"Today I apologized to Tom for the third time."
That's the first sentence in my very first OCD journal. The entry is dated 7/14/1998. All I have read so far is that one line and it's immediate already that though my obsessions have differed, the OCD remains the same as it was 13 years ago. Same monster, new cloak.
That's why I'm starting this blog series. I want to look back at the beginnings of my OCD and see what I can learn, see what I can apply to my life now. I want to identify the red flags I may have missed then, and try to watch out for them in the future. There's a big, yellow smiley face on the cover of the journal, and I want to remember what that didn't feel like at age 13.
But perhaps even more I want this blog series to point out OCD's tactics. My favorite way of dealing with an obsession is to remind myself, mid-worry, "That's just OCD." Doing that is like shining a flashlight on the monster. I see him, I realize what he's made of, and in the light he doesn't look so bad. It brings me back to reality. Understanding that OCD's m.o. is the same no matter what the obsession will help me to more quickly catch OCD in the act. I want that understanding for me, and I want it for you.
The first installment is titled Looking Back: "I Kept Apologizing," and it will come in the next few days.
4 weeks ago