Monday, July 19, 2010

Raw Physiology

One of the side effects of my OCD coming under control (through meds and ERP) is that my drinking got out of control. It is more complex than that. But, without some of my OCD fears, I was able to take more risks. My OCD thoughts had curbed my drinking. During the hard OCD years I was terrified of putting anything into my body. Even eating was a challenge because I was worried that it was spoiled, or poisoned. I was hypersensitive to any bodily changes or sensations. The warmth of alcohol was more than I could tolerate. For a few years I didn't drink at all.

When I was able to drink, I did so with gusto. After my downward spiral with alcohol was complete, I was ready to quit. Then life got interesting. Without alcohol, I started to discover my 'raw physiology'. It has been a ride.

I drank to quiet myself, to stop a burning flame dancing inside me. It is a flame of energy, creativity, motion, and connection. I am experiencing it now, which is how I even got this blog going. But, there's an uncomfortable side to it, an agitation. It would be nice if it came with a key like a kerosene lantern, so I could turn it down just a tad. I wish I could keep the creativity, the productivity and the confidence, but douse the agitation, distraction, and restlessness. There is no key. It's just me. Me and my raw physiology.


  1. Interesting post. I think that I kind of struggle with this, as well, but in my own way.

    I feel like I sometimes keep OCD rituals around long after their original meaning has become all but obsolete simply because the new fear becomes that, if I don't have rituals to focus my mind and physical energy on, I will feel lost and untethered. Even if I know the rituals that I cling to are essentially useless, I am afraid of what I will discover if I just let that "raw physiology" emerge.

    Then again, as I have gotten better, discovering more of this underneath has mostly been a good thing. But of course, as with the fear of any unknown or uncertainty, my OCD exclaims that I must keep ritualizing or I, and everything else, will fall apart!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Fellow Sufferer. I had an issue with trusting feeling safe. It felt scary to let my guard down and just live without worrying. There was this idea that if I didn't worry bad things would happen. My medication took some of the intensity out that one. Zyprexa gave me my first experience of "a sense of well-being." I remember thinking to myself, "Ah, so this is what normal feels like. Just a sense of well-being." When I saw that things did not "fall apart" it gave me the courage to let myself stop worrying. That was the first step. If I wasn't committed to letting go of worry, I would not have been able to get well.

    I have also learned that sitting in the discomfort of the "vacuum" is required to give some space for new and healthier ways of living to fill in. If I am always doing the old stuff, I can't make room for the new. Sounds simple and easy, but it is extremely hard to break old patterns. Change is scary and often feels yucky to me. I rely on my track record to get me through.