little creativity. And if there's one thing I know about people with OCD, it is that they are extremely creative.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Scrupulosity-OCD Conference-Day 3-Post 1

So we made it to the end of the weekend! We're a little more tired, but I think a lot wiser. This morning I attended a Scrupulosity session, led by Kevin R. Foss, MFT, Ted Witzig, Jr., Ph.D., and fellow Scrupulosity sufferer, Colton Berg. There are several things from this session I will be sharing with you in the near future, but I wanted to pass this along. Mr. Foss recommended (and Dr. Witzig seconded this recommendation) a book entitled "Loving Someone With OCD." Apparently it is a good book for sufferers and their families, so I wanted to let you know about it. I will be purchasing it myself.

And now, it is time for me to be present in the moment and just enjoy my seafood lunch at the outdoor cafe here on this beautiful, sunny Boston afternoon. Talk to you again soon!


Oh the scallops and sweet & spicy carrots
were amazing!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Clint & Joanie Malarchuk: Keynote Speakers-OCD Conference-Day 2-Post 2

I just sat through the keynote speech given by former NHL goalie, Clint Malarchuk and his extremely supportive and loving wife, Joanie. They shared their story of living with Clint's OCD, and his struggles with also living with the trauma of his nearly fatal on-ice injury (on live tv, no less!). It's an amazing story of triumph over incredible odds. Clint recently wrote a book and I've just ordered a copy and I really look forward to hearing his story in more depth.

New OCD Advocacy Program-OCD Conference-Day 2-Post 1

The IOCDF has just launched a brand new advocacy program and you can join! Those who sign the pledge will be heretofore known as OCDvocates. I'm definitely going to look into joining this new program. I'll let you know more as I learn more.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Scenes from Boston-OCD Conference-Day 1-Post 3


The Boston Westin Waterfront. This year's
Conference location. A beautiful hotel and
a great spot for the conference.

The view across the street from the hotel


Enjoying our time together. Notice
our Boston sweatshirts!

The Boston waterfront - near the hotel.

A gorgeous summer day in the city.

Some Of My Favorite People-OCD Conference-Day 1-Post 2

I walk through the hotel hallways and pass hundreds of people. Many of them are laughing and talking, rushing to and fro. I see almost no evidence of compulsions or any manifestation of OCD. Yet, I know better. These are people that have suffered. Terribly. I am working hard to stop from weeping at that thought as I sit here in Grand Ballroom B of the Westin Boston Waterfront, while waiting for the beginning of the next workshop. It is heartbreaking and simultaneously inspiring, because this group of people does not give up, even in the face of tremendous challenge. Many of them are here to learn, to grow, and to advocate on behalf of their fellow sufferers. And while OCD is grotesque, the spirit of the people that have gathered here this weekend is beautiful.

Being OCD At The OCD Conference-OCD Conference-Day 1-Post 1

Sigh. I put together a great video of our ride in to Boston this morning for the Annual OCD Conference. And I deleted it accidentally. Because I was double checking it because my OCD was telling me that maybe I unintentionally filmed something inappropriate. Of course I didn't! Ah but such is life with OCD. Maybe it's for the best. Wifi is a bit spotty here and vlogging is more stressful. So while you won't be seeing my smiling face this weekend, I will be posting throughout to give you a little taste of the conference. So stay tuned - I'll be back!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Misnomer of "Pure O"

Have you ever heard of "Pure O"? It's a term used to describe a type of OCD where the sufferer has no compulsions, but only obsessions. Obsessions are the unwanted, and often frightening thoughts that enter a person's mind, and they can cause an incredible amount of distress. Compulsions are what a person does to try to either get rid of or neutralize the terrifying obsessions - like washing their hands or turning the light switch off and on multiple times. (For a broader, but brief, explanation of the basics of OCD, including more detail on obsessions and compulsions, please see my tab entitled "So, What Is OCD?".) Many people use the term "Pure O" to describe themselves if they are consumed with horrible obsessions and they appear to have no compulsions. For example, Scrupulosity is a sub-type of OCD that at times is placed under the category of "Pure O." People with intrusive thoughts are commonly labeled "Pure O," as well.

After speaking with many OCD sufferers over the years, including several who consider themselves "Pure O," I am convinced that the term "Pure O" is not accurate. I have come to the conclusion that every OCD sufferer has compulsions of some type. Many times, the compulsions will only be mental, and because they are not physical, the sufferer (and often their therapist, if he or she is not properly trained or has limited experience with OCD) will not recognize that these compulsions exist. Moreover, if you look very closely, I suspect that most of these people also have at least some physical compulsions as well.

One of the reasons that I cringe every time I hear the term "Pure O" is that it can (incorrectly, in my opinion) reinforce the idea that the person does not have compulsions. And more importantly, it may give the idea that ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) would not be effective for this type of OCD. I have heard more than one sufferer express their dismay that ERP won't work for them, because they think that they have no compulsions to attack with ERP.

