OCD – Responsibility

I expect there is an official term for this type of OCD but I’m not aware of it.  Basically it’s intrusive thoughts which occur when asking other people to do things for you.

for example: Say I asked my husband to go and pick something up from the shop for me, I would then have intrusive thoughts about all the things that could potentially happen to him on the way or whilst he’s there and I would then feel responsible for those things: I asked him to go, he’s only there because of me. Therefore I am responsible for anything that happens to him during this time.

This is another way OCD can isolate you very successfully, not only are you scared to go out yourself because of your OCD thoughts and anxieties, but you also become scared to ask anyone to help you in any way in case something happens to them, making you feel more and more alone.  OCD is such a bully, it wants you to be alone and suffering in your mental torment forever.  It can also make you come across as indecisive as you internally struggle with whether to get someone to drop the kids off at school or pick something up from the shops on the way home.

Unfortunately I don’t have an easy answer for this one either, sorry.  You just have to be stronger than it somehow.

  • Distraction is probably a good method, ask someone to do something and then do everything you can to keep yourself busy.
  • Having the knowledge that the other person has their own free will and that you cannot control everything.  I think that’s a big one with OCD and anxiety, you have to accept that you cannot control or know the outcome to everything and actually you probably wouldn’t want to given the choice.
  • Practice your mindfulness, be in the moment now and not in the unknown future worrying about things that will probably never happen.
  • Ride it out, anxiety can only be at it’s peak for a limited time, your body cannot sustain it for too long so breath and know it will pass.
  • Don’t catastrophise – which you obviously have if you’re in this situation.
  • Talk to someone, it could even be the person you’re worrying about.

Hopefully some of the above can help, I work on these things daily and slowly things get easier but it’s a long old road and some days it’s definitely tougher than others.  Remember you’re not alone and as always

Stay Strong xxx


OCD – Transference

So I’m not completely sure whether transference is the best term to describe this type of OCD but it feels like the best word to use for now.  When I think about OCD transference I think about a belief that someone else’s issues/problems can be ‘transferred’ onto you by just hearing about them/coming in to contact with them.  I would say it’s very closely linked to magical thinking OCD where there doesn’t have to be any actual factual link, your mind has just associated the two things together and triggered the anxiety and from then on you’re just back peddling.

I get this a lot, I mean A LOT.  It’s almost like when I hear something new, say on the news or in the paper I have to self assess myself to see if I am capable of what I’ve read or if there’s any event in my past that I can link to what I’ve seen.  Sometimes there’s even a fear that I could do what I’ve heard in the future.  So yes, it pretty much covers all bases.

Something I have found really helpful with getting through this type of OCD (which pretty much still hits me daily) is liking and believing  in yourself you have to know yourself incapable of unthinkable acts.  It does get a bit trickier when it’s something out of your control like a fear of contamination or a health issue.  We can spend so much time worrying about things happening to us that we forget to live.  This is probably one of the saddest things about OCD, I know I have missed out on a lot over the years through fear.  It’s so frustrating for me to look back now and I really try hard not to let it get to me anymore.

Having an awareness of what is happening can help, I’ve had OCD for a long time but I probably had it for nearly 10 years before I really understood what it was that was happening to me.  Without the understanding the anxiety and fears are more real because you just ‘go with them’, your body is telling you to be scared so you are.  I am now so aware of my irrational reactions to things that sometimes I am combating them before they even hit me.  Obviously it would be amazing to get to a stage where I have no reaction to the news etc but I’m not sure if this will ever be possible for me.  There’s only so much you can change the way your mind works.

So one of the things about transference is that a lot of them time you know the associated thought is irrational, I’m going to use an example sorry.

Say you have found out a friend has cancer, when you are hearing about it you think of yourself and then you have a fear that you will also get cancer unless you neutralise the thought with a ritual of some sort. 

