Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Successful Day Out, Was it real or did I make it all up?

I put off writing about my weekend adventures until today. Today was another day full of stepping stones which felt like they were along a busy canal. With the water rushing past the stones and myself attempting to cross to the safe side to retrieve that pot of gold - or is it the magical cure for ocd? and with flocks of ducks flying over head and knocking me into the water and there in the water I became tangled in the plants, algae and soon the fish swimming around me begin to consume my entire body and there I died while drowning while being eaten alive by the sea creatures

Another one of my horrible thoughts while walking home by the canal today. Another idea followed by a hundred 'what ifs' worst case scenarios and then I have to pinch myself to remind me that the only reality that I am in is the one that is right there and now. With the rain washing away my tears from today's session and refreshing my my tired red eyes. 3 weeks since the last session and this one was a painful one. Every session I feel the pain of my ocd, emotional pain followed by chest pains. I often end up with migraines from all of the anxiety. My ocd has turned into a nightmare of every kind. Mental anguish, Physical pain, Restless days and nights and I feel like the lack of sleep keeps it into a circle and circles are never ending unless we get out a pair of safety scissors and make a new shape.

OK. Enough with all of my rambling what if stories. No matter how many new 'what if' stories I tell they are all the same.

Nick and I were going to focus on the attempt of going out. Going out unnecessarily is a hard task since I feel like I am putting myself in danger but also my husband. I like to stay in my safe bubble but since it was pointed out to me in today's session that staying inside my bubble doesn't keep me safe. I am missing out on life and so far I can count 5 years that my fear consumed.

OK, I am talking more then I need to here. Or typing.

I wanted to go to the west end. To see the botanic gardens, see some shops that I have not been to in years and specifically to buy from fresh produce for the week from a local shop. I hate supermarkets. Words cannot describe my distaste of them and buying from a local shop is what I wanted to do so badly for so long. We had to get a bus to get there and going on a bus is a very difficult task. So difficult that the last time that I had been on one was when a friend came over from Canada to visit and to do some major sightseeing. I had to hide my fears the best that I could and attempt the bus and soon I became too agitated and frustrated that I didn't get along with this friend so well after a few days into her holiday. I blame myself for ruining her trip and I can't speak to her without feeling guilt. My ocd has ruined so much over the years and friendships are at the top of the list.

There was a shop that I wanted to go to. So badly that I have spent years thinking about walking into the shop and being surrounded by the most amazing scent from all of the different kinds of incense sticks and cones. The feel of the shop would send me into the most relaxed mode that I have ever felt and the last time I had indulged into a visit was 5 years ago. Lets just say I have not had any incense to burn in that long.

We walked down to get the bus. My heart was pounding so hard that I felt like it would come out of my chest. I was filled full of panic and as the bus approached I felt like making a run for it. I didn't. I got on the bus with Nick and I sat down. I felt sick to my stomach. Everything in the bus felt dirty. There was a smell and I instantly felt like I needed to wash, no, I needed to scrub and scrub again and again in order to feel OK again. We were only on the bus for 10 minutes and those 10 minutes were a nightmare.

As soon as we were off the bus and I felt the breeze of fresh air I realized just how badly I needed it since being on that bus. Looking around at all of the people dressed in all different ways and going in all different directions doing all of their own things I soon calmed down. I didn't feel like I was being watched or stared at. We walked around the botanic gardens and enjoyed the sun. There was a book fair on and I bought a used book. The pages look dirty and I don't like the idea of touching it. The book itself looks like a good read and at some point I will open up the pages and begin to enjoy it but I have to finish the other two books that I am reading at the moment before I start another.

The shop that I have not been to in 5 odd years I went to. It was just how I remembered it to be and I was in some kind of blissful heaven. I looked at everything on the shelves and I browsed the tiny but cozy shop and I stocked up on incense sticks.

We went for lunch and I never washed my hands. Well not properly. I attempted to in a public bathroom at the gardens but there was no soap and I was already breaking my no hand washing rule. My hands didn't feel clean with the warm rinse of water, if at all it actually felt worse. The ideal temperature with no antibacterial to kill off the germs. My hands would be swarming in filth and I couldn't do anything about it. I suppose that gets me back for my attempts to break the rules.

We went into several shops to have a look around and one of my favourites was a shop that sold local fresh produce. I was in heaven and I would have bought everything in the store if my funds would have allowed it. I picked up each piece of fruit and vegetables with my hands to put into the basket. Unwashed and the thoughts were there and every 'what if' came in to play. I didn't want the ocd to ruin it for me and I wasn't sure how exactly to win that game that it was wanting to play so badly. I just continued what I was doing and it felt good.

I had one of the most wonderful days out with my husband that I had in a very long time. We have not been out together like that in over 3 months. I was out of my safety bubble and by the time we were in bed that night ready to fall asleep I said to Nick that I wish that we could travel back in time to that afternoon. I want to relive it all over again and maybe once more after that. I have never held hands with him for so long and I didn't let the ocd wedge into the middle of us to keep me away from his affections. Nick told me that our day out was the first time that he saw the old me, the real me in a long time.

My dilemma now is that I don't feel like any of that happened. I feel like I made up this whole story and that Saturday we must have just sat at home and did nothing exciting. I am becoming delusional because there is no way that I would go out and do something like that. To go out and enjoy myself while knowing all too well that I am not in the house and therefore not in my bubble where it is safe and everything is the same everyday, no nasty surprises and where nothing could go wrong.

While telling my therapist about the day out and how I felt like it didn't feel real at this point, she suggested that maybe I don't want to get better. I don't blame her suggestion because in one way I am not so sure if I want my life without the ocd. This is all I have ever known and I don't know what I would be like without it. What if my life without the ocd is so different that my husband falls out of love with me, what if every ones expectations of me are so high that I could never achieve any of it and I will be a failure and all over again I will fail at so much more than I have ever failed at before. What if my whole life becomes empty because of all of the changes and what if those changes aren't good changes. What exactly will I be without my ocd? I feel like my ocd is me and I am my ocd.


  1. Wondering wether or not I wanted to get rid of OCD could become another OCD mind-game for me. I can "prove" to myself that I want to change - I go to therapy, I work on exposures -sometimes- etc. But "proofs" can usually be outproofed by OCD. I hope you have mercy for yourself even as you work to change. :)

  2. I am glad you had a nice day. Reading this post brought back so much of my more intense experiences with OCD. I felt your pain of not wanting to go out. Not wanting to touch a used book. Your heart racing as you got on the bus.

    I've actually been having some more intense panic and anxiety symptoms lately and several migraine headaches. OCD is so hard sometimes.

    Lady Delphinium from


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