Defined by you

Don’t let the emotional demons define you. You may be a person that wrestles with emotional difficulties, some more than others. The good news is that we are in this together. It often doesn’t feel this way, I truly get it. But let us lean forward and try to add good to our lives and the world, support each other through the roadblocks and detours of life. Our emotional demons don’t define us. We can choose to fight OCD by not fighting it. It’s a surrender that helps us keep moving ahead. Surrender doesn’t mean we stop, the surrender means that we stop feeling like we have to respond to the thoughts, urges, or images that pop in our head. Let’s do what we can to enjoy our lives.

Jeremy Rudd

“Burnt to the core, but not broken.” +Live+, Run to the Water

Spring Break?

Spring break means different things to different people. For some it’s a week off of school. For others it may be some vacation on a ski slope or maybe on a beach somewhere. For some it may mean nothing changes in their life, work, school or life may look the same. For some it may not feel like a “break” at all. Some may spend their time in the spring financially broke, just as they did last season. With the spring season around the corner, we get hit with comments about spring break and springing forward, and depending on where you live, maybe a positive change in weather. Let us try and be grateful for what we have for today. Let us remember those that are no longer with us and try to show kindness towards those that we still can.

Life gives us these many waves of emotions that have us experiencing everything from laughter to immense emotional pain. It is a reality that a lot of people experience incredible amounts of physical and mental pain. Let us be kind to ourselves and others as we navigate the aspects of physical pain as well as navigating this war zone in our mind. I feel spring, as well as any other day on the calendar, is a great time to “break” a habit or destructive behavior. With OCD, we know that breaking up the behavior of rituals is what often helps us find more peace. We know that some of our destructive habits only lead us into more pain and darkness, this cycle is often extremely hard to break. Let us lean on others who can help guide us through these trees of confusion, because they themselves have lived in the “forest.” Death, trauma, drama, gossip, layoffs, broken promises, destruction, mental and physical illness, the list is endless. We may have seen enough darkness for 10 lifetimes. But let us try to look these demons dead in the eyes, lets try and do what we can to process through them. On this chaotic journey we call life, we often step out in faith and embrace the dark so that we can see the light again. Let’s spring forward and “break” up the behaviors that keep us stuck. Hang in there.

Jeremy Rudd


Good Enough??

We often try to get it “just right.” Our brain often says it’s all or nothing, clean or dirty, broken or fixed. We want to be mindful of the gray areas. We know this is crucial for peace from OCD and anxiety. This is where living is located. The more time we spend in the gray, the more time we get to actually live our lives in areas we care about. What will we do with our time we have left? Let this be exciting and embrace the unknown. I’m not trying to sound like science fiction. 🙂 This unknown, this uncertain mystery, it doesn’t have be a dreadful thing that we avoid. Just as an upcoming situation in life can seem really difficult, it can also end up being a really positive thing. We don’t know yet, and that’s a good thing. We may want to improve in many areas of our lives, moving towards values and goals are often a good GPS for us. We also want to remember that “good enough” is something we will want to accept over and over in our thought patterns when dealing with OCD. OCD can try to muck up these situations on a regular basis. Getting it “just right”, or “perfect”……. it will never be enough. We are only telling our brain to expect the same thing next time, and the next time will also fall short.

Compulsions are the proof that we can expect more of the same. Let the demons fall short, let’s break the cyclical patterns, let that situation be “good enough.” Whether this was sending an email or apologizing to a loved one. If we are seeing the typical OCD pattern, let our choices be “good enough.” We are not dodging responsibility or moving away from what we value, we just want to be aware of this never satisfied critic on our shoulder. The critic isn’t interested in good enough and gray. Watch the critic fade away as we move towards uncertainty and what we care about.

Jeremy Rudd

“I don’t have to pretend, She doesn’t expect it from me.” Sarah McLachlan, Good Enough

Tears and Smiles on a Birthday

We are often reminded of how short life is. We are constantly hearing cliches and basic wisdom that we may take for granted because it’s so damn easy to get caught up in the chaos of our planet. When the emotional demons are using a blow torch on our brain, some days it feels impossible to keep going. Moving forward, one moment at a time, in the area of people and activities we care about, can be a very helpful, and realistic, way to go about this journey. These practices can be a way to “keep it simple” on the days where it hurts like hell to even breathe. We may feel like we are truly stuck and that there is no light in sight. We often have to embrace this darkness so that we can begin to see more light. No matter what the emotional demons are trying to tell us to do; more compulsions, negative impulses, or maybe an avoidance that ends up making things worse, let’s do our best to keep pushing forward, truly attempting to keep pushing forward. Let’s do what we can to add our positive influence to this world while we are still here. I feel that we deserve to enjoy what we can, have we not suffered long enough?!