You have transferred someone else’s issue onto yourself.  It’s quite a basic example but you get the general gist.  What can also happen for people with Pure O is that you realise the thought is irrational and you have to try and work out why your brain has linked it and why it’s completely irrational, therefore giving the thought time and making it stronger and more distracting.

I’m sitting here writing this now and I don’t like the fact that I’ve used myself in the example.  As by writing it my OCD is telling me that it could make it more likely to happen, which I know is completely irrational but still, the thought is there and I’m so tempted to change my example but I’m not going to!

It’s tough, this sort of OCD because you can’t avoid it, you have to face it.  Try to live in the now as much as you can, don’t think about the past, at all.  Try not to think too much about the future because you can’t truly know what is going to happen and you have limited control over it.  If you can take a  positive action then do it but otherwise let it be.

  • Make the most of what you have, write a thankful list each day to help you realise all of the good things that you have and how lucky you are.
  • Seek out the positives in life and don’t let other people drag you down.
  • Always do your best to fight the thoughts, it will get easier over time.
  • Use every tool you have to stay on course through your recovery.
  • Eat well and exercise if you can
  • Don’t use alcohol to drown out the thoughts, this never works!

Stay Strong xxx

OCD – Combating the affects

So I’ve had a little break from blogging over the last month.  Really because my life just got stupidly busy but also partly because I find it easier to blog when I am having an OCD ‘episode’ for want of a better word.  It’s much easier to be honest and helpful rather then preachy if I am experiencing what I am blogging about at the time.  I guess one of the only downsides of recovery is that this happens less often and therefore I have less to share.

I have a lot going on at the moment and I have found that it’s come with a barrage of OCD and anxiety, oh joy!  One of the upsides of being very busy though is that I don’t really have any time to give to the thoughts and so although they are coming at me, I am able to bat them away with relative success.  This is obviously also a result of a lot of hard work over the years as in the past it wouldn’t matter how busy I was, the thoughts would still consume me.

So even though I’ve been doing my best over the last month I have had a couple of little ‘blips’ which, luckily I have managed to shake off but still it’s a very unwelcome reminder of how easy it is to slip back and how all consuming OCD can be.

I think the word consume is quite fitting when it comes to OCD, when a thought gets me that I just can’t shake for one reason or another it feels like all the light, joy and happiness has been sucked out of my world and there is just an all consuming darkness which comes over me.  I would imagine this is a bit what depression must feel like too.  It doesn’t matter how much good stuff you have going on, you just can’t break free.

Getting things done while suffering from OCD has always been tough for me.  As each activity throughout the day normally has some sort of associated OCD thought.  It can be a lot easier to avoid doing anything, this is definitely something I still battle daily.

Confidence is something else that my OCD has robbed me of and I am really unsure about how I will ever truly rebuild this part of my personality.  It has been pretty much ripped to shreds by a mental illness which is completely relentless.

Right so I don’t mean to moan, this blog is all about finding ways to combat OCD, including all the things I’ve just mentioned above.

So we have the:

All consuming thoughts

Well if you have OCD you’ll know how hard it is to combat the all consuming thoughts, after all this is pretty much what OCD is.  I’ve talked about lots of ways to fight thoughts in this blog but I’ve got to say I think the some of the things that work the best for me are:

  • Be mindful, somehow bring your thoughts back to what is right in front of you and don’t let your mind wonder onto if’s, but’s or maybes.
  • Distract yourself with a new task/conversion/activity/anything to bring your mind  away from the intrusive thought.
  • Accept that the darkness/doubt feeling won’t lift straight away, you need to be patient with yourself
  • Breathe

The procrastination from fear

The procrastination unfortunately is something you just have to face head on.  There is no way around it, you just have to go through it.  I quite often find that the anticipation is worse than the actual event and that once you have got something done sometimes the thoughts just disappear.

Sometimes they don’t and you have to work on dismissing them the other end but if you move strongly from one task to the next and don’t give yourself time to think on the past event, then sometimes you can’t even remember what it is you were worrying about, how wonderful!  Being busy is definitely your friend and OCD knows this and tries to stop you doing things, don’t let it!

