In this week’s update, I share about medicinal compliance, coaching soccer, and enjoying my new job.
These weekly updates are an ongoing series in which I share what it is like to live with OCD in an effort to reduce the stigma around mental health, particularly in the workplace.
My therapist said that she could tell something was off. I was more symptomatic than I had been in many months. My irritation level was high and constant, and I was consistently getting stuck in rigid black-and-white thinking.
She said that I was below baseline, and we could not even do much work to challenge or correct the thinking errors. At the same time, I was responding well when she would call me out on OCD thoughts and behaviors. Something was off.
As we talked through different areas of my life and health, she asked if I have been taking my medication appropriately. I told her I have been taking a mood stabilizer at night, and have been pretty good at being consistent.
So you are not taking anything to help with OCD right now? Well, that’s clearly the issue.
As soon as she said that, I knew she was right. We have seen this before. When I go off my medication for whatever reason, the voice of OCD gets louder and louder in mind.
Since then, I have been ramping back up to the dose of Prozac that I know my body needs from past experience. One of the challenges is that it takes a few weeks to build up in my system.
It’s been about a month since I started, and while I know that I am not seeing all of the effects yet, I am already noticing a significant difference.
In some ways, it is hard to accept that I must have the medication. I am glad to have done some experimentation to figure out what I really need. I am trying to access gratitude that I have found something that helps.
Accepting that OCD is part of me and my life is crucial to managing it. The more I fight it, or try to “fix” it, the harder it is. I need to just lean into it, embrace it, and work with it. That’s where healing and progress are to be found.
My eight-year-old daughter signed up for indoor soccer, and they needed volunteer coaches. Soccer was a huge part of my childhood, and I have fond memories of my dad coaching my team. I decided to accept and become the coach.
I had a therapy session the day before the first game. I was telling my therapist about the hours of prep I was planning that night to get prepared. She immediately canceled that.
You don’t get to prepare at all. Just show up at the game tomorrow and then do your best. Can you handle that?
Again, I knew she was right as soon as she said it, and I agreed. After the game, I sent her a message:
Soccer went great. I knew all their names in a couple minutes. The “drills” we did for practice were fine. Substituting was easy. Fun game! 😊
Her reply made me laugh out loud:
Ya I know
We have had a few games since then and it continues to be a great experience. The kids have fun, the stress is low, and it feels like a solid win.
A few people have asked how my new job is going. My answer has been:
I love it so much. And it’s overwhelming. There is so much going on and so much uncertainty.
I commented to my team that I’m trying to ride the balance of living in the happy mess, and being uncomfortable with throwing things together at the last second.
I feel so grateful for the progress I’ve made in working with my OCD that this level of uncertainty is uncomfortable, but not debilitating. I could not have handled this a few years ago. But now, it’s hard, and also wonderful.
You have your own struggles right now. I send you compassion and hope that you are able to sit in them and move forward. This week, let’s be extra kind to ourselves. And if we can, to someone else, too.
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