This blog is actually a what NOT to do blog because when it comes to managing my “Pure O” OCD, I’ve discovered that keeping my plate empty is definitely the better choice than filling it up with Pure O’s favorite menu items. It’s actually quite challenging to try and starve my Pure O and I’ll admit that there are times when its appetite becomes so insistent that I give in to its hunger pangs.
The really rotten thing about my Pure O is that each new obsessional theme is yet another opportunity for it to trick me into doing its bidding and before you know it, I’m stuck in the cycle of my OCD. At times, I feel like the most gullible human on the planet as I fall prey to its tactics yet again.
My Pure O is always insisting that if I just feed it one more bite that it will be completely satiated. This is such a lie and I hate that I fall for it! What really happens is a bit like that old potato chip commercial where you are reminded that if you eat one chip you won’t be able to stop and you’ll end up eating the whole darn bag. Yep, the moment I give into the cravings of my Pure O it always demands even more.
So, what does my Pure O like to eat? I would have to say that most of its dietary preferences fall into one particular food category: Rumination. Rumination basically means to bring something back up and chew on it again after you’ve already chewed and swallowed it. How gross! Well… that’s what it means if you happen to be a cow. In Pure O, however, mental rumination means that you bring up your obsessions over and over again and think about them very deeply and very carefully. It means that you mull them over and over and turn them over and over in your mind and examine them from every possible angle.
There are all kinds of “ruminating foods” which feed my Pure O. Its favorite appetizer will usually be my trying to work out why I’m thinking about such a horrid obsession in the first place. Then, when I’ve realized just how objectionable the obsession is, my Pure O orders up a salad filled with all sorts of mental arguments about why the obsession isn’t really true of me or can’t ever come true. Then, shortly after that, it straps on the feed bag and really digs into the main course which consists of a mixture of the following items: Reassurance seeking, research, logical reasoning, countering and undoing statements. This typically culminates in a frantic binge of all-out exhausting mental warfare. And, the more I shovel into my Pure O’s mouth, the hungrier it gets. Then, just when I think it can’t possibly swallow one more thing, it demands dessert served up in the form of avoidance. I must avoid all the things which trigger the obsessional theme because the hunger pangs have become so incredibly painful.
It’s really scary to start taking menu items away from my Pure O – OCD. It’s especially difficult once its swelled up into this huge, hungry beast because just as soon as I refuse tp feed it, it throws a tantrum which comes in the form of severe, gut-wrenching, “I can’t bear it one more second” – ANXIETY!”
And yet, here’s the thing, just as soon as I get up the courage to put it on a gradual starvation diet, it begins to grow smaller and weaker. This doesn’t happen overnight because just like most weight loss programs it’s better to shave off a few pounds gradually than to starve yourself. The best thing to do is to work on the smaller snack items first, meaning tackle the smaller least distressing obsessional themes first and then work up to the hard ones. The best diet plan for Pure O is most definitely Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy or ERP. So if you haven’t yet learned about how to manage Pure O through ERP, it’s time to do so. Go ahead and google it and then take that first step toward starving your Pure O.