“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
I feel like I’ve taken the first few major steps in the journey to recovery. I’ve sought help, committed to therapy and now, I’m adding medication to my treatment plan. I’ve been doing better this last week, but I find that the real work has just begun. When I started therapy 6 months ago, I was making great progress, right from the start. I had a few minor setbacks, nothing serious, and I kept on pushing. About a month ago, I hit a wall. OCD decided that this little game I was playing of “getting better” was over and it was time to show me who was really in charge. I had the breakdown and panic attack in my therapist’s office and she told me that day, “I’ve been waiting for this to happen. Now the real work begins.” Wow…was she ever right. It has been tougher and tougher to shut down the Monster and regain control. This constant difficulty was a main driver in my decision to consult a doctor and begin medication. I felt that if I didn’t give myself that option, I was essentially cheating myself out of an opportunity to get better. And that’s a pile of regret that I just don’t want.
For a really long time, I’ve felt like a prisoner in my own brain. But now I’m getting better, no matter how slowly I’m going or how difficult it seems, I’m still making progress. And now that I am getting better, I finally feel like I have the power to decide what do with my life. I feel like, for the first time in my life, that I have free will. I want to be the person that OCD didn’t want me to and wouldn’t let me be. I want to be fearless and no, I’m not just referring to a Taylor Swift album. I want to be free to do whatever I want, whenever, wherever and to do it without being afraid. And I feel like I finally have that chance. Now the problem is this: What do I want to do? Who do I want to be? What’s next for me?
I don’t know what the answers are yet. But Robert Frost gave great advice: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” I think I’ll take the road less traveled, not because it’s different, but because it’s both frightening and freeing. And it’s exactly what OCD doesn’t want for me to do. Sorry Monster, I serve a new master now….myself.