I just wrote an entire post but it didn’t save… so I will try again and hopefully it will work this time.
This year feels like it just started, even though I know that we are almost two months into 2018. I guess I feel like this because I was sick for most of January.
I don’t usually like to talk about being sick on the blog or on social media because I hate hearing about other people being sick. I start thinking that I will probably get sick and get worried, often doing compulsions to prevent getting sick or otherwise obsessing about it.
I also know that some people have similar feelings, and I refrain from posting or commenting about illness to spare them.
But in a weird way, my getting sick with influenza b (respiratory, not stomach, flu) was almost good for me. It’s been a terrible flu season, and I know that many have been ill, gone to the hospital, and even died of complications from the flu. But I feel as though my getting sick spared me from the anxiety and worry I would have had regarding getting the flu—I likely would have worried obsessively that I or one of my children would get the flu, and that might have been worse than actually dealing with it for two weeks.
Maybe not, of course, but I must say that getting the flu was an exposure exercise for me. The “terrible” or feared thing happened, I dealt with it, and luckily, I survived. Yes, I had to take care of myself. I took a break. I rested. I went to the doctor. I quarantined myself. I let things go. But it was almost nice to be forced to rest, especially since I rarely allow myself a break when I’m “well.” Don’t get me wrong, being sick was terrible and there were some really rough nights and moments. But it wasn’t as bad as I might have imagined had I not gotten sick, if that makes sense?
Also shockingly, I didn’t go too crazy with the cleaning up and sanitizing of the house afterwards, and you know what? We’re all here. We’re fine.
My OCD went a little bonkers in other ways the last couple months, though I’m not going to go into any real specifics here. I’ve been hand washing more than I ought, and there were some body fluid contamination issues, including ones that originated from my daughter. I think I handled them better than I would have previously, though obviously it wasn’t amazing. I’m also still doing pretty badly on purposeful exposures, though that’s no big surprise.
I guess that’s one major benefit of going to regular therapy—you are accountable to someone else, and they are helping you come up with assignments that you probably wouldn’t choose to do on your own.
Full disclosure, I haven’t been to therapy since end of summer/fall. I intended to go back to individual therapy, but I just haven’t made an appointment. Things have been crazy, and I’ve been surviving and getting by with my medication and previous training. Plus, a lot of the things I’ve been busy with are tangentially related to OCD (planning an anxiety conference, promoting the book, starting to work on our mental health tech conference, writing a new book…). It’s kept it on my mind without being obnoxious (which frankly was how weekly group was getting—it was almost too much in the forefront of my mind). ((speaking of which, if you want to help us out with planning for the Mental health tech, please fill out this quick survey))
However, I probably ought to go back to monthly therapy. I think therapy is great to keep you on track, and I could probably use that kick in the pants every once in awhile. Sometimes it’s important to not just “get by,” especially because OCD can often spiral out of control if given any leeway.
But for now, I’ve got to make it through March! Lots of stuff coming up in the next few weeks! Then maybe I’ll get back in touch with my psychologist 😉