Tuesday, April 02, 2013

So... Where have I been?

I am sitting here staring at my screen just wondering where to begin.  In my head, there screams this voice that says, "You have let all of your readers down." But the reality is that I have not let anyone down (I will come back to this). People just tell me they miss reading my blog. So, here it goes. I might do a series of posts of what has been going on in my life, but I want to talk about the biggest one. 

It is not something I begin to share easily but the more I talk about it, the more other people have shared their stories. A little less than two years ago, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Oh god, my hands are shaking just writing this out.

What does this mean? For each person who suffers from OCD, it is a little different. It is less about the compulsive side of it (for me) and more about the obsessive part of it. The most significant part of my OCD is what is referred to as automatic negative thoughts (ANTs for short). When I am introduced to a stressful situation or something causes an emotional response, these ANTs jump to the worst possible conclusion. I then, obsess on these thoughts, much like a record skips. This is the most harmful part of my OCD because it causes my anxiety to skyrocket. As someone who already suffers from anxiety, the ANTs do not help.

For the past six months, I have been working with my primary care physician to learn about what medication I can take. Also for the past two years, I have been working with a counselor to suggest what habits I can change in order to help me cope with this. I'm heading towards a good place now.  It has been rather dark and dim lately though, but I am getting better. I recently switched up my medications and have seen a dynamic decrease in my "obsessive" area. I don't have to sit and watch five episodes of television show in one sitting and I don't talk incessantly about the most random stuff that only I find interesting... Just so strange how things manifest themselves.

So, remember how I said that there is a voice in my head that says "You have let all of your readers down"? That's an ANT. The compulsion part of my OCD is definitely in the way that I react to these ANTs, mostly in anger. And to be honest, I am still trying to figure that part out. I think once I am able to pinpoint my compulsions I will be able to understand what environmental factors are triggers.

Can I just say, it was such a relief to be told that I had OCD? Really! I have always felt strange, weird and just different from other people. I would watch other people react to things and think about how I would react... and it just wasn't normal. Being able to label something gives it less power over you.

Part of managing the ANTs is to remind yourself of truth.  My counselor said, "Thoughts are just thoughts, they are not facts." Anytime one of those ANTs pipes up and says something negative, I get to think about what is true, "I am loved. I am strong. I am awesome."

If you have any questions about OCD, or if you have OCD, or suffer from any kind of depression or anxiety and need someone to talk to, feel free to e-mail me or leave me a comment down below. It can be pretty lonely out there, and everyone needs someone. If you think you are suffering from a mentall illness but have not been diagnosed, I highly encourage you to talk to your doctor.  They will help you come up with a plan and also be able to conduct the right kinds of tests to properly diagnose you.


  1. I love you! You can always call/skype/email me! Or even better yet, come visit! Thanks for sharing and opening up to us, your readers appreciate it. I'm a firm believer in never apologizing for lack of posts. Sometimes life gets in the way so better to live it, then write about it. Huh? I don't know. That's all for now.

  2. Interesting...this whole time i figured you just were off living life as you should be, not worrying about writing in your blog for people like me...readers.
    You've got so many good things going on in life I would've never guessed this was the situation. But glad you're on the way up and up, and you have some answers to the things you were dealing with on a day to day basis that none of us even knew about.
    But welcome back, if you write here in this blog, I'll be here reading :)

  3. So glad you're back to blogging! But if there is another break because you're just living life, no apologies necessary! Thanks for sharing and hope to hear more from you soon. :)

  4. Glad to see you again! Sorry to hear about the ANT and OCD but I hope things are on the up and up. I can relate to the ANT for sure (I have PTSD and GAD...it comes with the territory!) so know that you aren't alone, if that helps.


  5. I suffer from anxiety and depression and have always felt like I may have OCD, but that has never been diagnosed.

    I love your blog and I hope you'll keep it up! something someone told me a long time ago about blogging is that you should NEVER apologize for a hiatus from blogging. Your LIFE should take priority!

  6. proud of you for posting this and grateful you feel like you can share this with us! sounds like you have lots of positivity on the horizon. keep us posted and know that we are always here for you!

  7. I am so proud of you. You are not different you are just the best Alyson you can be and I have believed that from Day 1. Hugs!!!

  8. Loved this, Alyson. Thank you for your vulnerability, bravery, and overall awesomeness. You're an inspiration, truly!



Related Posts with Thumbnails