Accepting OCD as part of one’s life is often a challenging part of treatment, but a  necessary one. Acceptance does not mean you like something. It is absolutely valid  and expected to hate having OCD. There will be times when you have feel angry. There  will also be times when you feel life dealt you an unfair hand. However, it’s important to  recognize whether you allow yourself to stay in that place or whether you validate  those feelings and then shift towards acceptance. When we don’t accept the reality of  our situation, the anger and depression we feel as a result often pummels us further  into despair and further away from the treatment outcomes we are seeking.  

OCD is a chronic condition, but that doesn’t mean you will always experience  significant symptoms. The reality of OCD is that it is a chronic condition. However,  that does not mean that you will always feel OCD intensely or that you will always have  an official diagnosis of OCD. To meet the official diagnostic criteria for OCD you would  be need to be engaging in compulsions and as you continue your journey with ERP,  you will continue to practice response prevention more frequently and your  compulsions will lessen. Intrusive thoughts and feelings will always exist. You will never  be able escape that reality as a human. However, your response to them will continue  to shift and your ability to recognize intrusive thoughts for what they are, will continue  to grow.  

OCD treatment will never be “perfect”. It’s not uncommon for people with OCD to  have very high expectations of themselves. That can include the desire to perfect OCD  treatment and for the outcome of treatment to be “final”. The reality is that you may go  in and out of therapy throughout the years as you feel the need for extra support and  ERP reminders. A new theme may or may not come along and catch you off guard and  during those periods seeing an ERP trained therapist will be helpful. See therapy as a  process rather than solely outcome-driven is helpful. 

Progress is not linear. Progress is typically a wavy line that generally flows towards  improvement in the reduction of compulsions. But it’s rarely a straight path. OCD is a  powerful nemesis and stressors in life can impede treatment at times. One’s willingness  to see the ups and downs as normal is incredibly important for long term  understanding and growth. Progress will never be a straight path to the finish line. Life  will throw you curveballs and your confidence will increase that you can cope. 

You will not always feel good. It’s not uncommon for people with OCD to have difficulty accepting not feeling “right”. There’s often a desire to hang on to positive  feelings and to crave permanence of them. The acceptance of living a life that includes  feeling both good and bad (guilty and not guilty, anxious and calm, doubtful and  certain, grounded and “off”) is paramount to treatment success. ALL feelings are a part of the human experience and allowing them to come and go as they please without  attaching so much power and meaning is important part of treatment. 

If you have OCD and are struggling with acceptance and resisting compulsions on your  own, reach out to inquire about ERP treatment.