Quote from Guest on January 27, 2021, 3:01 am
I’m so sorry this is happening. Firstly, good on you for overcoming ocd twice. That means you know you can get relief! Secondly, ocd always kicks in when things matter to us bc it’s like an overprotective parent. Refuse to be surprised or disappointed when it shows up. Commit to disengaging from it ASAP instead. Like whack-a-mole.
OCD requires certainty when none exists. Everyone gets thoughts like these and everyone experiences feelings of shame, doubt, etc., I imagine you already know this. The problem then is that we are reacting to the way these thoughts make us feel, as if they are important and doing everything we can to make them go away. The more we react the more important they become. The trick to avoiding relapse is to refuse at the first sign of discomfort and doubt. Refuse to engage at all as engaging with that discomfort to alleviate will only lead to the cycle of it coming back and trying to reduce our discomfort again and again. We have to focus on changing our behavior instead of our feelings and teach ourselves that the brain wanders and if we allow it these feelings and thoughts are only temporary. Fleeting moments in our day. We all have bad days and mishaps and almost everyone who has ocd will have a bad day or bad week every once in awhile. Maybe a bad few months. OCD doesn’t go away in the sense that thoughts that cause you discomfort will no longer happen to you. If that was the case everyone in the world would have ocd. OCD goes away when you let that thought and discomfort come in and leave on its own. When you say “every time” you are saying you know how your ocd manifests. That’s a good thing! Focus on changing your behavior regardless of the feelings or emotions these thoughts bring instead of trying to get rid of them.
And start meditation. Most ocd therapists recommend it at the end of treatment. If you’ve done ERP before you are well aware of ocd and the mind tricks it plays so you should be in a good spot to be practicing daily mental exercise for mental health. Meditation is to the brain what cardio and weight lifting is to the body. One is for physical health and one is for mental health. It helps you change your relationship with thoughts and teaches you how to live in the moment regardless of your worries. It also helps you gently refocus your naturally wandering brain to what you want to focus on. This is what living in the moment is. And the more you become a passive observer of your brains natural processes the less personal these “attacks” seem. Many people find lapsing on their meditation brings on small episodes of obsessions and compulsions. Good mental health is not “the norm,” nor is it something that just exists. It is a skill that must be taught and strengthened and maintained. Someone who never goes to the gym will not have a fun time finding out they have to walk up twenty flights of stairs. In the same way someone who is not actively strengthening and maintaining their mental health will find it harder to deal with episodes of stress, doubt, uncertainty, etc,. You went on the intensive workout plan already to get you to a spot where you could utilize the tools you were given by yourself. Now get back in the gym and stay there. And remember that you can only build muscle by reaching for the heavier weights! Best wishes.
thetoolkitstore has a free meditation program you can check out. It was created by a guy who suffered from ocd although he has reached a point of seeing all of that as brain stuff. This is a good goal for you to try reaching. I hope this helps.