“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” – Helen Keller
Exposure and Response Prevention techniques can help guide us to see that “outright exposure” can be the path to more freedom from OCD.
“don’t try to find the answer,
when there ain’t no question here,
brother let your heart be wounded,
and give no mercy to your fear”- the band, +Live+, Run to the Water
The band +Live+ has always been my favorite band. I resonate with a lot of their lyrics, energy and message. The quote above reminds me of acceptance and learning to lean into our fears. There is something to be said of letting our hearts and minds “be wounded” and continuing to lean into our fears. ACT therapy talks about the acceptance of what we are experiencing and then moving in the direction of what we value. Every time I hear this part of the song I cant help but think of OCD and the endless cycle of rumination and rituals. We often try to “find the answer” of why we have OCD or why we do the things we do to lessen our anxiety. We often need to go after what we fear most to gain relief from the monster of OCD. I think if there is a question and an answer to find it would be, “what is the core fear?” that we are trying so hard to avoid. Looking for the “core fear” and not the “root” of the problem seems to be the way to go. We can’t change the fact of having OCD, but we can change how we respond to it, and this is great news!! Chances are, a lot of our obsessions and compulsions could share a “core fear.” Continuing to chip away at this “core fear” can help us starve out the OCD and anxiety.