OCD: struggles with acceptance

I haven’t written on here in absolutely ages. About three months, in fact. I guess I just got out of the habit of it when I came back to the U.K. (I was abroad for several months with my main aim being to devote time to OCD research and recovery). Since coming home I have continued with that, but it’s been harder for several reasons:

⁃ big life change in returning to the U.K.

⁃ trying to ‘get my life back together’ in terms of jobs and working out where to live : it’s difficult to deal with this stuff at the same time as working on ERP/recovery (I’ll probably talk more about this shortly…)

⁃ facing old triggers that were either absent or less stressful when I was away, in the form of places (Sheffield, for example, where I used to live and where I was well, then unwell) and people (e.g. my parents, who I hate hurting with my struggles)

I’ve had some huge breakthroughs with exposure and response prevention techniques, but have struggled to maintain the perspective shift experienced during those moments of clarity, which has led me to more frustration, fear and, at times, despair. In those times, desperate to return to a healthy perspective free of anxiety, I’ve used ERP as a compulsion: if I just do what I did before, I’ll feel better, forgetting that what induced the perspective shift was acceptance of my thoughts, of uncertainty, of fear, of the possibility of dying, rather than using a particular technique to make myself feel better.

The thing I am currently struggling with is acceptance of the fact that I have OCD, instead of desperately trying to get rid of it. Ironically, desperately trying to get rid of it is what fuels it, and acceptance is what makes OCD subside and wither away at its core.

I’m getting quite triggered writing this: what if I can’t accept? I’ll have to kill myself/I’ll end up killing myself/I’ll never be okay and I can’t live with this so I’ll want to kill myself. Etc.

Trying not to reassure myself, but it’s hard.

2 comments

  1. Sounds like a full on thing dealing with it, but I like the idea of accepting it , and that being less exhausting than fighting it all the time. What impresses me the most is all the interesting stuff you do while dealing with it. Power to you xxx

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  2. In that I have managed suicidal OCD for over 20 years I can really identify with your post. I too have experienced seasons of unmanaged stress in which my anxiety has latched on to the thoughts of which you described inserting question marks about myself in regards to these thoughts. During these seasons I also have reacted with intolerance towards these thoughts which teally aggravated my condition. I had to make peace with myself in that there is a lot of research to support that all humans get obscure intrusive thoughts that we have. We however were born sensitive and analytical, two traits that make us wonderful parents, friend, spouses, etc.. However because we are human and am not immune to old ways of reacting we use these traits in a counterproductive manner establishing irrational conclusions about ourselves in regards to these thoughts creating a lot of frustration. The goods news is if we are capable of thinking ourselves into anxiety then we are capable of thinking ourselves out of anxiety. Please know that I have had the EXACT same thoughts and it’s ok. Reality is these thoughts do not represent you in the slightest bit. You have the resources in your path to significantly reduce the frustration associated with these thoughts. You are a champion. Feel free to contact me for support in that I have plenty of resources to share. Great job putting action behind your faith. God bless.

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