My experience using Naturopathic medicine to treat my OCD.
My experience using Naturopathic medicine to treat my OCD.
It has finally happened! I started my first week of medical school. Naturopathic medical school to be exact, so I can passionately help others struggling with mental illness who, like me, were not so keen on anti-depressants and only getting so much out of therapy. I’ve worked so hard to get here. Here, meaning into my own apartment in a new city, but I am full of anxiety. I recently left my Dad’s house where I was living. I had a therapist, friends at school and I was getting my intimacy issues dealt with. I fell in love for the first time with a man and then summer came, and it was time for me to leave and start over. I broke up with my boyfriend, left some of the first real friends I’ve ever made and I miss my family.
First day of class and I can barely keep the tears back. “How did I get accepted? I’m not ready for this! I can’t do this!!!!” I panicked. BUT, I did call a friend and ask for help, which I rarely ever do and it DID help.
I don’t know what will happen, because even as far as I’ve come I still feel like the “OCD girl” who cant do anything alone, but if therapy has taught me anything, it’s to commit to not quitting.
I have been hearing other students tell me they are stressed out too which is a reminder that even when we feel alone, we are not.
Transition states are never easy, ever, but they don’t last. We must remember that while change does suck, things become normal again. Let’s all keep being patient and try to move forward and be braver than we think we can be 🙂
My brain is a burden to me so how could it not be a burden to those closest? People tell me to call them when I’m struggling, and even I have said that we don’t need to suffer alone, but picking up that phone seems impossible. The idea of letting people IN when I’m trying to get OUT terrifies me; like a tsunami, we should all be running the other way.
It’s been one of those weeks where it’s pouring and I’m waiting for the locusts. I felt alone, pummeled and emotionally exhausted, but I am one to downplay things, and brush them off, so I have been dealing with it mostly alone.
One of my best friends said “people who love you feel worse when they know you are hurting and you don’t let them help”. I flashed back to the beginning of when I was first married and how much I hated when my (ex)husband shut down emotionally and kicked me out. So angry and quiet, and I was left to wonder what was wrong, helpless. I certainly don’t want to make anyone feel locked out.
So while I want to run away, maybe others are not as afraid of my brain as I am.
Here is a link for a short interview I did with Samantha Jenkins about the difference between being gay and HOCD. Enjoy!
We say “should” all the time, but rarely at the appropriate time. “Should” indicates responsibility in usually a critical way, and with anxiety disorders and depression, this occurs a lot.
“My life shouldn’t be like this.”
This statement hurts because what it really means is that life and who I am are not ok as they are. I know OCD doesn’t feel ok, but hear me out. It’s that “I’m wrong and that if I made a different choice or acted another way, than everything would be as it should“. “Should” makes us feel like we messed up, and what’s worse, if we truly have no or little control, then we are beating ourselves up for a crime we didn’t commit.
When I said this, my therapist asked me how my life should be. Through the tears, I explained how I never thought I’d be this person. He asked when I made the choice to get OCD, and I said it wasn’t my choice, and he said “exactly.” He explained how “Should” was a trap. Who decides what should and should’t be? It’s when we feel like things should be a certain way, that we fall into it.
Next time you say “should”, think if it’s really appropriate. It hurt less to say “I want my life to be different.” because this stems from a real emotion, and begs the question, “how can I improve my emotional state?”
Language can really cause us emotional downs, and here’s another:
“I don’t deserve to be happy”
“Deserve” means you have done something worthy enough to receive something else like happiness, for example. O no. I’t’s impossible for a psychologist to talk me out of this one. They always respond to with “but, everyone deserves to be happy.” Instinctively I know this is not true. Evil people don’t deserve happiness, while kind people do, right? What about people who go through insane trauma; did they not deserve happiness?
In short, no, I don’t deserve to be happy, nor do I deserve to be unhappy.
The truth is that sometimes I will feel happy and sometimes I won’t, but that doesn’t reflect who I am. Most of us strive to be descent people and happiness is not a reward system. Happiness is an emotion that stops by sometimes, and though I feel like it’s unfair that I feel anxious more than I want, it doesn’t mean that I deserve to be unhappy and I shouldn’t believe that it does? 😉
For those of you who reside in Connecticut. http://www.ocdct.org
So often, I am reminded that I am a statistic. Without a diagnosis, it’s easy to feel crazy and wonder what the fuck is wrong, all the while fearing that any clue you accidentally leave behind will lead to an involuntary hospitalization in the dreaded psych ward.
On the other hand, when the questionnaires are finally finished, and the therapist tells you that in fact you are NOT crazy, but there’s a name, it’s liberating. This is where my crusade to label and diagnose everything started.
Trying to find a reason, a name, and simply just an understanding of anything wrong with me seemed a mission worthy of my time, and the relief I felt is something I crave more than sugar. Each time I realized my behavior was “text book”, a statistical characteristic, my identity was both comforted and threatened. Again, relieved to have a name, but now chased with an empty sense of self.
We are more than our mental illness. We have to do more than just say this; we have to do things to remind ourselves we are more than statistics.
It’s difficult to do what I like because I feel guilty for not being productive and working on self improvement, but the ironic thing is that self improvement also comes from participating in activities completely unrelated to mental health.
We are more than statistics.