Do you make it through your life in chunks of time? Like, there is some big “event” that you look towards and think, “Okay, I have to get to that date and then I’ll think about what comes after that point”? I do this all the time these days. I’m not sure if I used to do it, but it’s become clear that it’s how I work now.
I think, “Okay, great, trip to NYC. We can get there. I can make it to that point and then we’ll regroup.” Then when it’s over I have a bit of a crisis and think, “What is going on now?! What do I do?” And then it becomes, “Okay, Thanksgiving. We can make it to Thanksgiving. I need to do X Y Z and then everything will be fine.”
So I’m at a post event crisis. I’m at the “what do I do now” point. Making lists. Evaluating what worked and what didn’t in my last “sprint.”(My husband’s work has time periods called “sprints.” Maybe that’s why I started thinking this way?) Freaking out about my priorities and what I should or shouldn’t be worried about more or less than another thing.
A familiar tale
Obviously my OCD recovery is part of these worries and priorities. I’ve heard stories like mine: the OCD was debilitating. Help was found. Behavioral therapy was performed. The OCD became manageable. Life got back to normal. And then the person got a little more comfortable, a little more lax. And the embers of the OCD, instead of getting totally stamped out, smoldered for awhile. And this is the scary part of the stories: the embers eventually burst back into flames instead of quietly going out. The OCD became debilitating once again, but maybe in new ways.
I worry sometimes that I’m in the ember stage of my recovery. I’m managing. I’m living life. But I worry about those embers. I worry I’m too scared or weak to totally stamp them out. Maybe I’m not doing enough. Maybe I shouldn’t wean off the meds yet. Maybe I’m a charlatan.
Exposures are super difficult for me. Some things I keep doing things that OCD originally “made” me do because I feel like it makes sense and isn’t that big of a deal. I worry that these habits are going to get me, though—that they are going to ruin my progress and come back to haunt me. I think I need to sit down with myself, take some time, get a big notepad, and be honest with myself. What habits or compulsions am I still holding on to? Why? What can I do daily to change?
How life works
I think this relates to not just OCD but also to each of us spiritually. Maybe we’ll look more into this connection in our next “Scripture Snapshot.” Sound good? I think so.
Anyway, that’s about where I am. Having a mini existential crisis as I reprioritize and try to decide what is most important. I guess it’s almost the new year, so maybe it’s a good time for things like that. Either way, it’s happening. And that’s fine.