Have you ever had a moment where it feels like a part of the authentic version of you just fell into place?
I just had another moment like that this past week, and it shifted a lot of things for me. All the way from sudoku and jigsaw puzzles on my phone, to how I view mental health medications for myself.
In a recent session with my therapist, she told me something which I already have heard a thousand times. She said “Remember you’re a human being not a human doing.”
I found it so frustrating because I felt like I was already doing that…
Okay, so not really.
I’m a few weeks into the Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) for my OCD, which I’ve talked about in the last few posts, so if you’re curious what that’s all about check it out here and here. Basically it’s a way to lean into the anxiety, rather than do something to try and calm it or make it go away.
Turns out this is especially helpful with OCD because my obsessive thoughts only get more and more intense (and creative) the more I try and make the anxiety go away.
It’s been a really interesting learning experience for me for how I manage all of my anxiety, not just the OCD related anxiety, and it really came to a whole new level of clarity for me last week.
It’s been a few weeks of Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy for my OCD – which is the gold standard treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder where you intentionally create opportunities for anxiety and fear to rise up, and then don’t do the compulsion that normally alleviates that fear.
The problem was, I was hitting a bit of a roadblock.
The good news is that all I had to do was change one word.
I know it’s only February and it seems like it’s really early to start thinking about planning a garden, but the truth is in my corner of Canada our growing season is typically really short – like June through the end of August into the beginning of September kind of short. This means that for a more prolific vegetable garden, we have to start planting and growing things inside in the next couple weeks. My mom actually has already started.
As I’m sitting here contemplating the piles of seeds, pots and potting mix I have waiting for me, I’m feeling a TON of anxiety and I’m totally caught up in so many of the what-ifs.
I came to a realization recently that I thought might be helpful to share because it highlighted one of the sneaky ways we can sabotage ourselves. It’s so sneaky because it feels like we’re really just trusting our own intuition and experience – but really it’s just trying to keep everything the same because, to our nervous system, “the same” is safe. But as I’m learning, living with OCD adds a whole other layer of complexity to everything.
That’s the goal, right? To be a consistently high performing high achiever? To be able to make a difference in your corner of the world? To avoid stress and burnout to live a long, happy, healthy life?
I’m sitting on a concert stage holding my clarinet after my junior high band performed their two pieces for the Kiwanis Music Festival. This is a festival where local musicians and schools compete and play their selections in front of some adjudicators for feedback. It’s a great way to get kids used to performing I suppose.
I usually share the song for this episode at the end, but I am going to switch things up today to help get us on the same page before we get into it. So before you keep going with this, please listen to the song Like Water, Like Earth by Christa Couture and then come back to me.
We fight to “keep it together” because we’re so terrified of falling apart. What will other people think? What will this mean for us? But what is this thing that we’re terrified of? What if by allowing ourselves to fall apart we’re not actually breaking – but unfolding?
We are constantly being bombarded with questions that divide us, especially with social media and traditional media.
But when it comes to things like human rights, religious beliefs and our freedom – do we have to pick a side?