My brother in law passed away 2 years ago from a brutal battle with cancer. Today is his 43rd birthday. Just wanted to give a shout out to a truly great human being, Tyler McGuire. Regardless of his circumstance, he kept pushing forward. His influence on my life helps me daily as a therapist attempting to help others. We often have So much positive impact on other people in our life and we may not even realize it. Tyler is a good example of this. His spirit and values continue to be spread in a positive way in the world. We miss you dearly, BIL. Life will never be the same without you here on earth. We look forward to seeing you on the other side. Thanks for being you. Thanks for spreading endless amounts of love, laughter and goodness in those short 41 years. Veritas.

Jeremy Rudd

“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”- Charles Dickens

Under New Management


Let us do our best to seize the day and enjoy what we can even though the emotional demons often try to build a campsite in our brain. Cliches remind of us how we only have this moment and that tomorrow is not promised to us. Emotional stress would often lead me to thinking that “it’s too late” to pursue goals or too late to tell that person how much you mean to them. In a way, I had to tell my brain that now is better than never. This seems like an obvious, but we can often add anxiety and regret to a situation that already was filled with anxiety and regret. Fuel to the fire. It took me several years, but I finally “Learned” that I would never get it all figured out in this lifetime. Of course I knew that there is always more to learn, but the Obsessive Compulsive Manager in my brain constantly tried to fix or figure out what I was thinking or faced with. I eventually told my brain that it was “under new management” and that I was gonna have to be okay with not fixing this stuff. Most of this garbage didn’t need to be fixed anyway, it just felt that way. Exposure Response Prevention became a helpful tool.

As Dr. Phil says: “life is managed, not cured.” The emotional demons that we wrestle with obviously fall under this category. Often we look for the all or nothing answer. Either we have this stuff beat or we don’t. Either we are getting better or getting worse. Again, a lot of the relief is in the gray areas. We can make huge strides in life, then a tough moment or difficult day happens, and it feels like we ran a 5k in the wrong direction. Let’s give ourselves a break and a reminder of the strength it takes to live with this exhausting circus in our head.

I was walking my dog recently and came across a snake that had already passed away. I have often told my friends and family that I would rather play patty cake with a grizzly bear than hold a non-poisinous snake. Even though I know this is irrational, my brain tells me otherwise. I have a true fear of snakes. I reminded myself that this stuff is “managed” and sometimes the snake will try to rear it’s head. I knew from experience that further exposure was needed.  My exposure in the moment was to walk near the snake and purposely spend some extra time looking at it’s lifeless body. Just like OCD, we can often know the things in our mind are irrational, but feeling like we have to perform another compulsion, or use avoidance, this is an extremely powerful feeling. Telling myself that the snake was not alive, using logic, that wasn’t going to be enough in that moment. My brain acted like the snake had asked to take a nap in my hand. The anxiety was still there, so I purposely spent more time looking at the snake. It was difficult, but doable. It’s not always easy, but we are often way stronger than we realize. Letting ourselves experience this uncomfortable feeling, and “learning” that we can tolerate this, it’s all part of it. I guess it’s part of being “under new management. ” 🙂

Jeremy Rudd

“It’s the rattlesnake I fear.” Live, Rattlesnake



We know that OCD rituals are often done in our head. It’s still a compulsion or a ritual whether we are doing a mental ritual, or something outward like: excessive hand washing, checking the stove, turning off light switches a certain way, etc. OCD can be pure torment, I know this first hand. The good news is that Exposure and Response Prevention can help put the OCD behind us. With mental rituals we can, and often do,”perform” these in a split second. It’s automatic at times and can be very frustrating to try and conquer. We want to remember that we aren’t trying to stop our thoughts, this doesn’t work, we just want them to fall in the background like that song playing at a restaurant that we aren’t even paying attention to.

OCD often involves rumination and this is another dead end road. Rumination is when we get hyper focused on our negative thinking. We start to overanalyze what is going on in our brain and in our life. “Why is this happening, what’s causing this? Is this actually OCD? What’s going to happen? Do I need to respond differently this time?” It’s exhausting and can be gut wrenching. Then all we have is a big bag of nothing to show for it, it gets us nowhere. Rumination is the road to nowhere. I have many decades experience in this area. If rumination was a stomach exercise, I would have really nice abs. 🙂 In honor of OCD Awareness Week, through the International OCD Foundation, let’s notice when we start to ruminate and remind ourselves that this is only adding to our OCD stress, anxiety, depression, etc. I know that it is easier said than done, however with practice, we can gain some traction in the other direction, which is where we want to go. Hang in there.

