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.