OCD means that even when I am exhausted or in pain, sometimes I can’t help but engage in my rituals and obsessive behaviors. In these times, I can find myself washing up the dishes, and then suddenly I’m doing laundry and cleaning all the counters and the toilets and I don’t know exactly how I got there. Especially because I still hurt.
Anxiety doesn’t always have a trigger. Sometimes it’s clear to me why I feel anxious: I am waiting on test results or about to meet with a new client. Sometimes, I find that my anxiety is triggered by alcohol or caffeine. I can often pinpoint something that’s making me anxious. I can say to myself: if I resolve this issue or once I get this information or if I avoid caffeine, I’ll be fine and relaxed.
There’s a lot of discussion in the world about “if you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never do it” or “don’t wait until you’re ready, the world is at the end of your comfort zone.” For many people “ready” seems like a dirty word. It’s an excuse or a limit to what you can do, a crutch. But crutches exist for a reason—to help you walk when you’re injured.
Figuring out how to manage your chronic conditions is often a years-long work in process that never really ends. My newest experiment is a continuation of my on-again, off-again relationship with exercise.