Is OCD My Identity? Why is it So Hard to Let it Go? Who Am I Without It?

ocd identity

I am in a very interesting place right now. I feel completely empty and stuck – but for surprising reasons. I was pretty bad about a week ago. I had very little control and I had visible un-hide-able marks on my face and body. It felt really bad, and that ‘bad’ feeling really motivated me to do something to assist and support myself to get better.

‘Bad’ meaning – I didn’t like being around others, facing others at work. I didn’t want to be seen without makeup on, but I don’t like wearing makeup, so once I washed it off for the day I would just stay in my room to not be seen. This creates isolation and some friction in my home as others may become concerned about me and then I tend to react to that because I don’t want to talk about it when I am in it. So I close myself off, and life becomes somewhat unpleasant and it this situation causes me to want to do it more, and then it is a downward spiral. (Check out this video on isolating self within/as feeling undeserving: ‘I Don’t Deserve It’)

But not this time. This time I stepped up and supported myself – through writing, making small commitments, supporting myself through online resources, especially Desteni.org and Eqafe.com. I also started a 21 day commitment to do something OTHER than OCD, where I take one moment a day to do something beneficial for me, and I film it, like a vlog challenge. I have not posted any of the videos because I wanted to make sure it is for me only, not to please others and to not create an accountability to others. I want this challenge to be for me only to create a self-accountability.

My plan is to do another 21 day challenge publicly, but I am walking the point alone first. It is only day 6 and I have been experiencing success. My skin is healed and I have proven to myself as able to commit for longer than I have before. And now I have hit a wall. I have no visible marks, and it’s like, now I have no purpose to move and continue. Isn’t that interesting? I just feel empty and like there is no meaning.

One of the greatest things I was gifting to myself within this challenge has been that I felt I was creating a self-value. Each time I did something beneficial for me instead of OCD, it’s like, I felt this worth growing. But now that I have no visible marks, it is like I have nothing there, no identity, no reason to move me because I’m okay. I’m no longer ‘damaged’ and ‘healing myself’.

I have noticed this before though, it is part of a greater cycle where, whenever I am in this position, I have this experience, and I fall back in to OCD. It’s like self-sabotage, and I actually can feel myself slipping away. I have already short circuited the cycle on the upward part, wherein I come out of OCD and heal, but I have never hit the top and just kept going. This time, I would like it to be different. I would like to short circuit the programming and keep it up instead of falling back.

So, I see what is necessary here is to create something new from here. I need a goal, I need to understand the challenge I will face, and I need a reason. I will give these to myself now:

The goal is to manage OCD; to live in awareness of the triggers and assist and support myself to channel the energetic reactions to something other than OCD. Basically, the goal is to live a ‘normal’ life, where my time is spent on constructive things, where I build, grow and expand myself to be and become something greater than what I had previously thought possible.

The challenge will be pushing myself through the void. The void is the space left where OCD once was. It is the platform of the creation process. ‘Creation’ because it feels like there is nothing there already, there is nothing (or very little) familiar there to hang on to, and no blue print yet.

The motivation is that I will be creating self-worth, self-love, self-acceptance, and a new me that I want to be: all things I have always wanted. Completeness, self-discipline, to be and become the decision-making authority in my life. To live a life of minimal regrets.

So I have to ask myself: do I really want this, or is there still a part of me that wants OCD?

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to want, need and desire OCD because it is all I know, it is comfortable, safe and familiar.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not know what to replace OCD with, and to feel instead like a big empty void and not know what to put there.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear that within this not-knowing, OCD will come back and settle back in to that place.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to use my self-trust that I will push this and find what needs to go into that place.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think and believe that without OCD life is cold and hard and unforgiving.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to see, realize and understand that OCD is that which is cold, hard and unforgiving.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to seek the comfort of OCD.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think and believe that life will be so hard all the time and I will live in constant discomfort without OCD.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear not knowing what to do because I can’t picture what life will be like without having OCD to constantly pre-occupy me.

When and as I want to slip back into OCD I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-commitment by reminding myself that I am more than reason enough to keep pushing, I remind myself that I have self-trust that I will not be hard on myself, and I will not accept and allow my life to be cold and uncompromising, because I have learned to take care of myself with gentleness and assertiveness together to be ale to direct myself through any storm.

I commit myself to support myself to create a self beyond OCD.

I commit myself to push myself to manage OCD even when it feels like I am in a void.

I commit myself to explore life without OCD.

I commit myself to create value and worth in my life to replace OCD.

My Extremely Large and Incredibly Small Victories

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I have been walking a process for about 4-5 years now where I am practicing living self-forgiveness and learning self-acceptance, self-love and self-understanding in my day to day life. I am doing this by actually forgiving myself, in writing as well as out-loud whenever possible, and letting go of all the burdens, bad habits and self-destructive patterns I had been living out for so long.

Forgiving yourself is not blaming yourself. We are not entirely responsible for the disorders we suffer, as there is a genetic component, an environmental element, and then there is society and the system within which we live, which definitely do not support proper healing and recovery on a daily basis.

Self-forgiveness is the same as making the statement that although there are many contributing factors to the development of a disorder such as OCD (derma, trich, germaphobia etc…), within forgiving myself, I am standing up a taking on that responsibility in its entirety. I am stating that I alone exist within my body, and so I alone, with all the support I can get, am taking responsibility for my own healing and recovery. I am using self-forgiveness to bring myself out of my mind, and to stop the internal conversations, thoughts and reactions that cause the emotional build up inside of me throughout the day, among other things.

