Monday, April 4, 2016

"Acceptance is the Enemy of OCD"

"Acceptance is the Enemy of OCD."

At least, that's what my counselor once told me.  I take copious notes at all of my sessions, and I recently found this phrase in some of those notes from a few years ago.  What does "acceptance" mean, exactly?  How do I "accept" that I have OCD?  And anxiety?  And depression?

After a very high-anxiety day on Saturday, I woke up with it again yesterday.  I tried to resist it, ignore it, do all of the things I'm supposed to do, but it just wouldn't leave.  Finally, after feeding everyone lunch, I started to cry and shut myself in my room so that the boys wouldn't be aware that I was upset.  

The depressive thoughts that often accompany anxiety started in:
  • This just won't leave!  
  • Why am I STILL dealing with this in my 30's after it started when I was so young?
  • I just want this struggle to go away.
  • This is so huge and all-encompassing.
  • I'm so overwhelmed.
  • This is more than I can bear.
  • Something is really wrong with me.
  • My heart, my mind, my life....just feels so heavy.
  • Why can't I make this go away?
  • My kids deserve better than this.
  • My husband deserves better than this.
  • This is affecting everything I so very badly don't want it to affect.
  • I can't possibly be a good parent when I'm feeling this bad.
After taking a few minutes to cry and pray (not compulsively), I composed myself to get everyone down for naps.  And then I was able to talk my feelings out with my husband, who has been a wonderful support to me throughout the almost-eleven years we've been together.  He reminded me that beating myself up for having the intrusive thoughts that I honestly can't help only worsens the depression.  It makes a manageable problem (OCD) way less manageable because of all of the emotion that comes from the depression.  I need to accept that this is something that I deal with.  And when I can do that - "there's that anxiety again" - things become a little bit more bearable.   

So, I'm trying to accept it, but I'm not really sure how.  Suggestions?