We see the pain in our world. Treating others how we would want to be treated seems to go a long way.

We all have things that we are dealing with, some more than others. Then the Covid situation may have added countless layers to the anxiety and familiar rumbling in our minds. A lot of us have done enough thinking for 7 lifetimes. We seem to “waste” less time feeding the emotional demons if we continue to push ahead in areas we care about. Of course this is way easier said than done with our current situation. So much of these areas have gone digital. Faith, family, work, school, therapy, friends, etc. Our skin may crawl in social situations, and our skin can crawl at home. We know we take our brain with us, and the familiar pull in our brain doesn’t care what time of day it is or what environment we are in. We know the familiar patterns. I am grateful that even in times of darkness, I am still able to remind the people in my life that I care about them and that I care about how they are doing. The physical and emotional pain I feel can be hard to describe at times, however I can still try to give my wife a compliment. Something this “small” may not feel like an easy thing to do when times are tough, but it’s doable.

Grateful to be able to listen to music that has helped me through the darkest parts of this journey. Grateful for movies or laughter that I can revisit. Grateful for this phone/computer thing in my pocket. Eventhough I would like to throw it off a cliff some days, it helps me connect with people and areas that I care about. Always keeping in mind those that may not have these options. Food, water, shelter, doctor visits, clean clothes, technology, etc. Remembering that countless individuals in our world may not have friends, family, or a place to call their own. Trying to be mindful that we never truly know what someone is dealing with.

As a person with OCD, as well as a therapist who specializes in OCD treatment, I know that embracing uncertainty is my best chance of being able to enjoy this life. I learned a long time ago that assuming, and thinking I could be mind reader, it was a dead end road. I try to keep this in mind as I continue and try to help others in their journey.

Some of us have been on the trail of managing our emotional health for years. We know with OCD, the quicker we embrace the gray areas and refrain from the rituals, the better chance we have for more peace of mind. The OCD, depression, anxiety, impulses, these things may already be taking up our time. Our time is our life. We can be in a really difficult spot and still do something meaningful with our time. This could be for 5 seconds or 5 hours. It all counts. We know we aren’t going to “cure” our life, we just try to manage it. Eventhough the mental health monsters are throwing things our way, this is still a day of our life. Doing something is better than doing nothing, attempting to not get stuck just feeding the OCD. Is there something I can do to make my situation better? Is there something I can do to help others? Obviously this is another chance to be mindful of what we want to stand for in this life. Maybe we work from home, maybe we FaceTime with Grandpa on Wednesdays, maybe we “smile” at others through a mask. In my opinion, we don’t regret the extra kindness that we pass on to others and ourselves. We want to keep pushing forward. We want to remind the monster in our brain that we are in charge. We are the one driving the racecar that is our life. Thoughts, images, urges, cravings, these things exist, but so do we. How we respond matters. We Can make changes to continue to manage our life, no matter how small these changes seem. We have done it before, we can do it again. It may not always look the same, however our goal can be the same. To keep living our lives in a valued direction and reminding ourselves of the strength that we have. TRULY, think what you have done in life that took real strength and guts, maybe no one else even knows about it, that’s ok. But you know about it! Use this as motivation to keep moving forward. Let us push ahead and try to show ourselves and others kindness on this journey.

Jeremy Rudd