Thanks for the new OT Bagels. I'll sub for sure.
edit: Just read through the OT. I guess I can share my progress since my last updates a good while ago.
I'm probably in the best place I have ever been OCD wise. I have managed to reach a point where I can almost 100% ignore intrusive thoughts, no matter how alarming, and no matter how strong the urge to obsess. It's been the most difficult thing I have ever done. I have had to undo years of damaging behaviour and response patterns, as well as face down years of built up obsessive baggage which has grown into a beast all in itself. Regardless, i'm doing it. It's not easy, but my ability to disregard the voice in my head and detach altogether is getting much easier given practice. In the last couple of months, I only recall a single instance of 'conventional' obsession on my part, and I managed to kick it within the space of a single evening. I still have off days where things are especially tough, but they occur only once or twice out of an entire month (if even), as opposed to every waking moment of every single day. For the most part, the intrusive thoughts are still with me daily, and sometimes manifest themselves quite aggresively. That said, I am reaching a point where they no longer have any power over me. I face them, and do not engage. I have effectively 'let go'. At least to the best of my ability. I can only hope to do even better in the future.
As a result of my signficiant improvement, I have regained control over my life to a degree I once thought impossible. I am capable of functioning at a totally normal level, aside from the increasingly rare dip. Sometimes I almost forget I have OCD at all. My healthy mental state has coincided with a move to a new city, where I will begin my Masters degree in the fall. In the meantime, I have spent these last few months heavily focused on self improvement and working towards reaching my full potential. I refuse to squander the gift that is freedom from the shackles of my mental illness, knowing all too well what it felt like to be a slave to OCD, unable to function properly or truly live life to the fullest. Over the summer, I have gone back to working on a third language, read and exercise daily, and spend time on my hobbies (cooking, musical instrument, writing). In addition, I have spent a good amount of time volunteering.
I value my good mental health and my increased mastery over my illness immensely, and will continue to make the most of it. I feel so much better in so many ways. I know my OCD won't ever go away, and it will always be lurking, ready to drag me back down should I let it. That said, having sought help and worked intensively towards gaining the knowledge and tools to overcome my OCD, i'm confident that I can handle whatever curveballs it throws. There will be off days in the future. I know it's inevitable. What matters isn't that my OCD manifests, or that I slip up. What matters is focusing all energy on getting out of the low periods and back to a healthy state.
I wish everyone the best. I hope my progress is a testament to the fact that things do get better. It's not easy, but it's the burden we bear. Stay strong and best of luck all.