OCD feeds off self doubt, loathing and negative thinking spirals. It will make you think you are the worst person in the world, that you are capable of horrible things and that you don’t deserve love and happiness. It will isolate you and drag you down if it can, so if you’re fighting this bastard every day like me then you have to get very good at telling it to go f*uck itself.
One of the best things you can do is simply like yourself (I’ve spoken about this a lot before), know who you are and don’t waver. You are a good person who deserves good things to come to you and you are stronger then the thoughts in your head, yep that’s all they are, thoughts, not even something tangible or real.
I’ve recently tried to take the next step in my recovery. For quite a while now I’ve been using my husband for reassurance when something happens that triggers an OCD spiral. It’s worked so well for me, whatever it is I’m stressing about whether it’s something that’s happened on the drive home or in the supermarket or wherever I just run it past him, he just shrugs and that’s reassurance enough for me to know that I’m worrying over nothing.
Now initially I didn’t even realise that this was a coping mechanism, it happened so organically over time. Then a while ago I read something that basically confirmed if you do this to relieve a thought then it is a ‘coping strategy’. Of course they’re right and ultimately I need to be able to process these thoughts on my own without my husbands help. So I’ve been doing my best to do this, I’m going to be honest it’s super tough, it takes me longer to remove the doubt feeling but it does go eventually which is reassuring.
Last night something happened when I was picking my kids up from pre school and I immediately started to catastrophise it in my head. I could feel the doubt pulling me down, all the ‘what if’s’ starting to flood into my head. My mood started to drop and I could hear myself becoming irritable and snappy.
I made a decision that I wasn’t going to talk to my husband about it and that I was just going to sit with it and not think on it. This was incredibly hard, I busied myself
with making tea when I got home and distracted myself as much as I could, the doubt feeling stayed with me all night, though it did start to loose it’s grip as time ticked on. This morning the thought has popped into my head a couple of times but I have been able to dismiss it relatively easily.
Something that has really helped me to remove the thought is choosing to put a positive slant on the situation rather then a negative one. I’m sure I’ve said this before but if you must catastrophise then do it positively! Realistically if you are going to live your life fully then you are going to come across situations that are going to trigger OCD thoughts, FACT it’s impossible not to. You cannot avoid them and you know what, even if you try to you will still hit them occasionally, avoiding OCD DOES NOT WORK (take my word for it, I’ve tried).
The best thing you can do is look at a situation and think on it positively. So don’t think ‘what if this could of happened‘ but think ‘that didn’t happen’ or ‘I reacted in the best way I could, now I know I can deal with the situation if it happens again in the future’.
Know you can’t control or predict everything and that that’s OK, you probably wouldn’t want to even if you had the choice. Know you are a good person and you will always do the best you can in any situation, that’s really all anyone can hope for. It takes so much strength to overcome these thoughts but you can do it I promise. Do not let OCD win, do not let it pull you down!
I really hope this helps, even getting it down is helping me process it. Writing the experience down even though hard can help detach it from your mind, you can then go and burn it if you wish! By writing it down it’s like an alternative to telling someone, it gets it out and then it’s gone, yes!
As always, Stay Strong xxx