I was just writing up a giant blog post about Charlottesville, and I decided to sit on it for a day or so before posting. So, even though this post might be about everything BUT Charlottesville, know that it is at the forefront of my mind and in the center of my heart. I am just wanting to ask a friend to read my post before it goes live. ❤
Last week, I read about this Cambridge study, which found that OCD sufferers might be able to find relief through watching someone else perform their compulsions. The article suggests that maybe a video series could be created to help bring relief to sufferers. This actually troubles me because it ignores the root issues– and I think that you run a HUGE risk of now having those videos become the new compulsion. Compulsions are NOT the solution to OCD– they are a temporary alleviation of anxiety that will almost always become an uncontrollable monster in their own right. In exposure therapy, on the other hand, immediate relief is not the goal. The goal is learning how to live with uncertainty (which is ultimately what causes the anxiety for OCD sufferers) and letting that new way of behavior re-wire the brain for more long-lasting relief. Exposure therapy is clearly the better option.
I feel so good about where I’m at with this, and especially since we decided to push all the deadlines back a tiny bit. I believe this means it will come out early 2019, which feels far away, but truly, I think it’s perfect timing. I want this book to be the very best it can be, and I’m so grateful for an editor who is on the same page!
Work has been absolutely insane this summer. For those of you who don’t know, my day job is working in enrollment at a local university. We have been up 12% in visitors this year, even as three of our coworkers left this summer for other jobs. Busier than ever, fewer people, plus adding to that interviewing, hiring, and training. It’s just been wild. I’ve worked there 14 years, and we’ve never had a summer like this one.
Has been slower than I’d like. I finished Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott, which was lovely and like having an auntie whisper healing words over you. I am reading The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock right now, and next up I’m excited to dive into If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak (check out the incredible cover!).
This is the key, isn’t it? How do I balance writing, recruitment, healthy routines, and finding time for the greatest set of friends on earth? I guess I’ll start by being grateful.
So excited about Salt Novel and I LOVE The Smell of Other People’s Houses!
I’ve got a small (I think) question; and I hope it’s not going to be triggering anything for you.
I started College yesterday, and although it’s ONLY the first week, I can keep away from all the ”What ifs” that we can create out of nowhere when we have OCD. I know a bit of your story with that little green monster that always shows up uninvited, so I wanted to know how you survived College/University or just even your first session without jumping out of the window!
I’ve been having small panic attacks the past few days and I would love to get a few ideas on how not to freak out too much.
I remember asking you about having my OCD kicking back in a few months ago when I started my new job, and what you’d told me had been really encouraging. If you can help once again, thank you. If not, I’ll still read your blog, no worries! 🙂
Thanks a lot. ❤
Cindy, this is a really good question, and I feel like maybe I should write a blog post about it.
While of course my primary suggestion is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS to do exposure therapy, you might find some relief by giving yourself “permission” to ignore your own fears for the first month. Actually tell yourself that anything you think that is weird or that you even SUSPECT might be weird, you will ignore until 9/22/17. Then on 9/23/17, when you’re hopefully into a new routine, a) things will calm down a bit (my anxiety flares in times of change) and b) you can start researching ERP.
A post about it could maybe come in handy for others. 🙂
You are right though; periods of change can be hard. I will do my best to try and ignore weird thoughts for the next 30 days, and then research on ERP. I had done some research on it when I started my job, but then it eventually faded away, so I just forgot about it. But I don’t want the same thing to happen over and over again every time something new or challenging happens. It’s a really uncomfortable feeling.
Thanks for the advice, though. ❤
In my experience, it was all just temporary relief until ERP. That’s a sobering thought, I know. I just want you to get help sooner than later. Hugs!!
( Totally meant to say ” can’t ” in the third line. Ooops.
Don’t worry, I know exactly what you mean. To keep on pushing the moment I’ll start ERP is not good; though the anxiety doesn’t last for weeks ( knock on wood ), it’s not nice to know OCD is always waiting around the corner, waiting for next big event of my life. It won’t completely go away after ERP, which I’m aware of. But at least I will have the tools to make it a bit easier. Like you’ve said a thousand times; ERP IS the key!
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