I haven’t written in a while because I haven’t been very focused on therapy and recovery. Actually, that’s a lie because I have, but I’ve also been distracted and busy with other things (socialising, finding a place to live, spending time with family and friends).
I’m struggling a bit to accept the idea that I might not do ERP/therapy perfectly, and that therefore I will not overcome OCD in a perfect one-fell-swoop sort of way. I go through cycles where I do lots of ERP, go through the storm and come out the other side feeling great and as though I have overcome this particular strand of OCD (‘suicidal thoughts OCD’, though I think I’m going to start calling it ‘harm OCD’ to save time and also because that’s what it’s called in the OCD community. Yes, there is an OCD community and it’s made up of some of the strongest and wisest people I know). Anyway, I digress.
So, I feel better, then get ahead of myself and stop doing ERP. I relax, usually for a few days, I forget about the ERP and the OCD and carry on as normal, and the thoughts come back. Because ‘normal’ for me now is living with a grey cloud over my head and a thunderstorm permanently threatening from varying distances. I hardly notice it sometimes, but it’s always there. Then I get frustrated that it’s still there, berate myself that I stopped doing ERP, and then start compulsively trying ERP techniques in order to get rid of the cloud. I say compulsively in the proper OCD sense of the term. I desperately start trying to do everything right just so I can avoid feeling frustrated, and to avoid having to deal with the intrusive suicidal thoughts. I don’t want to be bogged down with this: I want to live my life like a happy person!
Whenever this happens I feel like I am back at square one and feel very disheartened with it all, which then makes me question the point of even doing any of this at all if I’m not going to ever get better, which makes me feel rotten and then the suicidal thoughts come. I have a good cry, feel shit for a bit then slightly better, then the OCD kicks back in because I really was feeling hopeless. Or was I? Or was it the OCD all along? And now I have to try accepting my thoughts again, but what if they’re real? What if I actually do feel hopeless and I’m really not going to get better? I should kill myself then. But I know that if I do ERP I often feel better. But if I’m doing ERP to get rid of the thoughts because I think that if I don’t do ERP I will actually be suicidal, that in itself is a compulsion. And so it goes on….
I feel like I really need some professional help from an OCD specialist with this and it’s proving very hard to find one. My GP has referred me to a specialist service near where I live, but the waiting list for an initial assessment is a few months, never mind the waiting time for any actual therapy. So, I dunno, I’ll plod on I guess, trying to untangle my tangled mind.