The lack of confidence

The confidence thing is something I really need to work on, because of my false memory OCD it is really hard to to truly believe and trust in myself and my own judgement.  There aren’t many people in this world who want to build you up and you really have to believe in yourself to succeed.  It’s something really worth working on, it’s all about baby steps I guess and knowing that you’re just as good as everyone else.  Don’t let that OCD bully knock you down.

I hope some of my thoughts have been of use, OCD really is an ongoing daily battle but it can really help to know you’re not battling it alone and so thanks for all the positive feedback.

Stay Strong xxx


OCD – Coping when you’re not 100%

So when you’re feeling on top of the world it can be relatively easy to stay on top of your mental health as well but what happens when something out of your control comes along and knocks you sideways, how are you supposed to cope?

I wouldn’t be surprised if a considerable number of people suffering from mental health issues have some sort of other health issue as well.  I personally have ulcerative colitis and I know when it flares up it definitely becomes tougher to hang onto that positive attitude which is so important in mental health recovery.

If you’re feeling generally tired/low it can be hard to find the energy to eat well, exercise or go out and see people.  If you’re unwell you might not even be able to do these things for yourself at all and through no fault of your own you can start to spiral downwards.  This has happened to me on a number of occasions and it really can turn into a vicious cycle if you’re not careful.

I feel low –  I eat badly – my stomach problems flare up –  I feel lower –  I don’t want to go anywhere – etc etc

and so I spiral down and down and the weight of it all just starts to devour me.

I’ve also learnt recently with my research into serotonin that digestive issues can effect the absorption of serotonin into the body.  So during a bad ulcerative colitis flare up this could be another factor affecting my mood and therefore recovery which I hadn’t considered before.  Looking after yourself is so important, particularly what you eat – but I realise not always easy.

So if you’re unwell and unable to get out and do all the usual fixes – exercise, socialising, etc what do you do to keep/get yourself back on track?

Well I definitely think it’s worthwhile having a think about this sort of situation before it actually occurs – if you can of course – and getting a plan of action in place.  Have a think about what you enjoy doing that is possible in the house, here are a few ideas:

  • Invite someone round
  • Phone someone who you enjoy talking to
  • Watch your favourite series
  • Read a favourite/new book
  • Listen to music/podcasts/audio books
  • Use a mindfulness app
  • If you’re creative you could draw/write/blog
  • Do your very best to avoid high sugar, quick fix foods such as takeaways, alcohol and caffeine.

If you have less time to plan and something has literally come from nowhere – maybe you’ve broken your leg – then try not to panic.  You may be fine, try to be calm and think about how you can set things up to work for you.  Long periods alone can be pretty tough to deal with for anyone but incredibly difficult for people with mental health problems, especially when you’re trying to process pain/discomfort as well.

Try to fill the time productively if you can, this always makes me feel more positive and like I’ve achieved something.  Accept that you will probably have low points but that they will pass.

Remember recovery is an ongoing process, some days will be better than others.  Maybe you could blog about your experience, get it all out.  This can be incredibly cathartic and no one else has to read it, it can just be for you.  If you do want to share your story perhaps it will help someone else in the same situation. Now that will definitely make you feel good.

As always, Stay Strong xxx


OCD – Recovery & Serotonin

I’ve talked about recovery not being a straight line quite a bit recently but it is so important to remember for anyone going through a mental illness.  You will have good days and bad days, sometimes I feel like I’ve got it all sorted, I feel positive and hopeful and I can’t even remember what it feels like to have OCD at all!  Other days my OCD can be triggered without any warning by the smallest thing, it can hit me quite suddenly and from the most random of places and this can really knock my confidence.

For times like this it’s good to have a plan of action in place and I’ve found over time it does get easier to get through these periods.  With practice, a plan, my knowledge of recovery and the methods to use I’m getting there but frustratingly for me I can’t seem to avoid my OCD completely.

