This is one of the saddest things about OCD for me. When I look back over the last 20 plus years of my life and realise all of the opportunities I’ve missed just because of ‘The OCD Fear’ of; going places, driving, watching the news, reading the paper, reading books, some days even stepping out of the front door, I could go on and on and on! So many things lost. Even my friendships and relationships have been massively impacted because there’s always some sort of OCD monologue going on in the background getting in my damn way!
Mindfulness has been a fantastic tool for dealing with this in recent months but I still find myself avoiding things such as the news because I know if I hear one really upsetting thing I won’t be able to get it out of my head for the rest of the day. In fact if it is something that has happened locally sometimes my OCD can even start to make me believe I might have been involved in some way, madness I know, but yet somehow OCD can make it all plausible.
However more recently I’ve gotten a lot stronger, using mindfulness I am able to dismiss my OCD thoughts more easily then I used to. Also I have been working a lot on liking myself something that seems so simple but actually the better you know yourself and the more you like the person you are the less capable of these terrible thoughts you will feel.
So my advice would be to get to know yourself better, write down the things you like about yourself, if you’re finding this hard ask someone close to you what they like about you and write that down. Read these things when you’re feeling low. Always keep in mind that the fact that these thoughts disturb you means you know the actions are wrong and you would never act of them. Remember, Everyone has intrusive thoughts.
Sometimes it feels easier to let the thoughts win but if you do this they will never go away. I like to think I’m pretty strong nowadays but I still have the odd OCD compulsion which has actually become so natural to me that I forget I do it and that it’s even OCD at all. One in particular that springs to mind is that I always rip off the first piece of toilet roll through fear it may have been contaminated in some way.
My pledge this week is that I am going to try and stop that compulsion bringing me just one more step closer to beating my OCD! Maybe you could try and beat just one of your OCD compulsions too and let me know how you get on. If you need any additional motivation this week, just think of one of the memories/opportunities OCD has stolen from you and say NO, you’re not having anymore of my life OCD!
Stay strong people!