A version of this post first appeared on my blog in 2013…….
Is it just me, or does life sometimes seem like a series of decisions? Should I do this, go there, buy that? Many of our daily decisions are made with little to no thought, and are unlikely to have a major impact on our lives. Then there are the major decisions, which deserve more attention and involve more deliberation. We have to weigh the pros and cons, the benefits and the risks, and then make a choice. Or maybe it all just becomes so overwhelming that we put the decision off until later or, in some cases, forever.
Two of the most important decisions I’ve made over the past decade are starting this blog and writing my book. I truly agonized over both of them. Who am I to write about obsessive-compulsive disorder? I don’t even have the disorder! What could I contribute that would possibly be of any value? I’m no expert. All I have are my own thoughts and experiences to share. People will laugh, or even worse, criticize me. They’ll get angry. Of course, I could go on and on. I had no shortage of reasons why I shouldn’t write about my family’s experiences with OCD.
But even with all my misgivings, I took the plunge. I had to. I owed it to myself and my son to try to find some meaning in his suffering from severe OCD. The results have gone way beyond my wildest dreams and in retrospect, my concerns about my “credentials” almost seem ludicrous. Being an expert is not what it’s about. My main goal, from the very beginning, has been to share our story so that others will find hope, and to spread the word that OCD, no matter how severe, is treatable.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I’ve written before about OCD and decision making, about how doubt is the cornerstone of OCD and how those with the disorder often struggle with making choices. But there is one decision, in my opinion, that all those with OCD need to make, and that is to get proper treatment. Maybe you’ve been mulling it over, considering it from all angles, and procrastinating. Maybe you feel you aren’t motivated enough, or it’s too scary. There’s so much to consider.
But really, there’s not. I have never heard anyone regret undergoing proper therapy for OCD, which includes exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. Indeed, most people wish they had done it sooner. Yes, decisions can be hard, but sometimes the most difficult ones bring us the greatest rewards. So if you haven’t already, please take the plunge. It might just be the most important decision of your life.