Now I don’t really know anything about the brain science behind OCD but I am 100% convinced that when I get hit by my OCD, a chemical change occurs in my brain.  It’s almost like someone covers me with a black veil and I just can’t see out of it, no matter how hard I try to think positively and do all the things that are good to dismiss the thoughts, this huge veil of doubt just sits on top of me and I cannot shift it.  On top of this I find the next day I am anxious and unable to concentrate easily, my brain just won’t focus on anything and I get incredibly restless and distracted, almost like it is recovering from the affects of the previous days veil.

This happened to me just yesterday, all triggered by something in my yogurt which I didn’t recognise and there was just nothing I could do to stop it rolling in. I didn’t let the thought linger and therefore today I don’t feel the ‘doubt veil’ anymore but currently I am trying to work through the anxiety sitting in my chest and the restlessness which just won’t let me focus.  I am at work finding it really hard – hence why I am writing this rather than working.  I’m hoping by writing it down I will be able to let it go and move on but I only have so much power over the internal workings of my body unfortunately.


I haven’t mentioned medication much, if at all on this site.  I’m not a huge one for popping pills but I did try SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor’s) for a brief period of time.  The only thing I found they helped me with – hence why I’m bringing them up now –  was the ‘doubt veil’ which comes over me.  Logically if you don’t have that doubt, then the thoughts are easier to dismiss and recovery is easier but I think I always reasoned that I didn’t want to be on them forever and at some point I would have to face the veil myself anyway and so I stopped taking any medication a few years ago.  I do however think it has it’s place and I know it helps a lot of people through really tough times.  It’s a very personal decision.

I’m not sure if I have any advice particularly on how to fight these episodes, all I can say is by having a plan of action and trusting the tools you have to fight the thoughts, you will come out the other side quicker each time but it can be very hard when you are in the throws of a thought to believe this I know!

Natural serotonin production

We all know serotonin is the happy hormone and SSRIs are designed to stop the re-uptake of it but there are natural ways you can increase and maintain this hormone.  I’ve been doing a bit of research myself on this subject as I’m really interested in how to increase it naturally.  Here are some of the ideas I got from a quick google and the reference link they’re from if you want a bit more information:

  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Sunshine/bright lights
  • General positivity
  • A massage
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced sugar
  • Emotional healing
  • Focus/Sense of achievement

reference link – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/

Looking down the list there’s nothing particularly new here, we all know in the back of our minds whats good for us but I think when you’re feeling low it becomes incredibly hard to look after yourself properly which is of course at the exact time when you need to most.

So how to fit some of these things into your daily routine?

  • I think we all know exercise is good for us but it can sometimes be hard to get motivated particularly when you’re feeling low/out of sorts.  I am going to start with a daily walk as this knocks two of the items off the above list: exercise and sunshine.
  • I also love that general positivity is on the list, by having a more positive outlook this then comes back to you and rewards you, how wonderful.
  • I’ve recently found that a sense of achievement really helps with my overall fulfilment and therefore well being as well.  I have started working towards a music exam which I have been meaning to get for years.  The fact that I am getting closer to achieving it rather then continuing to put it off has really improved my sense of self worth.
  • You could probably group together reduced stress and a massage if you feel like giving yourself a treat as well.

So hopefully some of this has been helpful, as always we’re all in this together.

Stay Strong xxx



Pure O

So here we are with another OCD classification, there really are a whole world of subcategories aren’t there but you know when you’re suffering from OCD you probably have no idea about which subcategory you fall under and actually it’s not hugely important.  OCD can actually morph as well, when I was younger I had a lot of physical compulsions but nowadays 99% of my OCD would be classed as ‘Pure O’ I guess.

Pure O is when your OCD is internalised and you don’t really have any compulsions.  I would guess it’s more common in adults (though I have no evidence to support this) than children as I would say adults are generally more socially aware and better at hiding things, especially over time.

It’s also potentially a more dangerous form of the disorder as well, as if someone is particularly practised at hiding it, you can have no idea they have it and that person can suffer in silence for years and probably will, as if they’ve gone to such extreme levels to hide the thoughts then they’re probably ashamed of them.

