I have decided to make a bigger commitment to fighting my OCD.
I am going to use Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty, by Jonathan Grayson Ph.D., as my chief guide.
I am going to follow the program as closely as I can.
This decision has been a while in the making. I started cognitive behavioral therapy for my OCD earlier this year, but my therapist and I decided to concentrate instead on my chronic depression.
We’re still working on that. But I want to work on my OCD, too.
Here are my reasons:
- I’m tired of feeling the constant anxiety related to OCD.
- My scattered approach to fighting the disorder has not been effective.
- I’ve read about and heard about people who have had success with an intensive program of therapy, specifically exposure and response therapy.
- I want to be free of the control of OCD.
Though it’s usually best to work with a therapist on this program, the book does provide guidance for those wishing to work on their OCD on their own.
I’ve been working hard—and I don’t say that lightly—in preparation for beginning. I have completed an extensive assessment checklist for both my obsessions and my compulsions, so I can group together those that cause the most anxiety.
I’ve been thinking about and noting my daily routines, so I can be sure I include as many of the OCD symptoms as I can in my work.
And I’ve been working on my fear hierarchies, which will provide me with the basis for the exposure and response therapy.
I’ll be writing scripts to help me get through the exposures and to help me avoid doing rituals.
And I’m making a commitment to live with uncertainty.
I was taking a shower this morning and became aware of how much tension and anxiety my body was holding because of the rituals that I go through during my routine.
I knew then that I had made the right decision in committing to focus on my OCD with Grayson’s book, and other sources, helping me.
Here’s my first script, one where I talk to OCD:
OCD, I am going to win this. You’ve influenced me for most of my life—for over 40 years. I know you’ll still influence me. But you’re going to have a very small influence. You are not going to win. I don’t want to think of myself as at war with you. But we’re going to make peace, and it’s going to be on my terms. I am going to stop giving you my time, my effort, my tears, my feelings, my life. I will give you nothing. I will not feed you with rituals. I am going to have time on my hands, and I’m going to fill it up with helping others, with doing things I want to do, and with the life God made for me. OCD, I am going to win this.
This is a sentence from Grayson’s book that gives me hope and something to look forward to as I fight my OCD: “Your ultimate goal is to be less conscious of your environment so you can be free to enjoy the flow of life, to take all your creative and imaginative energy and have your thoughts dominated by things that you actually want to think about” (p. 125).