So many people rely on their gut feelings for big life decisions. I have never been able to trust mine. Most of the major decisions in my life have been hampered by OCD and so I’m never sure whether I’m unsure about something for a ‘real’ reason or an ‘OCD’ reason. This has led to most decisions being incredibly hard for me.
I remember driving to look at wedding dresses and on the way a little girl was standing by the lights waiting to cross the road. She was on the pavement but quite near the edge and I can remember driving past her and my OCD saying: ‘She was a bit close to the road, what if you’d hit her?’
From that point on the trip was completely pointless, as any dress I picked on that day would mean I would run over a little girl in the future. Writing it now it seems completely crazy, somehow my mind had catastrophized the event, then connected that to the dress shopping.
I quite often have to ask my husband whether a situation I am stressed about is something someone ‘normal’ would also be stressed about or whether it’s just my OCD.
Whilst cooking if something you’ve chopped lands on the floor, maybe a carrot which is going to be put into boiling water.
- A) Throw it away
- B) Throw it into the pot
If you got a take away coffee and the lid had a little mark on it would you:
- A) Not even notice it (my husband)
- B) Notice it but wipe it away and think nothing more of it
- C) Throw the coffee away because it’s probably something horrible that will kill you (sounds a bit extreme but this is what catastrophizing does.)
I wish I could share some easy advice on how to overcome these situations but unfortunately you have to face them head on. You do however have a wealth of tools to use against it:
To name just a few. If it helps, every time I have found the inner strength to fight one of these thoughts/compulsions I have felt better for it in the long run and every time I have let them win I have felt worse!
The thoughts don’t go away and actually your OCD mind learns and will use new intrusive thought against you in other situations. OCD is a huge bully which will use any ammunition you give it. Don’t let it!
Stay strong xx