So how can you tell if someone is suffering from ‘Pure O’?  I think my biggest tell was always mood swings, if a thought hit me that I couldn’t shake I would become quite withdrawn but if this wasn’t possible for a some reason then I would get very touchy as trying to rationalise a thought while trying to behave ‘normally’ is well, impossible to be honest.

People will not want to just open up and tell you what they’re thinking if it’s already causing a massive level of distress.  To get someone out of one of these episodes is tough.  Thoughts can take hold for days, weeks, months sometimes.  I’ve had to  come home from holidays in the past because I just can’t break out of the spiral and have been unable to go out or do anything,

OCD can be so terrifying and at times like these suicidal thoughts are not far from your mind, anything to stop the thoughts and associated anxiety!

So that was all a bit dark, sorry about that but I wanted to try and get across to anyone reading this who’s not suffering from OCD how scary it can be.  I’ve purposefully not put any of my personal thoughts in there so as not to trigger anything for anyone.

Different people find different ways of breaking out of ‘Pure O’, for me it has been a mixture of things.  Something that really helped me initially was talking to my CBT councillor.  Just by voicing the thoughts out loud and to see her completely non judgemental face sitting opposite me was amazing.  Thoughts I couldn’t even bear to think of, she just confirmed were completely normal – what a revelation!

I had a course of CBT therapy, I haven’t spoken much about CBT on this blog so far, personally for me it didn’t work.  Now I don’t want to bad mouth it in any way as I know it’s helped a huge amount of people but for me it just wasn’t the right method.

Some things that have helped me are:

  • Mindfulness, amazing!  Not the deep meditation sort but the bringing your mind back to the present moment sort.
  • Distraction – best thing ever
  • Structure, work and routine – has saved me on numerous occasions.
  • Socialising – interacting with others and not being stuck in your own thoughts, never underestimate how important this is.
  • The knowledge that the thought will eventually pass – even though sometimes it feels like it will never, ever go and actually the thought itself may not but your anxiety levels will.  I still get intrusive thoughts daily but everyone does – it is ‘normal’, never forget that, they’re not going to disappear you will just be able to dismiss them more easily.
  • Take good care of yourself and like yourself – I seem to say this one a lot but it’s so true and I seem to constantly need reminding of it myself!
  • Don’t drink the thoughts anyway, this is a short term fix which DOES NOT WORK!!!!!!
  • Talk to someone!  Remember you are not alone, someone else is probably having the same thought as you right this second and suffering in silence as well – how annoying is that – if only you knew and you could reach out to them, you could both laugh about it together, please talk to someone if you can.


Opening a conversion with someone who has OCD

If you think you know someone who may be suffering and you’re not sure how to start a conversion with them then offer them an indirect opportunity to talk, sometimes this can be easier for people, something like:

  • ‘I’ve been reading this amazing blog/book/article recently about OCD……….’
  • ‘Have you seen that celebrity_________ she/he has been talking about their OCD………’
  • ‘My ______ has recently told me they’ve been suffering from OCD, I’m so glad they opened up to me, now they’re getting help’

All these approaches are not direct and allow the person to open up a conversion more easily if they feel they want to talk.  Speaking from experience if someone says to me, ‘how are you?’ the automatic response is normally ‘I’m fine’, when sometimes that’s not the case.

Sending love to all today, I know it can be so tough

Stay Strong xxx


OCD – The Grey Area

I have recently been exploring the OCD community a bit more.  Looking out for new resources and ideas for continued recovery is always a good idea.  In the past I’ve been quite scared of other OCD blogs and forums as I have had times where I’ve just been reading about other peoples OCD thoughts and experiences and this has sometimes made my OCD worse – not what I went looking for.  However as I’ve gotten stronger my curiosity about who else is out there, fighting the OCD battle has been piqued so to say.

