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Since I first committed to my own recovery, I have held fast to the knowledge that only I can make this journey and come out on the other side. There is no one else who can hear the thoughts in my head, no one else to stand against them and try to push them out until they are nothing but a fading whisper of fears conquered.
OCD has made it clear I am both my own greatest ally and enemy in this fight. However, there is no denying the power of people who hold me accountable, who I hold myself accountable to, and the ability accountability has to make or break any steps forward I might take.
My doctors have seen it all; they bear witness to the unhealthy preoccupation with my own body my anxieties have caused.
They’ve seen how completely I am able to convince myself something is there when it isn’t, symptoms that don’t exist outside of my imagination that become an obsession. They write the prescriptions for the pills powerful enough to reorder my brain, and they help without passing judgment, having seen things far worse than a case of radical over-thinking.
They’ve seen the truth of the ailments I am terrified of having, sicknesses and conditions that are without prejudice or malevolence but that still harm. My doctors encourage true recovery and not just the resigned acceptance of medication as a permanent crutch and quick Band-Aid fix.
I count on my doctors, and I owe them the honesty of my own effort to really try and get better, to appreciate that this is something I can get better from when others aren’t always as lucky.
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My therapist, on the other hand—well, she doesn’t believe in Band-Aids.
There are no quick fixes for the fears we all face inside, and freedom from the things that haunt us can only be found by our willingness to face them head on, even when we’re sure we can’t.
Especially, when we’re sure we can’t.
She is the chance I have to put everything out on the table, no holds barred. She isn’t afraid to tell me what I need, even when it’s not what I want or think I need.
You see, therapy is only a fix that works if you’re willing to put in the work.
At the end of the day, all of the insight and advice given doesn’t mean jack if you’re not committed to applying it during recovery. I may not like that my therapist wants me to challenge myself in certain ways, but there’s nowhere to go until I take that next step.
Then there’s the people I want to get better for.
It’s kind of a downer when even my husband wants to go shopping and I can’t because crowded malls make my throat close up. I want the freedom to spend time with the people I love, without worrying about all the things that could go wrong while I’m doing just that. I want to be the best version of me for everyone who’s stood by when I couldn’t stand on my own.
Everyone I care about has proven time and again they believe in me, and I have to honor that belief and show the same assured faith. I want to be better so I can love better, without fear of the consequence.
Lastly, there’s me–on the inside, waiting to break away from what’s held me back or made me question myself and who I could be. Even on my worst days, when I can’t hold on for anyone else, I hold on for myself. I trust even when it feels like I’ll never get better, that I will. I hold on for another tomorrow.
I stay accountable to my own recovery, even with its setbacks, and the possibility that I might just make it through this thing in one, beautiful piece.
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