Put the Knife Down (self harm topic – may be triggering)

i felt so much pain and if someone were to ask me what made me so sad, i dont think i couldve told them.  i didn’t really know exactly why…i just felt stressed, anxious and so sad.  “fuck it” and i went to go cut myself.  i went through all my prep and as i held the blade, i found my mind scrambling for reasons not to.  i saw the scars on my legs and though part of me wanted to add more, part of me didnt.  i always listen to the self destructive part of myself, but the next day i feel like shit and im sick of feeling this way.  i dont want to be depressed anymore.  i thought of my family and how they wouldnt want me to.  i thought of how i would soon want to wear shorts.  i thought of how my therapist told me he would never allow anyone else to hurt me and how it made him sad that i hurt myself because to him the act of harm by the self or someone else was the same.

i put the blade away and continued to cry.  i knew from therapy that this feeling would not last forever and decided i would try to tolerate it instead of harm myself.  logically i felt i might have made progress, but emotionally i felt confused.

ultimately i decided not to do it because i really want to get better.  i want to be successful in my career and my life.  i want to travel and have wonderful friends.  i want to fall in love.  i want to see the beauty in the world and feel a craving for adventure.  i know i cant have all this and harm myself too.  i cant have both because my dreams require the best of me.  they require my confidence, self love and self worth, and the self destructive coping mechanisms support none of this.

if i had gone through with it, i know it would not have meant i was a failure.  but there comes a point when a choice has to be made and i made that choice last night.  i know this means that i may cut again one day, but for the first time i proved to myself that i didn’t have to and that even though i feel wilted, there is hope.  an image i think about a lot is of a blade of grass growing through a crack of concrete.  if a little spark of life can bust through something so harsh, then i can too.

OCD Gone

That’s right; it’s pretty much gone.  The illness that defined me and served as the source for much of my suffering is finally at bay.  I had tried everything (except SSRIs) and many things had helped, but not cured.  I actually did not believe OCD could go away.  Here’s what happened:

I went to a naturopath.  I had seen naturopaths before, but none like this.  In fact, I have seen quite a few medical professionals including your classic MDs, specialists, and alternative practitioners.  To me, I wasn’t on the east or west side of medicine, I just wanted someone, anyone, to help me.

I went to see this particular naturopath for my chronic systemic infections.  I was sick a lot and was told by my current doctors that all the tests had been done and there was nothing more to try, but I am not one to be content with that answer.  And when I say I was sick a lot, I’m talking not serious stuff, but enough to disrupt my life.  During my last quarter in college, I had gotten Whooping Cough twice, Strep Throat once, a Staph infection, a sinus infection, an ear infection, and countless UTIs and yeast infections.  This is why I dropped out of school; I physically was not healthy enough to tolerate the stress.

The naturopath informed me that I had a hormonal imbalance, high cortisol levels, food allergies, a fatty liver and imbalanced serotonin levels.  She told me to avoid certain foods, and to stop smoking pot.  She suggested progesterone cream and some supplements for my hormones.  She also prescribed a host of different supplements.  I followed every bit of advice she gave me to perfection.  That first week, I slept better than I had ever in my whole life.  I was able to get weed out of my routine in a few weeks.  After a month, I was a different person.  I felt calm, I was no longer compulsing and my brain was no longer obsessing.  I tried bringing some of the foods she told me to eliminate back into my diet, and I experienced very unpleasant results, which verified what she had said (not that I needed verification).

I still have my bad days, but the tools I learned in therapy are enough to help me cope with that.

What I have learned from this experience is that health most certainly does not come for free; it takes work.  I have also learned that to heal, one must heal the whole body.  We are a balanced system and if one thing is off, who knows where the symptom might pop up?

I believed that if my OCD would just go away, I would be unstoppable, or at least that my life would be infinitely better.  My life is much better, but I am facing a different set of challenges.  Though the OCD caused a lot of my pain, it was not the source of all my pain.  The OCD is a symptom of even more shit I need to work through.

So, I am in therapy again.

When my OCD was at it’s worst, I wanted nothing more than for it to leave me alone.  Now, I want more…. to be happy.

Update: What a mess

It’s been a while and I keep thinking of reasons why I’d write later, but there is no good time like the present!  A lot has been going on.  In a future post I will write about how my OCD has mostly cleared up.  I thought this was impossible.  With such severe OCD, I really thought it could be managed, but not cured.  I am unbelievably grateful for this.

I have recently moved out on my own.  I have never lived on my own so it’s quite exciting, but lonely at times.  My husband and I broke up, so hence the move.  He is a person with many lovely qualities, but also some destructive and incompatible issues so, it was time.

I started self harm again and couldnt be more upset about it.  I also have a new therapist and therapy is very difficult, but very helpful in that I feel a strong connection with my therapist.  He challenges me to question that which I’d rather not.  It’s going well.

I have been quite depressed lately, and my self esteem has gone from ok-ish to non-existant.  I know it will take some time for things to get better, I just hope and will strive to not make as many stupid decisions until then.  I am hoping though, that without the OCD, my options are now more available to me like going to school or traveling.  One thing that my last therapist had me do was to think of all the things OCD took from me.  I listed off things like being in school, traveling, visiting my family… It wasn’t until I thought about it that I got the motivation to really change my life.  It made me upset to think of what I was missing out on, but I also knew it didn’t have to be that way.

A lot of people ask me what else they can do besides therapy, either due to finances or a lack of trust for therapy.  Therapy helped me greatly, but it’t not the only option.  Not one thing works for everyone.  And, that’s what my blog is about…trying stuff and seeing what works.

So, at this moment I am sitting here with strep throat (ow), but am excited to share my story of how I got my OCD under control.  Till then, take care.