Hey everyone, hoping you’re all well. I’ve been absent for a few reasons, predominantly my writers block, but I’ve been trying my best to get out and about and actually fill my days with a mixture of enjoyment and challenges.
On Monday I went to my first escape room! I’d wanted to go for ages, and due to the covid restrictions hadn’t been able to, but my friend and I took the easing as an opportunity to finally go for it. Due to me constantly forgetting to order my medication on time, by Monday I’d not had it for 3 days and I could definitely feel the difference in my thoughts and anxiety. But I knew I wanted to go and I was going to have to push through my lack of medication disadvantage and fight against my OCD as best as I could.
Luckily, I had the support of someone there with me which is always of a little help at least, the journey proved difficult, but I managed to hide my struggles and kept everything concealed to simply mental compulsions rather than physical as well which would have delayed us getting there and I didn’t want to be late! And so the game began, at first I was quite immersed in it, my OCD had been shoved mostly to the back of my mind and I was able to focus on the tasks at hand. Until the real challenges started to pop up for me.
It was no longer about just standing there trying to figure out riddles or puzzles, it now involves physically touching items, and what’s worse – having to do things quickly. I became very anxious at the thought of doing this and felt tempted to give in and ask my friend to do it for me, but I knew that wasn’t fair, they were busy trying to solve their half of the task and I knew I wanted to deep down challenge myself. And so I did. I came face to face with so many objects I can’t even count and crossing several rooms without going back and repeating was very difficult.
I kept trying to tell myself to keep my mind focused, ignore my OCD, to remind myself that we were up against a clock here! And so through mental turmoil and conflict, I pushed through as best I could and we completed the game. Getting out of the room and building was hard but once I was out, a heavy weight felt like it lifted off me and I could look back and reflect on actually how fun it was.
And despite the fact it was difficult, I wouldn’t have changed going. I had a great time minus my OCD and I was somewhat glad I didn’t give in to my urges to repeat. Because that would have been fuelling the OCD, reenforcing the anxiety and keeping me stuck in my struggles. These days and times are highly important. I constantly have to remember that I can go out and live, I should go out and have fun, I should challenge myself to know that nothing bad will happen.
Sometimes the best way to win the game, is to not play. And that’s certainly the case when it comes to OCD.