So…how is my OCD holding up with all this stress in my life??
It’s flipping the monkey’s out! But, it’s just my quirky brain being…quirky.
Anxiety triggers my OCD, so I tend to experience more OCD episodes when I am stressed and anxious; especially, if I am not practicing stress management. Stress management helps me prevent annoying OCD episodes from occurring; however, when an OCD episode does occur, it is the practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques that allows me to easily breeze right through them without emotionally falling apart.
Emotionally Numb To My OCD
My OCD bully brain no longer bothers me. Personally, my OCD (Pure “O” OCD) is just a thing that happens…
My OCD is comparable to hiccups. They come and go, and there is nothing I can do about it.
I can’t really explain it.
Although I am not emotionally attached to my intrusive thoughts, intrusive thoughts still flood my brain and get stuck on repeat due to the faulty wiring of my brain (OCD). I still have moments of “what if?” I still feel the strong emotions. I still have irrational OCD fears. BUT, the difference, is that I am 100% self-aware that my thoughts and feelings are OCD.
I often, nonchalantly, tell my friends and family when I am currently experiencing an OCD episode. I am rarely ever embarrassed anymore. I also do not ask for reassurance from anyone, because I can now recognize and acknowledge that my own thoughts are irrational and/or silly. I know who I am as a person. I also know I am a person with a quirky OCD brain.
More importantly, I no longer dwell on the question, “Why am I having these kinds of thoughts.”
I think it’s the “why” that causes so much emotional suffering, because “why” questions our own character, making us feel like a bad person (when we aren’t), and it fuels self-doubt.
Control Anxiety, Control OCD
In my opinion, stress & anxiety are the root cause of OCD episodes. I practice a mix of Stress Management and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques to keep my OCD under control.
First, I had to learn to accept I have an OCD brain. Because the truth is, there is nothing we can do about how our brains are wired (well, not yet).
Also, it is important to understand that our intrusive thoughts do not define us. When we realize our OCD has nothing to do with us, we can begin to release the emotional ties we have with those lingering intrusive thoughts.
Thoughts are meaningless without action.
Sometimes, intrusive thoughts can be so overbearing, we may have difficulty recognizing that those intrusive thoughts are OCD related. So, it’s important to identify and understand the triggers to our OCD episodes (everyone is different). The reason for this, is not avoidance, but acceptance. Acceptance is a big part of stress-management and we must accept that nobody, not even normal brains, can control their own thoughts.
Recognizing triggers is a start to self-awareness, that gives us the power to make a choice. The power to be in control of our OCD. Either we avoid something that we know is going to trigger our OCD (which kind of limits our happiness) OR we accept our OCD is going to be triggered and we work through our OCD episode (if it occurs) fully aware of our thoughts and feelings. Being self-aware with “Hey, it’s just my quirky brain being OCD,” reduces our emotional attachments to intrusive thoughts and allows us to move on with our lives.
It is important to note, that everyone experiences OCD differently. Some are fully aware when they experience OCD episodes, they know all their triggers, they know everything there is to know about their own OCD, yet they are still emotionally suffering from their intrusive thoughts and feelings.
In my opinion, I believe emotional suffering continues, because we end up asking ourselves the wrong questions. It’s analyzing our thoughts and emotions to death that fuel our OCD.
Before I understood the relationship between my OCD and anxiety, I was asking myself all the wrong questions. Those questions led to more questions and eventually, I found myself dwelling deeper and deeper on my OCD thoughts and feelings, until I was completely consumed by self-doubt and thinking I was going insane.
I eventually learned, if the questions I am asking myself over and over are leading me in an endless circle of doubt, perhaps, I am just asking myself the wrong questions….
Questions That Are Perhaps Fueling OCD
- Why am I having these kinds of thoughts?
- Does this make me a terrible person?
- What if?
- Where are these fears coming from?
- Are these thoughts real?
Perhaps Questions To Ask Instead
- What am I anxious about? (Think about everything going on in your Life)
- What are the facts?
- Are these thoughts rational?
- What triggered my anxiety? (A change, even a slight change in something new)
- Is this something I can control?
Everyone’s OCD is different, so, this may be helpful or may not be helpful. My point is, when you’re not getting the results you want, it’s probably time to change up tactics.
If you find yourself walking in circles, STOP, and point your feet in a different direction; then start walking again-perhaps you’ll go somewhere new for a change.
You Got This!!
There was a time in my life, I thought I would never be happy. I struggled to imagine how anyone could ever get over such horrendous thoughts and feelings. There was a time in my life, I thought I was going insane.
Today, I am glad I took a stand against my OCD bully brain! It’s wasn’t easy. I am not cured of OCD, but I did manage to overcome the emotional suffering of my OCD. Hope does exist. It is possible, to live happily with OCD. It just takes a lot of work, understanding, and some OCD bully brain ass-kicking!
To everyone who has OCD, you got this!!