Living with/out OCD (no.13)

To be honest, the title of this series of posts feels a little bit off lately. I started working towards a life without OCD a few months before I stopped my medication (details about it in previous posts). Since the period I stopped my sertaline things have been… difficult. But lately, I have been feeling much better.

The only “leftover” is the increased anxiety levels. For almost three years my brain was used to getting its daily dose of sertaline and I had managed to create a balance in order to be functional.

And now, I’m in the process of reorganizing that balance, with a meds-free brain. I’m researching for ideas to decrease my anxiety.

The process, and all the tons of anxiety I’m going through lately, remind me of a dream I used to have since I was a kid. It was one of those that are closer to a nightmare than a dream.

I was in a car, I was driving (even though I didn’t know how to), I had to find the right way to go and then I couldn’t stop the car.

Now, I see my anxiety as that car. I have to learn how to handle it under the current circumstances and manage to go forward.

Living with/out OCD (no.12)

Going of antidepressants, after almost three years of taking them, while still having OCD and being in therapy.

It’s for the better, but the fact doesn’t make it any easier. I wrote a few posts about the procedure and all the things that I felt. This one is about the time that things got better.

It’s been 5 months since I stopped taking my meds (after a period of tapering tge dose and always under my doctor’s instructions). And, I won’t lie, it was one of the most difficult periods of my life (until now).

The uncomfortable feelings, the massive amounts of crying, the demons and memories awakened.

During all the above, that are totally normal by the way when you stop giving your mind the extra sertaline that it really liked, there was one thing that I realized: how much tired my body and mind were. So, after trying many things in order to feel better until the storm was over, I decided to press pause for many things in my life, take time for myself, learn to do nothing and relax. A couple of weeks after putting my idea in action….magic!

One afternoon I finally felt better. And calmer. The calm I was feeling with the antidepressants. And the storm was quite over. Yes, there are moments that things get weird and tough, but I deal with them pretty good!

In the past months, the progress I had already made with my self-awareness helped a lot, and the therapy was there to help at hard times, but I believe that what was really crucial was the fact that I knew it was just a really difficult period that would eventually end, during which I was willing to feel it all and look for ways to feel better.

And that combo of patience and fighting the darkness paid off in the end.

Maybe now it’s time to continue with my “Living with/out OCD” project!

Living with/out OCD (no.5)

This one is about exhaustion.

When you try to minimize your OCD, you practically try to make changes to your brain. Sounds difficult? Maybe because it is…!

There are no miracles, I don’t expect a life without OCD to come quickly. I’m well aware that it’s going to be a long, hard, tiring process/journey. Determination, energy, and strong (as hell) will are essential.

But, sometimes, I do get so tired. Working on this project can get so exhausting at times. And not only mentally, but psychically as well. My body can get exhausted by all the mental procedures.

What to do? Keep trying, keep cutting off obsessive ideas and compulsions, just like Mulan did with her hair. One strand at a time, one obsession/compulsion at a time. Again, and again, and again.

But, taking the necessary breaks in between!

Living with/out OCD (no.4)

This one is about the blue days.

Having OCD is hard, definitely makes your everyday life tougher. But I’ve managed it until now, and keep doing so! And here I am, tapering medication and working towards living without OCD.

And somewhere between all these, there are the blue days.

It’s totally normal, my brain is trying to balance without its extra dose of sertaline. And I added its “reprogramming” to the equation, by trying to minimize my OCD. So, my mood and my mind’s behavior can’t always be flawless, I understand. This doesn’t make the blue days any easier though.

I have managed to be quite stable, and it’s kind of frustrating when I wake up one day and there’s a mess inside my brain. Being prepared for it never makes it any easier.

The best thing to do during those days is having patience. They are only days, not the norm. And stay relaxed, I try to keep my schedule free during those days, and work on more pleasant projects.

And one more thing, a very important one really: I always remember that during those days my mind is acting weird and try to not listen to it too much (doesn’t always work 100%, but I keep on trying!).

Living with/out OCD (no.1)

Untreated OCD for 10 years.

Treated OCD for 2.5 years.

That’s me. For almost two years now I cooperate with it, so there’s a balance. But still, it’s a constant circle that I decided to break. The idea of a life without OCD came to my mind. And that’s my next goal!

So, the series of “living with OCD” had to transform into something else, it becomes “living with/out OCD”, the middle and most important step before it becomes “living without OCD”.

Yes, it will be tough, and a roller-coaster, but it feels so right in this moment of time.

Plus, as I always say “if I was doing only what makes me feel conformable, I would have done nothing in my life”!