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  1. This might not be quite the same thing, but I've heard that sometimes people's OCD can start to get focussed on the therapy itself where they're trying to get the technique perfectly right, and it can get confusing to them knowing what counts as the treatment and what counts as the compulsion. There's an episode on the OCD Stories podcast called Two Tail Spikes where they talk about it. As I say, probably not exactly what yours is doing but just another example of how sneaky OCD can be. I think maybe "testing" compulsions are along the same lines - they might not look like a compulsion but the
  2. Hi. Your example of the kitten thing was so interesting and it makes a lot of sense to me. I think this might play some part in compulsions in general. We talk about them usually as if they're designed to get rid of uncertainty by giving us some very specific information (e.g. does someone think I did a bad thing, did I leave the tap on, etc.) But what you say here sounds like it's more to do with resolving something much more simple and basic, like "will I do it or won't I?". While we're not doing it, that is unresolved and for some reason it's uncomfortable, and it gets more uncomfortable t
  3. Hi BigDave If there are things that realistically won't change then yes, accept them - e.g. realistically, you won't keep everything perfectly clean to your preferred standards. But I don't think you should accept the idea that you need to feel constantly under threat from that situation. You can change your attitude. You can decide to let yourself live in a place that's less than 100% clean without constantly torturing yourself with the idea that it's not ok, that you aren't doing enough to keep it clean, that you're constantly in danger of feeling unbearable disgust. I think that delibe
  4. That's some great advice, thanks loads people! The concrete steps are just what I was needing help with. Gbg's list of small risks sounds like what I want to get going on because I haven't really tried that yet with these fears, and I love the idea of going on the offensive. Thanks for sharing some of the actual items on the list - I couldn't think where to start but that might be enough to get some ideas going. I definitely also have the fear of being immoral thing but I will try to find ones that fit my fear of letting people down, and of doing things I don't feel 100% competent at, too. The
  5. Hi. I'm stuck because I still can't accept that it's ok for me to make mistakes. It's the cognitive step I guess. I think my core belief is that i don't know what I'm doing in general. I have to make decisions every day where I don't feel confident I made the right decision and I'm constantly pretty terrified that one of them will turn out catastrophically wrong. And I will deserve the blame because I made the decision even though I already knew that I didn't properly know what I was doing. (I feel like I'm driving down the motorway without knowing how to drive, so I should stop, but that wo
  6. Hi greentop. I sympathise - I had a panic attack recently over a real event I've managed not to confess for a year and I was desperate to confess on the spot just to end the horror. Constant fantasies of confessing churning around in my head.... Managed not to, and now I don't really want to even think about the topic, certainly don't feel inclined to confess. (I'm sure the urge will be back but it's gone for the moment). I will try to reconstruct what I did. I think I told myself some version of the following: You are very anxious right now, so don't trust your reasoning. It might
  7. Hi Taurean. Yes I think keeping up a challenge attitude is great. It keeps us practising and seems to give a feeling of control in amongst all the rubbish we are constantly dealing with. Well I'm pleased that I made a start tackling the replaying-conversations compulsion. It seems that tracking what kind of thinking I've been doing in a day is much more difficult than tracking whether or not I double-checked the cooker. So I don't really know how it went! But I will keep it on my list of challenges and maybe over the course of weeks I'll see a change. The challenges I posted up a few
  8. Today's challenge: avoid replaying past conversations in my head. This is a massive compulsion of mine. It often ends with me spotting something I said that I wish I hadn't because e.g. I might have hurt someone's feelings or broken a confidence or got someone into trouble. I can feel the urge to go over a conversation I just had right now. I know it wouldn't end well. If I didn't find anything I would just move onto yesterday's conversations and so on until I found an issue to grab onto and wrestle with for the rest of the day at least. Going to take a big breath, be aware of the urge and let
  9. Hi Cub. I just wanted to say that I thoroughly recognise what you are saying. You are describing my own thought processes and I've had so many days dominated with huge anxiety, completely unable to make an ordinary decision and feeling awful and stupid about it. Whichever decision I imagine making, I can see that consequences might be awful, and on top of that I feel such a failure because other people don't seem to get in that state in a normal day. Not solved it yet but I'm working on the idea of accepting that things MIGHT go badly wrong BUT that it was still the right thing to d
  10. Going to try to not ruminate on a new panic that got triggered today, where I did something that seemed ok at the time although not perfect and now I think someone else might be thought badly of because of my decision. It could happen and I feel anxious but going to aim to let the bad feelings stay and not pursue the thinking any further. It's very obviously my usual theme so I guess I can manage to assume my worry is exaggerated although I really wish I could just fix it! Also going to try to repeat today's feat, of not checking the cooker within the last ten minutes before leaving the hous
  11. Thanks for the replies I went out that night and as usually happens I said something I regretted saying and started the spiralling thoughts about being rejected by people because I'm so awful..... Then I thought, I could add a new verse to my song where I simply repeat the thing I'd regretted saying through the whole verse, loudly (still only on my head!) and with gusto! It does feel uncomfortable of course but I think it works because you're right in the face of the feared thing in a way that doesn't automatically draw you into ruminating because it's not ordinary thinking, and it's a bi
  12. Hi guys As per ACT therapy, I've put my core fear into a rather jolly song! (Tune is same as "glory glory hallelujah".) Thought I'd share it with you: I don't know what I'm doing! I might be getting everything wrong! I might have already ruined lots of people's lives, And there's still lots more to go! (Altogether now...!) I worked it out on the way to work last week when I was anticipating a very triggering meeting that would show me up as incompetent. I also decided that I would aim to be myself in the meeting, as if I was already good enough and didn't have to prevent them
  13. Hi gbg. Your issues are very similar to mine and I'm finding this such a relevant and useful thread. Given the state I'm in i feel like a fraud even trying to help but I've wondered, with the being good thing, are you aiming for something that's not real? What does being good actually mean? Is it feasible to live a happy life while demanding of yourself that you be good, and be sure that you are being good? There are a lot of messages given to us from society that we should constantly try harder and be better, and I think that can be rather harmful for worriers like us. I'm wondering whethe
  14. Hi Ironborn I really feel for you. I struggle with real event OCD too, including moral/ethical transgressions. I am not over my own issues yet so I don't have "the answer", but I think the route out of these things might be to forgive ourselves. I don't think this goes against the idea of embracing uncertainty because you're not aiming to end up with a final, certain judgement that what you did was either ok or not ok - there is no true answer to that: it would depend who you ask and on what day you ask them. But I think we have the right to forgive ourselves for our past actions. I thin
  15. Thank you OCDhavenobrain. Yes, it's a big lesson to learn, I think. And it's going to take some time to properly sink in. Also, how nice to have people I can say this stuff to and they get it!! A lovely thing after so many years
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