When I think of the change that has come about, I am so proud. From constant, compulsive questioning and blaming to actually feeling like I have a life.
Sometimes though, I seem to have a dip ‘for no reason’. Please know that this often there is a reason.
Recently, I started having compulsive thoughts that I just couldn’t shake. I started feeling a fear that I have not felt for years. Then I entered a deep depression. The OCD revved up and I was so scared of falling into that deep hole again.
When I stopped to think about the last few months of my life, it started to make sense. Andrew and I had been on a five week ‘holiday’ which included a two day stopover to visit my ailing grandfather. That was upsetting in itself. Then, we went on to try and spend as much time with my sister and her family who had come out form Oregon to New Zealand and whom I hardly ever see. I wore myself out trying to cram a 40th party, social catch-ups, babysitting, etc into a small space of time, and then crashed after Christmas Day. But, mentally, I was still flying reasonably high.
On our return, I crashed. The M.E. flared up and the heat was immense. Very soon after arriving home, my Granddad passed away and my cat died. I absolutely bawled – over days. I still feel sad. Then I noticed a spiral into depression. It should not have come as such a surprise that these were ‘perfect’ conditions for an OCD onslaught.
Multiple horrible thoughts entered my head as I wrestled with the concepts of life and death.
One day it struck me that I might be more vulnerable at that moment to OCD and hence the hassle. You think? Of course it was! As soon as I realised, I practiced acknowledging the thought and then letting it stay for as long as it wanted. In every case, it drifted away.
Please don’t lose heart if your OCD flares up – there usually is a reason and it’s a time to cut yourself some slack!