The obsessions and compulsions continued to get worse. Organizing everything from my closet, to the shoes by the door, to the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, to random items laying out on countertops, all in fear of a loved one dying if I didn’t do it just right. I developed orthorexia, an obsession of healthy eating with associated restrictive behaviors, for fear of consuming something toxic. I refused to eat anything that was not organic or all natural. My contamination OCD worsened. I feared toxic elements in my environment, specifically BPA, an industrial chemical used to make certain plastics and resins. I would not touch plastic bags, receipts, lint and I spent a fortune on toys for my infant, so that he would not be exposed. I burned out two blenders making every ounce of baby food from scratch; organic produce only. I wouldn’t allow my son to wear fleece sleepers, as they were flame resistant and I didn’t want to risk any chance of him developing a disease or illness. I spent hours “researching” clothes, shoes and toys for him, ensuring that I only ever chose the best possible options. These thoughts and behaviors consumed me. I spent my days worried, fearful and doubting. I used all of my energy to commit compulsions and rituals to try and neutralize these feelings. It became very apparent, to both myself and my husband, that I needed help.
I made an appointment with a therapist who treated OCD… according to my insurance (insert eye roll here). The first appointment was spent discussing my history and current symptoms. We scheduled a follow-up. I arrived to the office, waited to be called and grabbed a seat on “the couch”. I was ready. This was going to be the beginning of a new chapter. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The therapist informed me that she was not able to help me and her parting words of wisdom were, “you should read the book Brain Lock”. Hmmmmm, now what?
My OCD was negatively impacting all corners of my life. My marriage, my parenting, my career, my friendships and my activities of daily living, just to name a few. I needed help and I needed it now. I called a local, reputable behavioral health hospital and was transferred to their community outreach department. I spoke to a man named Barry; little did I know, he was going to be a life saver. I explained what I was experiencing and he provided me with contact information for three therapists in the area, that were highly trained in OCD and Exposure Response Prevention. He said no matter what my insurance company says, these were the only providers in the area appropriately trained to treat me. He also parted with the following words of wisdom, “If a therapist, treating you for OCD, ever tells you to read the book “Brain Lock”, run!”. Lol, wish I would have known that sooner.
Time to make the calls.
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