First, it is important to recognize the compulsions. If a person tries to keep on thinking about something in a certain way, or the "right" way - that is probably a mental compulsion. Re-thinking things over and over again, to try to remember what really happened, is probably a mental compulsion. Avoiding looking at someone or something, or looking away from someone or something, because it is triggering is - yep, you guessed it, probably a compulsion (and I would say that qualifies as a physical compulsion). Leaving a room because something or someone in that room is triggering - physical compulsion. Praying over and over again to get it just right - mental compulsion. Having to be seated a certain way or in a certain position while compulsively praying - physical compulsion. Confessing things to people over and over again to reduce anxiety - physical compulsion. Avoiding going to church because it triggers fears - physical compulsion.

Essentially, anything a person actively does (mentally or physically) to minimize the pain and anxiety of the scary thoughts, is a compulsion. If the patient and therapist can identify the compulsions and separate them from the obsessions, then a plan of action can be taken to create and tailor specific ERPs to fight the OCD.

I truly believe "Pure O" sufferers are absolutely not beyond help and that there is hope for this type of OCD too.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's Time!

                                    Photo Courtesy of Int'l OCD Foundation


It's time once again to register for the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation Annual Conference! It is being held in Boston, Massachusetts (why that's practically my backyard!) on 7/31-8/2. So, of course, Jim and I will be there and we hope to see you too. There are also some pre-conference events taking place on 7/30, and in addition, there is a special two day intensive CBT treatment program available on 7/29-30, with another program on 8/2-3. This special program is a great opportunity for conference attendees who can't find treatment in their home area.

I love seeing the historical
Boston architecture juxtaposed
against the new.
I have already attended 3 conferences, and I've learned something new at each. From what I understand, it is the only conference of its kind, bringing patients, researchers, and treatment providers together all at once. It is a unique opportunity to meet (and learn from) some of the very people who are working hard to bring hope and healing to the OCD community and I highly recommend attending. In addition, Boston is a great place to visit and explore.

See you in Beantown!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review: "Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery" - Janet Singer with Seth J. Gillihan

Ever since I gave birth to my own child almost 30 years ago, I've often thought that it was like an actual piece of my heart left my body and was now walking around in the form of my son. I think it is not a stretch to imagine that is how Janet Singer feels about her own children. I like to think of "Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery" as a love story, featuring the selfless love a parent has for a suffering and hurting child. In this case, it is the story of Janet and Gary Singer, and their college student son, Dan, who was struggling with severe OCD.

I was excited, and a bit nervous, when Janet asked me to read and then review her book. I was nervous because, well, what if I didn't like the book? Phew. No worries there. I love this book. I mean, I really love this book. It is very well written and flows easily through what was probably one of the most painful years of the Singer family's lives. I had a hard time putting the book down and read it in its entirety in a handful of sittings.

At times, I longed to hear more about Dan's obsessions and what the thoughts were behind his particular compulsions. However, I began to suspect that perhaps Janet was protecting his privacy, or maybe she was purposely not making those things the focus of her memoir. After all, the content of obsessions and any particular compulsions are really not the important thing. No matter how you slice it, it's still OCD, and OCD, regardless of each person's individual particulars, gets treated in essentially the same fashion: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).

What Janet did focus on was her and Gary's attempts to help their son navigate through the mental health care system so he could find healing and hopefully, a return to a more "normal" life. What a journey that was! From incompetent doctors, to improper medication, and through the difficult, but effective, treatment of ERP, Janet and Gary were there the whole time to advocate for and encourage Dan. At one point, they even picked up and moved their entire lives so they could be close to Dan when he returned to college. It ended up being a very wise decision.

"Overcoming OCD" also has a co-author, Seth J. Gillihan, Ph.D. Throughout the book, Dr. Gillihan adds thoughtful and informative commentary abut OCD, and more importantly, treatment, including ERP and medication. His input is spot-on and adds a critically important component to the book. These are not throwaway or filler remarks. They are filled with solid information that sufferers and their families can use to guide them forward through the maze of battling OCD.

Lastly, there is a "Resources" section at the end of the book listing helpful organizations, treatment centers, and other books. I always appreciate it when an author is considerate enough to include that type of information.

After finishing the book, I was left with a few thoughts:

1. Would I be as selfless if my own son needed me in this way? Oh I sure hope so!

2. It is absolutely crucial that family members advocate for a loved one who is ill and suffering, especially if the illness (physical or mental) causes them to have a decline in their ability to make good decisions for their own health.

3. Trust my instincts. I must do the homework and the research about the illness so that I can make informed and educated decisions, but at the end of the day, I need to trust my instincts.

"Overcoming OCD" is a big win for me, and I will gladly recommend it, along with my long beloved other favorite OCD memoir, "Rewind, Replay, Repeat" by Jeff Bell.

"Ovecoming OCD," ISBN 978-1-4422-3944-9, is now available in hardcover, coming in at 206 pages, and it is published by Rowman & Littlefield. It is also available for Kindle!

