Let us be intentional with our time. We want to lean into the unknown, on purpose. It’s already unknown, and this is a good thing. We want to remember that we live with uncertainty everyday, and that this is good news, this is where our true respite is when dealing with OCD and anxiety. Try to take advantage of the time we have; for family, spirituality, exposure exercises, work, physical exercise, giving, loving, etc. Basically the areas and people that line up with how You want to spend your time. When we look back, we probably won’t regret giving that family member that extra hug, doing something kind for someone, or maybe reaching out to a person you care about that you would like to reconnect with.
I could write 93 extremely looooong blogs about our friend REGRET! I have given countless months and years trying to satisfy this cloud of darkness, trying to “fix” the “problems.” These jagged edges of OCD and anxiety can make us feel that we need to “do it just right” in the moment, whether that is trying to be in the present, doing exposures, or feeling as if we have to give the monster what it wants. With OCD, we know that truly being in the moment, and truly accepting what’s on our mind, that IS exposure. I know personally that this monster has so many damn layers and that it can often feel as if our skin is going to crawl forever. We can accept that this moment may suck, however this too will probably pass, it usually does. Notice the demon has showed up, accept that it’s there for this moment, and then gently pull your attention back to doing something you care about. Your significant other, family, friends, music, creativity, etc. Put your thoughts on paper or canvas, draw what this waste of space looks and feels like. It can be a helpful technique to realize that even though this darkness feels as if it’s made a permanent residence in our brain, we can remind these urges and fears that they will no longer be a tenant. We will be breaking the lease. We decide who gets to stay, again, we decide. They took up residence without our invitation. We can accept that they rented a space in our brain, but again, we’ve already paid, we will be choosing what gets to move into this space.
We can let this stuff come along for the ride that is our life. But let us just let them be, without giving into the demands; whether that’s rumination, rituals, or avoidance. Notice the thought, urge, or feeling, and come back to areas you care about, 3 seconds at a time. This stuff can fade into the background where it belongs, remember it feeds on our time and attention. We are not defined as a person by the OCD or anxiety, however it’s something difficult that we Are experiencing. You are stronger than you think. You are truly stronger than you think. It’s my job to be the annoying therapist and repeat things that I think can be helpful. Doing Exposure and Response Prevention with a therapist that specializes in OCD treatment is a great place to start.
“I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does.” The Smiths, How Soon is Now