Even though we are in fact alone within ourselves, it is always recommended to open oneself up to all the assistance and support we can get, keeping in mind the fine line between being supported and developing a dependence.

Remember SELF-responsibility, no one can do this for us. Seeking and utilizing support is not the same as having someone or something else do it for you – because that is impossible, no one else can ‘fix’ you for you. Support is guidance, it’s someone challenging you or pointing things out you may not have realized. It’s someone talking some sense into you when you are unbalanced and lost in emotions/feelings. It can be someone there to encourage you and push you when you face a fear, or to simply be there to listen to you and show you practical solutions you may not have seen or realized yourself.

Interestingly, within some of the best support I have received, I have found the things I need to hear most are the hardest things to hear. If someone were to say “you need to start taking this more seriously and apply yourself more,” for example, I might get incredibly defensive! I have argued about how much I do already and how hard it is for me, and that they don’t understand what it is I deal with on a daily basis.

But what I’ve learned is that this is what’s called ‘arguing for your limitations’, wherein you find yourself actually arguing and building a defense for why you shouldn’t try harder, you can’t do more, you’re stuck and the situation is unchangeable. This is obviously complete self-sabotage, and sets us up for certain failure.

It is in fact a self-fulfilling prophecy, because if you’re starting point is: ‘I can’t do this,’ then everything that flows from it, and from you, in terms of your actions, words, choices and decisions etc… will only ever end up confirming your starting point of being limited and unable.

What I have experienced is that there comes a time and a point within this process where you realize what you’re doing, because nothing is working and nothing is changing, and the same pattern just keeps on repeating itself. This is the time and the point I reached where I just had to suck it up and say ‘ok, it is time to actually apply myself for real. I started by finding a new starting point, one based in the statement “I am Here to assist and support myself do whatever it takes to manage and/or overcome this.”

Unfortunately, it is not so simple as making a statement. When I am told things that might indicate I actually have to change and step up my application, I look at why I react defensively. Not only with OCD/derma, but with anything that I wanted to improve, such as keeping things tidier at home and applying myself at work. The defensiveness I feel is covering up the fact that I am fearful. I am terrified of letting go of my current way of being and doing. I am scared of my perception of what the change will be like. I am fearful of losing a part of me and of my identity.

It may seem strange, but I’ve discussed this reaction in past blogs, and will go into in more detail in the near future. For now, I see it as a good sign. I see it as a sign that I am building myself up, my stance, my application, my self-will and my self-directive principle, and the disorder is actually feeling threatened.  Please read this blog, to understand some dimensions of The Fear of Not Having OCD/derma to depend on.

 

The Guilt (part three)

Within this blog I am continuing working through the point of guilt within OCD, wherein not only am I placing myself as less important and less valued than the disorder, but I am also placing those in my world as second to my disorder.

“I constantly and consistently choose OCD over real Life and Actual Living, where Life is defined as living within and as self-direction in every moment, living in presence and awareness, constantly improving, perfecting, honing, mastering, supporting oneself within and as every breath, supporting others as self, equal and one. Not living within and as guilt, regret, suppression and fear, addiction, disorder and obsessive compulsion.”
 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to neglect to realize and understand that within investing myself into and as OCD, CSP by investing my time, and myself as energy as reactions, thoughts, feelings and emotions, I am allowing energy over time to slowly utilize my finite physical resource instead of utilizing that resource for actual living, to be and become relevant, and to be the source of solution instead of the source of the problem/disorder that I am.

I commit myself to value and invest the time and physical resources that I DO have, into the substantial investment of myself as Life

I commit myself to take myself BACK from the disorder that I am, and to create myself anew by pushing myself, over and over, until I get it, bit by bit, until I AM.

When and I as I see that I am in a moment of poorly invested time as energy as the disorder I find myself existing as and within, I stop, and I breathe, and I face it, without fear or hesitation, I stop, and I choose my investment as myself as life, and nothing can be so terrible and so bad and unendurable to make me decide otherwise. In the end, there is no choice.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to react within and as guilt to the fact that I have invested myself into and as a disorder that gives me apparent ‘release’ from the inner pressure I myself had created, thus misplacing value away from everyone and everything around me, and placing myself as ‘who I am as OCD’ as my number one priority, while suppressing my self-expression and my potential of equal and one living.

I commit myself to continue stopping any and all reactions as separation, as if the disorder were something separate from myself that I can look at and react ot and judge as a separate entity. It is not, it is not something “I have”, it is something ‘I am’, something I have accepted and allowed in unawareness, it is something I used to cope because I didn’t understand how to deal with the overwhelming feelings and emotions I would experience. But it doesn’t take away my responsibility, because I created it, only I can un-do it, delete it, release it, stop it, push through it, and re-create myself as self-support, self-love, self-acceptance, self-honour, self-will, self-honest and self-direction.

When and as I see that I am going into guilt because of and due to the fact that I have valued the disorder over myself and others, and over Life and real living, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-honesty by reminding myself that the guilt is only self-manipulation that further entrenches me into the disorder. Guilt only fuels the internal storm that leads me to pick instead of me leading myself to self-support. I bring myself back to self-direction by stopping the guilt in one moment and not accepting or allowing myself to participate in and perpetuate it in any way whatsoever, and I direct myself to see, realize and understand that the instant cure for guilt is to take myself back in that moment, to pick myself up and push myself back to this process and back to reality.