Jeremy Rudd

“The Road to Nowhere leads to me.”   “Road to Nowhere” -Ozzy Osbourne

Falling Forward


It has become cliche to say: “never give up.” These cliches stick around for a reason. There is obviously a lot of knowledge and simplicity involved in a cliche. When we are dealing with emotional struggles, internal demons, chronic pain, OCD, grief, etc., a simple and practical reminder can be a real blessing.

If we keep leaning into people and activities that we care about, regardless of what negative things are occupying our brain, we are doing our best to create a life we want. We will fall. Sometimes we will just bruise our patella, and other times the fall could hurt even worse. Broken bones, broken relationships, or maybe broken hearts. We want to keep moving forward, as much as we can, no matter what. Sometimes it will hurt like hell, there is no doubt about that. But if we keep moving forward, going after a life we value, when we fall, we fall in a direction we care about. It’s better to try to enjoy our lives than to isolate from what and who we care about. This sounds incredibly obvious, but as we know with depression and anxiety, this is such an easy trap to fall into. Staying home or avoidance of a situation may feel better in the short term, however we know what often comes after we do this. Guilt, shame, regret, and all of their other pain in the neck relatives. Just like with OCD, we let the fear or “off” feeling be there and respond differently by not doing the rituals and compulsions. If we face a situation in grief, or if we finally start going back to exercising, the uncomfortable part will be present, but we can see it lessen more and more if we keep pushing ahead and not avoiding. We build on this momentum and we start to fall and snowball in a direction we care about, forward.

Let’s do our best not to let the text message that was not returned ruin our day. Enjoy our day as much as possible, regardless of what we have going on, this is our best option. Let’s try to enjoy the moment regardless of how many likes we get on some social media platform. We often see with OCD, impulsive behaviors, trying to be certain, etc., it’s never enough, ever. We need to find our area of the gray where we can move forward, and live, in spite of all our demons. Things are rarely black and white. Most of life is uncertain and in the gray. I promise, this is really good news. Let’s keep falling forward and leaning on each other in the process. Talk with you soon.

Jeremy Rudd

“I had better keep…… rolling on.” Israel Nash- “Rolling On”

It Takes Our Time

Whether we are dealing with OCD or some other emotional struggle, it often robs us of our time on earth that we cannot get back. That sucks, period. We have seen that by accepting this fact, we now have a better shot at doing something about it. If we continue to deny this, or talk about unfair it is, we rob ourselves of more time by not accepting it and trying to work through it. There is no doubt that life is not fair. We see countless examples of this all over the world. If we are battling OCD, working through grief, or dealing with a difficult situation at work, these are all examples of struggles that are taking up our time. We may complain about them, try to fix them with rituals, or maybe they completely drain us where we leave little time to actually enjoy our lives. We are only human and this is where these paths often lead us. I’m not suggesting that any of this stuff is easy, far from it. My point is that it’s taking up our time and energy anyway, so let’s use that same time and energy to work through it as much as we can.

In OCD therapy, we use Exposure and Response Prevention to battle the obsessions and compulsions. This takes work, just like grief and a difficult work situation, for example. Often times there may be nothing we can do to change it, it may be a situation that is completely out of our hands. However if we are still struggling with these things, spending all our time wishing it were different, or getting angry because things aren’t different, then we probably have some work to do. Again, its already taken up residence in our brain. It’s trying to sign a 10 year lease!!! Lets do the work to process through it so we can take our OWN time and give ourselves a better chance to enjoy what we value in life; friends, family, faith, career, hobbies, etc. In the OCD community, we see that obsessions and rituals can take up hours of our day. OCD didn’t take off for the 4th of July like a lot of Americans did. It doesn’t give a damn what holiday is on the calendar, it’s full time job is to make us miserable. It’s gonna try to be there anyway, so let’s use that time to lean into exposures and uncertainty, this is where the freedom is. It’s not like living with OCD is nothing but rainbows and ice cream, it’s already time consuming and difficult. Even if we try to feel “safe” or “just right” by doing rituals, it’s still a Huge struggle, and this only feeds this overfed monster even more. Yes, ERP is difficult, but your brain is already on the OCD channel, let it stay there and let’s lean into a life filled with exposures and uncertainty so we have a better chance of enjoying our time instead of continuing to be robbed by the demon.

