I now embrace uncertainty
I’ve been battling with OCD for as long as I can remember, though now it’s not nearly as bad as it once was.. I’m 21 years of age.. Have been on and off medication as an early teen…. Some of the compulsions I struggled with include, stove top, door locks, lights, driving a certain way, being obsessively aware of my breathing 24/7, intrusive thoughts (pure o), that’s just to name a few.. These compulsions seemed to be ruling my life at the time I was about 18 and finishing school, I always had rational reasons for acting out the compulsions the way I did… All the things I did value in my life became to much and I lost interest in all my hobbies, sport, socialising, reading..
This went on until half way through being 20, when I found some interesting videos Mark Freeman put out on his YouTube channel, basically the opposite to what your taught at therapy.. ERP and ACT, this literally saved my life and my relationship with my partner as well as killing off those horrible OCD monsters in certain areas of my life.. Since applying ACT and ERP I cut out all my physical compulsions. I no longer check the stove or door locks and I no longer question my relationship or seek reassurance from my partner… Applying ERP and ACT are not easy and may be some of the hardest things you do in life but as you practise it and get better at it you show your brain it’s okay to feel whatever your feeling..
I now share my story with people who are still struggling with this puzzling tormentor and hand over some ideas about taking him down.
It’s hard for me to admit that I’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship 15 years. I have only mental bruising, and physical scars to bear and prove it. But I am that stereotypical victim who blamed myself for “letting him” hold me captive.” I am that helpless victim who wanted no pain. I am that shameful sufferer who did everything she could do to hide all of the evidence. I knew that if I ever would come out, people wouldn’t believe that I was in any sort of toxic relationship with him. After all, my relationship with OCD was and continues to be far from “typical”.
Like all emotionally abusive relationships, mine had an entry point. My first perceived jolt with my abuser was at age 14, despite earlier signs that came and went. I was a gregarious lover of life, smart, witty, and passionate about all moments past and present. He smelled my vulnerability from a mile away – the only thing I feared was that my “perfect” world could be jeopardised at any point in time.
Going to therapy also helped me accept myself as the unique individual that I am.
My anxiety about farting started when I was at a birthday dinner for my friend Jocelyn, and I ripped out a small fart when I was eating mushroom ravioli. No one heard it, but I feared if someone did, I’d be laughed at. That event started my roller-coaster of anxiety about farting in high school.
The worst times that my fear of farting would come was when I was in class and my teacher would be lecturing. In my English Honors class in sophomore year, I remember feeling like I was underwater and that when the teacher spoke it reminded me of Charlie Brown’s teacher, Wonk, Wonk, Wonk. I wanted to do well in class, but it was difficult when my brain space was taken up by anxiety instead of listening to the teacher. The fear of farting was like a broken record that wouldn’t stop playing no matter how much I tried to destroy it.
I told my friends I feared farting-some understood while others looked at me as if I was freak. My friends who comforted me would tell me their experiences with farting or call me and say that they just farted in public. The sentiments were funny and made me forget about my anxiety temporarily. Despite the good words that my friends had, I felt isolated. Why was I the only one to have this irrational fear? It was getting to the point that I dreaded going to school because my fear of farting was taking over my life. I was getting headaches and would often massage my temples to decrease the soreness.