Today I was listening to a podcast from the OCD stories website, a fantastic resource which I would definitely recommend.  It was episode 104 of their podcast and something that Dr Elizabeth McIngvale said that really struck me.  She said ‘OCD isn’t black and white’.  Wow I thought, now this can be applied to OCD on so many levels.

I think when you have OCD you do think about a lot of things as being black and white, especially if you catastrophise things.  Always jumping to the worst outcome and blocking out any other possibilities, OCD feeds off your darkest fears – definitely black.  So if we can remember to pull back when a thought hits and remember that life is actually made up of lots of shades of grey rather then extremes then this could help to lessen the strength of the thought.

Another time when it’s easy to think of things in black and white – when you really shouldn’t (which was also touched on in the podcast) is through your recovery.  One bad day or compulsion which you give into, does not mean you’re back to square one.  Be calm about it, take note of why it happened, do something about it if you can and then move on. Don’t feel guilty or upset, just let it go.  Easier said then done I realise but the less time you give the thought to begin with, the easier it will just slip away, never to return.

It can be easy to want OCD to vanish completely and for some people I believe it does but an acceptance of the fact that you may sit in the grey area for ever is important and that that’s actually ok.  Afterall it’s ‘normal’ to have intrusive thoughts, it’s just your ability to process them that is the issue.

I believe it’s really important to keep in mind that one in four people at any one time is suffering from some sort of mental health issue and so you are more normal then you think.  We, most of us are floating along in the grey area which always makes me feel less alone.

Stay Strong xxx

OCD – Food

The title ‘Food’ probably sounds all a bit random but for me if has been one of my long standing OCD ‘issues’ which annoyingly I’m STILL fighting to this day.

Over the years some of my OCD intrusive thoughts and habits have become really ingrained in me and they’re so annoyingly hard to crack, argh!  Driving is one of them – so many variations on one theme – and food is definitely another.  There are just so many different ways that you can obsess over food.

It’s hard to give examples without going down the rabbit hole (which I promised not to do on this site) but just as a couple of random samples (please feel free to skip over the next two paragraphs if you feel this could trigger your OCD):

1: Today for instance (hence what prompted this post) when I came to open the meat I was using to make a stew the top of the packet was slightly loose.  Now I’m more then aware this probably happened when I was getting it out of the freezer and that it’s absolutely fine but that didn’t stop my intrusive thoughts going off on all kind of possibilities about how the meat might not have been sealed properly when it was packed and all manor of bacteria etc etc might have gotten in, blah blah blah.

2: The other day I threw an entire meal in the bin because I had burnt it slightly and I just couldn’t get past it.

Right examples over I promise, I will not share anymore of my intrusive thoughts. 

Needless to say this has been a real issue for me over the years and still is.  I think it has been harder since I have been cooking for my little boy as well.  It makes fighting the thoughts even trickier as I’m not just saying ‘I don’t mind eating burnt food’, I also have to justify in my head serving it to the most important person in my life, this makes things really hard.

So last week I failed and the entire meal went in the bin – not for the first time I’m sad to say.  I cringe at the waste when there are people in this world with hardly anything.  I get annoyed at myself for giving into the OCD again.  It makes me sad that something I should enjoy – cooking – I now find quite stressful.

So today I didn’t give in and I cooked and ate the stew.  I battled my intrusive thoughts for half the day as a result but I am proud that I did – as hard as it was.  Will I be able to fight it next time, I don’t know but I will keep fighting and maybe one day the thoughts won’t even come and I won’t have to fight it at all, now that’s something to aim for.

Stay Strong xxx

Happy New Year!

So we made it to 2018, woohoo!  For most people the festive period is a time to celebrate and relax but I am more then aware that when you have a mental illness a big break in routine can be terrifying, especially if you don’t have the required support at home.

I’ve talked before about having a plan of action in place for this sort of event.  It’s also important to not let yourself fall backwards or be tempted by things you know may make the situation worse, such as drinking too much.  Try as hard as you can to be in control.    Not always easy I realise.

