I have a confession: I have OCD.
For years, I struggled to understand what was happening to me…why my mind does it does. At first, I thought there was something terribly wrong with me. That’s the biggest reason that I kept quiet for so long. I thought that there is absolutely no way that this is normal. It’s not normal.
The thoughts were just too terrible.
But fortunately for me, I finally learned what it was. Thank goodness for google.
On a particularly bad afternoon, I was googling my thoughts and I came upon this:
And it all started to finally make some sense.
Some days I know I have OCD. Other days I have my doubts. But I’ve learned that that’s just the way it is sometimes. If I could know 100% that I have OCD, I wouldn’t really have OCD anymore, because it would instantly disappear.
I’ve learned that having OCD means accepting uncertainty. For me, this means not having to reassure myself. It means not having to have other people reassure me that I’m a good person. It means that I’m no longer allowed to pray for forgiveness when the thoughts show up. It means keeping everything in my kitchen in plain sight rather than locking up all the knives and sharp objects. It means no longer keeping secrets and regarding myself as a budding murderer.
Most importantly, it means blogging and sharing my story with people like you.
There are some things I hope to share here. First, I want to share some of the details of my story, i.e., what it’s like to live with my type of OCD, which I’ve come to learn is called “Pure-O OCD.” Second, I want to share tips about exposure and response prevention (ERP), which is the type of therapy my therapist used to help me get better.
At first, I was extremely skeptical of ERP for treating my OCD. How the heck could exposing myself to scary thoughts and situations possibly help me? I was scared enough without adding more fear to my life. But it did work, and it does work, and it continues to work. So if you’re like me and you’re afraid of ERP, just know that your fear is normal and okay and it doesn’t mean that treatment won’t work. It just means that initially, treatment might be scary.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope that by sharing parts of my OCD journey, it might help you on yours.