No matter what we are faced with in this life, let’s try to do what we can to work through it if possible so that we give ourselves every chance to enjoy what time we do have. Please hang in there. Talk with you soon.

Jeremy Rudd

Behind Us

Often the only way around is through. Often this is also much easier said than done. Reminding ourselves of this timeless outlook can help us on our journey. The situation we are in can feel like flames raging inside our minds and bodies. We often see that the stuff we worried about, or that felt like hell in the moment, can eventually fade into the background. OCD symptoms are a great example. We want to keep going after a life that we value and learn to live with being uncertain. We can be confident about a situation, but we can never be 100 % certain that things will go as we planned. Sometimes we didn’t have a choice in the matter. It could be something awful that we had no control over that we experienced in life. Even in some of the most unspeakable tragedies, if someone is able to, facing the emotions head on can be a great place to start the healing process. Most of the time when we are facing what we fear, things end up being okay, but we know this isn’t reality all of the time. Whether that is a difficult conversation or learning to drive. We hope for the best but want to be willing to live with the results regardless of what happens. Freedom lies in the gray area. Peace of mind from obsessions and compulsions lives in the world of uncertainty. Again and again.

My website address is GETBEHINDMEOCD. I also have this tattooed on my arm. It’s something I’m very passionate about. Once I accept the moment for what it is, no matter how uncertain the outcome is, the better off I am. The better of we are. No matter how dark our thoughts are, or how our experience feels, if we accept the moment and keep going after things that we care about, we can see OCD or other tough life events lose strength in trying to dominate our time on earth. We start to gain ground and take back our lives that these demons have tried to rob us of. Let the hamster wheel of our brain turn without trying to fix it, it’s trying to take up our time anyway, let it burn itself out. We know that wishing, pushing, or trying to analyze it away usually doesn’t work. The more we accept what’s going on in the moment, and keep moving in a forward direction, we can start to notice this stuff in our rearview mirror. It’s not always an easy experience. It can however be a more peaceful and clearer journey if we stop the internal struggle and let a lot of this stuff fade into the background.

Jeremy Rudd

Saw things, clearer, clearer, once you, were in my, rear view mirror. I gather speed, from you f&*#ing with me. Once and for all, I’m far away. I hardly believe, finally the shades, are raised……” Pearl Jam, “Rearview Mirror”

A Book By it’s Cover

Let’t try not to judge a book by the cover. The same goes with assuming that we know what someone is thinking or what they are going through. We may assume that someone is ticked off at the world or we may assume that this person has very few worries going on and wonder what they would have to complain about. The truth is, obviously, we don’t always know what someone is going through. Someone could literally be dying on the inside but their outside may portray snocones, puppies and rainbows. Depression, OCD, and other emotional struggles, can all have this sort of thing in common. People can become experts at living a facade. It becomes a survival skill, it becomes a mask we wear in public, for numerous reasons. Someone can be living on the streets or could be driving a new car, the truth is, we often have no clue what exactly is going on in their brain and in their world. We can save ourselves and others a lot of heartache by not trying to read someone’s mind or assume we know what their situation looks like. We are all guilty of this, it’s human nature. We can increase our stress levels pretty easily if we go around trying to read someone else’s mind. I am a big believer in checking in with others to see how things are going. It doesn’t have to turn into a therapy session. Just a simple hello and asking someone how things are going in their world will often suffice. “Social” media can be a great tool for reaching out; however we know that this can also be filled with negativity, just like a lot of things in our world. There are often many sides to things and it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole online. Online bullying certainly comes to mind and it’s a huge issue. When dealing with OCD, we may seek reassurance or do online research on a topic until we are blue in the face. Maybe checking to see if someone is upset with us, or if someone liked our post on “social” media. We may have the bump on our leg diagnosed 12 times over by the end of the day, all by looking online for medical “answers” that we think are going to make us feel better. If we struggle with obsessions and compulsions, we want to be mindful of these situations where we can find ourselves going down a dark hole, obsessing and ritualizing, only to find ourselves more stressed out than when we started. As we know, we don’t have to be diagnosed with OCD to see how these obsessions and rumination can be very counterproductive. Coming back to the present moment, and remembering to live a life we value, is always a great place to start. Over and over again. Hang in there.

Jeremy Rudd

“Your feelings are too real. Let them spew, a fall from grace would do us good today.” – “Hold Me Up”, lyrics by +Live+