Know what your triggers are and do your best to avoid them.  If you can’t avoid them completely then prepare for them but don’t overthink it, this can cause anxiety in itself.

If you know for example, that you will be on your own the whole of Saturday then plan in things you enjoy to break the day up.  Go for a walk, do some baking, sewing, watch a movie (always a good way to use up 2-3 hours), read.  Identify the things that you find relaxing and have a day to enjoy them.

If you find your OCD sneaking in, change the activity or distract your mind with something new.  Call a friend or family member for a chat if you can.  If that’s not possible try to think of a time when you did feel calm and relaxed and know that the anxiety and thoughts will pass with time.  Know that the body is unable to sustain heightened emotions and anxiety for long periods of time and breath through them.

I now realise that potentially this post has come a week to late and I’m sorry about that, it has been an especially busy Christmas period this year.

Looking forward to 2018 and all the new opportunities to beat OCD and become stronger.  The great thing about new year is that it’s a fresh start but don’t get too caught up in the whirlwind as it can put a lot of pressure on you.  Setting a new years resolution of

I will fight every OCD thought which comes into my head this year and win

can really be setting yourself up to fail.  If you want to set targets, make them realistic and always remember to take every day one step at a time and that each day can be a new beginning as well as each new year!

I still fight every day and every day it gets easier but I’m sure this year will hold some new challenges for me, I will do my best to continue to share successful strategies as much as I can.  We must all go forward knowing we can win!

Stay Strong xxx

OCD – Driving

So this has been a huge one for me over the years and it still affects me today.  I guess with OCD there’s an element of wanting to control as much of your surroundings as possible and when it comes to driving, even though you have control over the car itself, you have no control over anyone else on the road, pavement, carpark etc etc and so my OCD is able to go a bit crazy.

Checking mirrors multiple times, not driving to certain places because I don’t like the road or car park, avoiding driving at night and driving back to check roads where I’m sure that a pot hole was me driving over a person/animal.  I’ve done it all through the years and at times I’ve felt like giving up driving completely  – luckily I am a bit stubborn.

I do think there are lots of crossovers with this one.  I definitely know people who also get quite anxious and worried about driving in general, who don’t have OCD but the difference is when they get to their destination, they can switch off and know they arrived safely.

For me I find I’m calmer in the car but once I’m done and get out, that’s when the OCD thoughts start to kick in.  Obviously I can’t remember every single step of the journey therefore how can I know that I didn’t hit anyone/thing etc etc.  For me this has been one of the most limiting parts of my OCD, its stopped me going places, seeing friends, it’s trapped me in the house for days at a time, while I wait for the police to come and arrest me, so they can tell me what I’ve actually done.  Gosh writing it down sounds crazy but when you’re going through it, it feels so real.

However on a brighter note I do believe I’ve made progress when it comes to driving this past year.  I’ve had to push myself to go to places I would of previously avoided, which has pushed me to face my fears.  Sadly as with most of the things that cause us stress, facing them head on is normally the solution.

Talking to my husband about the thing that’s stressing me out has also helped, particularly if he’s in the car at the time, as he will know whether it’s happened or not – this one should be used with caution, as obviously there won’t always be someone else in the car and you need to be able to overcome your fears on your own but sometimes just saying it out load can diminish the thoughts power over you.

Trusting yourself is another solution, this one can be really hard but knowing that you are a good driver and will be able to react to changing situations if you come upon them is essential for confident driving.

Knowing that it’s actually more dangerous to be continually checking your mirrors and not concentrating on the road ahead properly.

One of the things that makes driving particularly tricky to master is that it’s a constantly changing situation, every time you go out in the car the circumstances will be different.  You have to learn to trust yourself and your reactions.

As with most of the things I blog about, I am still wading my way through them myself, so I hope the above has been helpful.  As I find new ways of coping with driving, I will share them on here to try and help others.  Please feel free to share any tips you have for overcoming driving with OCD in the comments below.

Stay Strong xxx