Thursday, July 8, 2010

Slow and Steady

I seem to be emerging slowly from the latest fear tsunami. It's funny, because after most incidents where I feel out of control or afraid, the waters seem to recede from the shore and all looks deceptively calm. And then, the huge wave comes. I had a nightmare about it last night, actually.

It's easing. My mind is clearing. My hands feel less raw. I washed them only twice today, though the second washing was 15 minutes long and felt all wrong the whole time. The big, thick patches of injured, thickened skin on my palms have given way almost completely to normal, soft skin again - even with the recent washing injuries. My left hand looks completely normal, though my right hand is still dry and peeling a bit. I am actually surprised the scabs are minor and already healing. I guess having some healing already helped save them a bit from my recent setback.

My thoughts are healing. My actions are slow to follow, but the things I am thinking are healthier. I am trying to focus on healing and separating myself from the negativity. None of this is easy, particularly given that my OCD is highly related to the amount of stress I am experiencing and I am under a load of stress. I hate the idea that this is all taking much longer than I hoped, but I keep telling myself that - while this form of OCD is new to me - my experience with OCD has been going on for half my life. Now that it is identified as such, the real work is taking place.

But still, it is trying my patience.


  1. I found that the best thing for helping me separate from the negativity and tsunami fears of OCD was seeing a therapist for support, guidance and walking with me through the exposures, and going to an OCD support group. I don't take your washing injuries lightly, or the abusive actions of your husband--you deserve help in dealing with this. The OCD is going to exploit the deceptive calm and tell you not to seek help.

  2. Wow, I'm impressed that your hands are already healing! My hands are in a constant state of getting a little bit better and then a little bit worse, though, overall, I think they can now get by unnoticed with just the little bit of roughness that is left...hopefully both of us will let our hands heal!

    I'm am also highly impressed that you managed to only wash your hands twice. Very impressed! Yeah, one of them was 15 minutes, but at least you recognized that it "felt all wrong" in the process. I definitely have days when I give in and wash for 5 or even 10 minutes, but as long as I recover the next time I wash and don't let it become a habit again, it's fine. Slips happen!

    I'm glad things are starting to go better, and I hope that things continue to improve! (And I hope the stress levels out as well!)

    As for OCD dreams, I have those, too! Sometimes they seem so real that I wake up and feel the immediate need to wash my hands - until I realize that it was just a dream...

  3. I just found your blog today, and wanted to say that I love the name of it. Why is it so easy to forget that we're NOT our OCD? It's why I'm so careful never to say that I'm "an obsessive compulsive," but rather, "I am a person with obsessive compulsive disorder." As well as many other things!