Within my previous blogs, I have been writing through my history and current experience with OCD. I use the terms OCD and dermatillomania interchangeably because the OCD is like the pattern, and the Dermatillomania is the actual specific behavior. Many people, I’m sure, have OCD to some degree, and express it differently. When it is described as a repeated irrational behavior that one cannot stop, even if the desire to stop is present, then OCD can describe a lot of different afflictions. Examples are: trichotillomania, bulimia, anorexia, germophobia, over-eating, cutting, and so on.
In my previous blogs I mentioned that I had struggled with OCD for a long time. I really wanted to stop. I saw the effects it had in my life; on my social life, in school, in relationships, and of course, mainly with my self-relationship. After trying many things, I began to try a different approach. I began writing, putting my mind onto paper, forgiving myself, and scripting a change to support me to correct myself and to stop. The ‘stopping’ and correcting is something I began to apply more wholistically, wherein, the OCD was not the focus. ‘I’ was the focus. Who I am is the focus. What kind of life am I creating for myself, and why? How am I then reacting to that life? Who or what is it within and as me that is doing the creating, who/what has the power? And if its ME, then why do I feel so dis-empowered, and WHY am I hurting myself?
When I started writing out my mind and my reality, putting it onto paper in front of me, and I began see myself a little more clearly, I started to take a step back and just look at my life- the life I had created. I began to take aspects I was unsatisfied with, one at a time, and working through them.
Step by step I have been slowly learning how to show myself where I need to apply practical solutions in my life, showing myself which steps I would need to take to get there and to ‘get it together’. I’m slowly beginning to get my life in order, and beginning to look at things that cause me to feel and actually BE dis-empowered in my life. I’m teaching myself how to pick something, and go for it, turning an aspect of my life from dis-empowering, to empowering. For example, I stopped drinking and smoking pot, I got my driver’s license, I got my degree, I began to work some major things out within myself in terms of my relationship, I began sorting out my financial life, I got healthcare, and a decent job, to name a few- all things I previously felt I had no control over… things which ran my life and which now work FOR me instead of against me.
Putting it on paper and seeing it in black and white in front of me made it less overwhelming, smaller, and more do-able. It put things into perspective and helped me to see the steps I needed to take.
However, it’s been hard to appreciate and be grateful to myself for what I have been able to accomplish thus far, because there is always this knowing, and this feeling of ‘lack of control’ because I have this disorder that shows me that I don’t even have control over my own physical body. Who I Am – as that part of me which wants what’s best for myself, is less-than and less-valued in my mind, than the absolutely destructive addiction I have developed to picking my skin.
I thought, or I should say, I hoped, that as I worked these things out, my OCD would subside on it’s own. I also thought maybe the chaos and lack of control I experienced in my life was causing the OCD, and that if I ‘got everything together’, the OCD would go away. As this proved to not be the case, I slowly began to see a pattern.
I’ll continue with my biggest realization within OCD, and in my next blog, I’m starting some self-forgiveness as well.