I made it to the parade.
It was an OCD nightmare and I got through it!
It was at the town green with a lot of people so I was dealing with some bizarre thoughts like "what if I scream bloody murder right now." But I ignored the thought. It was overwhelming seeing so many people. I went for a walk with my dad around the ground. It was nice to feel like I could roam and not feel trapped. I made sure to make eye contact with people and I even went up and bought a water from the ice cream truck.
These thoughts are just thoughts and they can't change my behavior. I kept repeating that. I'm going to stick to my values and beliefs. After the parade there was a 40 min long ceremony. Kids sang, music played. History lesson and it was difficult sitting still. I was jittery. But I wasn't going to leave. My thought was "the car is parked and we can't leave or go home until everything is done." I had to just embrace that uncertainty. I told my dad and he said I can go off and walk but that seemed to terrify me.
Well I made it through! The parade, the ceremony. I did it. It was hard. It was exposure to a lot of mental obsessions. I tried to stay as mindful as I could. Be in the moment. Look at the trees. Feel the breeze.
It also helped to imagine the intrusive thoughts floating away in a stream. They would pop up "there is a guy with a gun. Guns are dangerous. I feel unsafe." And I imagined it on a piece of paper floating past me going down a stream.
It's hard work. I'm exhausted and because of the Luvox I haven't had a decent nights slept for 2 months. I just want to nap. It's gorgeous here in CT. Sunny, 83 degrees. And I'm proud of myself for doing something in my mind I thought was impossible. And I did them with the thoughts regardless.
I also contacted a behavioral health center this morning. I found a doctor who does a 3 week program, 15 sessions, both individual and in group for OCD.
I feel hopeful but I don't want to get my hopes up too much. So much of the time my brain is yelling "emergency! This is critical!" But I'm realizing that I am so much stronger than I thought I was. Whatever happens, I will handle it. I mean, if I can handle thousands of intrusive harm thoughts a day, I can handle anything.
If you made it to the end I salute you! Thank you for reading. I hope wherever you are in your journey that you are well.
Happy Memorial Day.