My only compensation was a free copy of "Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery" from the publisher, in exchange for my honest book review.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I'm Waiting

Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughtful comments on my previous post. It so warmed my heart and reminded me of God's love and care. I'm really struggling while I'm in this time period but I know God is working behind the scenes. And I just need to wait on Him to show me what to do and what decisions to make. There are Bible verses that talk about waiting on the Lord and I never really understood them, until it was explained to me what it meant to "wait" on the Lord. It's not a passive, hanging around until He does something. It's waiting - kind of like how a restaurant server waits upon customers - responding to and fulfilling their requests. We are to wait, as in serve, upon the Lord. So I'm desperately trying to do that right now. I'm not always very successful. I definitely don't always have the right attitude. And peace is mostly still eluding me. But I'm going to keep trying. Because I know that at just the right time, God will make His path for me known.

For several years I've loved the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller. I find it no small coincidence that last evening, while I was really struggling with panic and depression, as we were channel surfing, we passed the movie "Fireproof" literally just as this beautiful song was beginning to play. Jim stopped and let it play out for me so I could be ministered by it. And the tears flowed. I know many of you are experiencing tough times now. Just last week, Tina, of "Bringing Along OCD" expressed similar struggles with waiting for things to happen. I'm hoping this might speak to her and to you too.



But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 KJV


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

Hello wonderful friends! I hope you are all doing well.

Decisions. I have a lot to make. The first decision I had to make was to be truthful here with this post. Oh how I hate posting that I am not doing well! I just feel like I am letting people down. I don't want to do anything to lessen a fellow sufferer's hope and I always feel like that is what I am doing when I show the less than pleasant side of things. But I have made a commitment to myself to be honest, and honest I shall be. I am really not doing well. And I think it is a combination of things.

I was on such an incredible emotional high after I completed CBT/ERP in the Spring of 2012. That high lasted for roughly a year and a half. The world just tasted sweeter. I was alive and every waking moment wasn't painful anymore, and the sun was shining (even when it really wasn't), and, and . . . The list goes on. But for the last year and half, I could feel depression creeping back into my life. I have no idea why.
My sweetie pie taking a nap.

In addition my beloved kitty, Anna, died early last summer. Then we got our pup Fender. I love him dearly, but it has been a big transition and his ill health causes some major stress because of how it continues to affect our lives. I've had some difficulties with a few relationships too (not my husband) that have left me hurt and confused and wondering how to move forward. I'm also working part-time again for the first time in a decade and a half. I love my job and my coworkers, but I'm still adjusting to the demands on my schedule, and the schedule itself keeps changing and that brings me a lot of stress. This has left me wondering whether I should keep the job or not.

Lastly, I did something really stupid. I was working an insane number of hours during November and December, and in the middle of all of that, I kept forgetting to take my SSRI. In early January, I realized that I hadn't taken my pills in weeks. I've always had terrible sweating and hot flashes on this medication. I mean, it truly affects my life, believe it or not. I'm constantly getting so hot that I can't think. And it's embarrassing because people around me can tell, and even sometimes make menopause jokes (and frankly, I don't find that funny). In addition, I've always had trouble with headaches, and this medication has increased the frequency of the headaches. Finally, I've struggled with weight gain on these meds as well. So . . . because I hadn't taken the pills in a few weeks, because of the side effects, and because I was already having an increase in depression while on the medication anyway, I decided, "Hey, I haven't taken any pills in a few weeks. I'm pretty much off them. So I might as well stay off them and see what happens." Well, certainly nothing good happened. Yes, the hot flashes and headaches are gone. But I'm pretty much an emotional wreck and daily functioning has become much, much harder. The depression has deepened greatly. At first, I thought that my troubles were being caused by the fact that I did not wean off the medication slowly and properly and instead went off them cold-turkey. This was a HUGE no-no. So I've tried to wait it out to see if things would get better once the "withdrawal" phase was over. But that has not happened. So now I have another decision to make. Go back on medication at all? Go back on the same medication or a different one?

I have made one solid decision. I'm marching myself right back into therapy. Yes. Again. Only this time, I really can't afford to keep seeing my beloved psychologist located in Boston. But thankfully, I've found a local CBT/ERP psychologist who is in my insurance network, and she has worked with several of my friends who have OCD, so I feel confident that she has the necessary experience. But I can't see her until April 17th. It's going to be a loooooong 5 weeks. I'm not expecting to be in therapy for long, though. I suspect it will be a tune-up more than anything else.

Yes, I am down now, but I'm surely not out. And neither are you, no matter where you find yourself at this moment.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It's Not About How We Feel

I wanted to share a post with you from a blogger named Jessica. She has truly great insight into her recovery process from OCD. Though I did not receive treatment at McLean Hospital, I could completely relate to what she said about finding her way back through the scary OCD forest. My absolute favorite part of her post is when she said, "At the end of the day it's not how you felt it's how you lived." (Emphasis mine.) Well said, Jessica. Very well said.