Friday, January 7, 2011

Hello, Old Friend

So, the bad thing about OCD is that’s remarkably persistent. It never, ever goes away. I will never be cured. Like an addict, I will always be a person with OCD, I can only do my best to manage it. It seems I had forgotten that.

My life used to be a constant whirlwind of anxiety. It was ever present. There was never a moment when I wasn’t either feeling anxious or engaging in some destructive activity (shopping, drugs, what have you) to not have to think about being anxious for a few minutes. And then I got my diagnosis. It was one of the most important and best things that ever happened to me. Everything I was going through had a name. It had a pattern. And it had a way to cope. I gave my full attention to learning and practicing those coping mechanisms. Have you ever clicker trained an animal? It’s a lot like that.

There are weeks, sometimes even month long, stretches where I am not anxious. The periods are much shorter and the destructive behavior has been whittled down to some manageable quirks. Until recently. I had gotten so good at managing my OCD that I forgotten I had to. I thought I had a well trained, obedient Labrador Retriever. Turns out it’s more like pit-bull who can never be off leash.

The good thing about OCD is that’s remarkably consistent. Now, that I know what this is, I have the tools to fix it. Looks like it’s time to break out the clicker and the treats and get back on the program.