Last night was a rough one, OCD wise. I found myself bombarded with thoughts of contamination and anxiety that I was diseased or might somehow become diseased. It’s difficult to articulate how overwhelming these thoughts can be. Last night, I found myself checking over and over again. It’s so fucking exhausting to be stuck in a loop of checking then freaking out then checking again. Sometimes I feel like I’m never going to be well again. I don’t know what I have to do to get control over this. I take a shitload of medication, I’ve put myself through ECT, I’ve done 4 stays at the Psych Hospital in the last 18 months…what more do I need to do to get better? Am I not doing enough?
The more I check, the more depressed I get because it feels like a cycle I’ll never escape.
I suspect it’s flaring up now because I have a potential first date coming up which brings up the prospect of physical intimacy in the near future, and that just terrifies me.
How in the hell am I ever going to find someone to share my life with when the prospect of being intimate with someone paralyzes me with anxiety and fear. I know my fears are completely irrational but it doesn’t stop them from coming. To be honest, knowing how irrational they are just makes me feel worse because on top of anxiety, I feel stupidity. Sometimes I feel like it’d be better if I was never physically intimate with anyone ever again. But even then, I’m still faced with non sexual moments like I was in hospital where someone bought an ice cream cake and everyone just took a spoon and dug in. That filled me with terrible anxiety, but I tried my best to cope. I only used my spoon in places that other people hadn’t. And even then, my anxiety was a 8 out of 10. When I got back to my room I rinsed my mouth with mouthwash like I could somehow combat contamination that way. I know how foolish that sounds. Fuck, I know how stupid the whole thing sounds. I know that if a potential partner gets tested for STI’s, then it’s highly unlikely I would contract anything from them. And in cases like the herp, that they don’t test for, it’s manageable and really nothing more than an inconvenience. I know all this rationally. I know lots of people live with herpes and it’s really not a big deal, but for some reason, it’s the one disease that my mind won’t let go of. I fear getting it all over my face and being a target for ridicule and disgust. I think it’s tied to an idea of being repulsive to other people. To being a complete pariah, unworthy of love or acceptance.
I know it seems insane to other people, but when I break it down to it’s base elements of acceptance and being desired and wanted it probably starts to make a bit more sense. It’s taken me a long time to realize that it’s those feelings behind my obsessive compulsive behaviour and avoidance. I don’t know what more I can do to combat these feelings that overwhelm me. I know in most cases, exposure and response prevention is the key to getting over an obsession. But I don’t know how to do that with my obsession. My old Shrink thought that getting a mannequin (sex doll) from Club X would be a good idea to practice on. I dumped him after that suggestion because it was so ridiculous. It truly was a ‘What the Fuck?!’ moment when he suggested it. How the hell does a rubber sex doll replicate the real life contamination scenario? Sometimes I think it would be easier to just be diagnosed with it and then I could stop living in fear, take the medication and just get the fuck on with it like every person I know with Herpes. I hate that my mind has chosen to become obsessed with that particular disease because I know people who are HSV 2 positive. It doesn’t affect them nearly as much as my obsession with the disease affects me, and I don’t even have it. They all still have great sex lives and people still want and desire them. I feel a huge amount of guilt that I’ve stigmatized this particular disease, when I know rationally one in four women have it and my GP tells me the statistics are probably even higher than that. And anyone who knew me during my twenties could attest to the fact that I slept with my fair share of people and then some, so the likelihood of having been exposed to it is pretty high. Fuck, I just wish my brain would work like other peoples, see it is an assumed risk that comes with being a sexually active adult and just accept it and deal with it. God, when I read that back, it sounds so simple. It shouldn’t be something that takes over my entire life. I had really hoped ECT would help with some of the symptoms of OCD, but it would seem it hasn’t done anything to ease it. I just want to be normal, for fucks sake.