Your Personal Support Network
Another important step toward well-being is to surround yourself with sympathetic and supportive people. How do you do that? By choosing them, of course!
Obviously, you can't choose everyone in your life — parents, for instance, or siblings — but you can do a lot with the choices you do have. For example,
You may not be able to choose your coworkers, but you can choose friends from among them, and from other departments within your company.
You can't necessarily choose your boss, but you can choose to work for a different boss.
You may not be able to choose your parents or other family members, but you can choose the way you try to educate them about OCD.
And you definitely can choose roommates, friends, your spouse or significant other, your beautician, mechanic, physician, dentist, and other people you will deal with on a regular basis.
Choose people who will applaud your successes or sympathize with your struggles.
One thing to keep in mind: Once your OCD is largely under control, you may actually find yourself feeling depressed. Why? One reason may be that OCD's obsessions and rituals demanded a lot of your time and attention; they will have become the focus of daily life, at least for some people. You might find that suddenly, you have more time, and it can feel like a vast void that will now have to be filled. Be sure to talk with your therapist about these feelings, so you can learn to manage them before they get out of hand.
Staying in Shape, Emotionally
If we were to give you our best advice for keeping OC symptoms to a minimum once you've begun treatment, it would be this:
Keep busy. Nothing defeats OCD more soundly than purposeful activity.
Exercise at least one half hour every day, at least six days a week.
Consciously resist compulsions.
Pay as little attention as you can to obsessions. Talk back to your inner voice and tell it that whatever you're worried about simply isn't true.
Continue to learn as much as you can about OCD. You might find that every case sounds more or less like yours, and that might serve to diminish a lot of the old dictator's power.