Letting go of something is often not easy. Whether that is a relationship or a sentimental physical object. These people and things are intertwined in our lives. They can bring pleasure, pain, and tons of other emotions in between. With OCD treatment, we step out into the unknown, on purpose, in order to challenge the OCD. If we do not let go, or “surrender”, at some level, without the compulsions, the OCD symptoms usually stay the same or can get even worse. OCD is torment. Feeding it keeps up the miserable cycle. However this monster is our familiar, yet painful, friend that sits on our shoulder. We don’t have to engage with it, or try to “fix” what is bothering us. We get used to it at some level. Let’s remember that it doesn’t have to be that way. It can sit on our shoulder, as we leave it alone, and we can still live our life and spend time in areas that we value.
Things left undone, or unsaid, we often feel they will bother us forever. It’s uncertain if this feeling will go away on its own without the next compulsion. How long are we willing to “surrender” to see if that gut wrenching feeling will go away on its own? Or maybe we are so sure that “something bad will happen” if we go without completing the next compulsion. How do we actually measure if “something bad will happen”? We could try and analyze this for years and never have the answer. Let’s also be mindful of how OCD isn’t keeping us safe, it just feels that way. We have a life to live and OCD is the flaming roadblock that gets in the way.
We can know this logically, that OCD is full on nonsensical worries, but again we know this often is not enough for OCD. If we could simply “surrender”, or let go, we probably would have done that a long time ago. These suggestions can be comments that we have been told or read a thousand times over the years. Way easier said than done, obviously. OCD is a different animal. Surrending to the fact that we deal with uncertainty in countless areas of our daily life, that our OCD doesn’t care about, this can be therapeutic. Again we can know this logically, however our OCD gets locked into selected areas and these become the most important thing in our life. These OCD “themes” start to rule our existence. This current OCD situation may last 20 seconds or 20 hours. We know the all too familiar hell of these situations.
We know that part of our management of OCD involves surrender at some level. Whether that is admitting we need some help, showing up to an appt, not going back and closing that door just right, etc. If we can start with surrending to the fact that this stuff makes our life exhausting and miserable, this is something, it’s at least a place to start. We try to get better, accepting that it may never feel just right or “cured”. Today is our life. The next ten minutes is our life. Whether we are anxious or not, we have this time, in this moment, in this day. Let us push ahead and be mindful of the “letting go” that can help us manage OCD and related symptoms.
“And sweet surrender, is all that I have to give.” Sweet Surrender – Sarah Mclachlan