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ivybasil

OCD-UK Member
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About ivybasil

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  • OCD Status
    Sufferer

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    Female
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    Scotland

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  1. Sorry I missed this yesterday. I hope you're doing okay! I agree with dksea, though. We do not have to be perfect. 🙂 Do you have a doctor or a therapist at the moment? I'd suggest don't give in to the compulsion to delete your work: in fact, write and post something else too! Keep challenging your OCD. It's okay to be anxious, OCD just wants us to react to the fear and anxiety. You don't need to 🙂 Remember to be kind to yourself - this isn't your fault and you can get through it.
  2. You don't sound weird and none of this is silly! OCD is not your fault and it's horrible to deal with. It's definitely not stupid - it can just be difficult to explain to non-sufferers at times because unless you've lived through OCD, it can be hard for people to understand how all-consuming it can be about something that might seem straight-forward to others! Don't apologise for your worries. 🙂 I think only you can decide whether you want to delete your fic or not, but I think you're right in that it ultimately won't help. It might feel like a relief for a moment, but you'd also be giving in to a compulsion. I think the mantra that goes around here all the time is useful: if you think it might be OCD, it probably is. 🙂 I think what I'd do is treat the doubts as though they are OCD, rather than entertaining the possibility of 'what ifs' about God trying to tell you something. OCD likes us to figure things out - it's okay not to be sure, too! I found this article a really helpful read, thought I'd share just in case it's any use to you: https://www.accounseling.org/coping-statements-for-christians-with-ocd-scrupulosity/ I particularly like the bit where it talks about Romans 5:1 about us ultimately being at peace with God, regardless of our own feelings. Having these feelings and doubts is human, and it's totally okay to follow treatment for OCD when they are distressing you. There's also the bit in Peter 5:7, Google has reminded me, where it says 'Cast all your anxiety onto Him because he cares for you'. To me, that sounds as though we don't have to feel anxiety to be religious - which I think includes allowing yourself to seek treatment for the thoughts your OCD brings up. As for making sacrifices? It's not helpful to compare, I don't think. Some people give things up for religion and that's healthy enough to do if they feel it's something that helps them focus on their faith because they want to do that. I think it's different sacrificing something you love because of your OCD makes you feel that'd help. I think if I were to go down that route myself, I'd end up sacrificing more and more because the relief of giving something up would only be temporary and make things worse in the long run. 🙂 Do you think you might feel the same if you did give up fanfic? Is there a chance your OCD might just fixate on something different? Don't let OCD win.
  3. I'm glad I was able to help a little and I hope you're feeling better today? 🙂 I agree - it's nice knowing we're not alone in our struggles with OCD! I've found this forum so helpful recently for that reason. I've found having support from people who know what it's like really helps going through therapy. Regarding fanfiction and what you can post or not, I think I'd try and take the approach my therapist encouraged me to use. Imagine your best friend asked you the same question - if it's a sin, or if it's okay to share what you've written with the public? How would you answer them? I think we're often kinder to our friends than our OCD allows us to be to ourselves, but there's no reason why we shouldn't be kind to ourselves too. OCD doesn't need to make the rules. 😊 I hope you're able to go to church next month - try and focus on how proud you'll be if you manage to go! I agree, it can be a difficult dilemma. I bet there are loads of other people in church that worry they don't fit in, or aren't doing the right thing. You won't be the only one! Just remember that you are as much part of the church as anyone else, and just because something is unconventional, it doesn't mean it's wrong. 🙂 I don't know if it would help, but what if you wrote a fic about the religious worries you have? It doesn't have to be something you publish or anything, but you could do it as a therapy exercise. Perhaps you could have a character visit a church and assign them some of the thoughts you have about being there, even if it'd be out of character for them. Have them go through the thought processes you do, and have them find a way to get through it, or have another character help them reason it out? Not saying it'll be easy when you come to do it yourself but it could let you have a pretend practise run while you're more in your comfort zone, but it'd be a fun way to do a therapy thought challenging exercise, maybe? It might be a good exercise in bringing your own beliefs and your enjoyment of fanfiction together rather than worrying how to keep them separate? It's maybe a silly idea but sometimes it helps to imagine someone fictional having your worries, and then helping that character through it. It could help put a little distance between you and your thoughts so you can process them more easily? Hope you're doing okay today!
  4. Thank you for sharing your experience; I'm sorry you're struggling with this. OCD can make things so difficult - especially when thinking about issues that are already challenging, things like religion. I agree, it can be hard to tell when genuine contemplation turns into rumination. I completely understand what you mean about trying to avoid being triggered by it. I was given a Bible at school when I was 11, read something in a verse that triggered me and couldn't read it again for years. I was a Christian too scared to read the Bible. 😅 I couldn't go to church for similar reasons! I've been working on challenging both! I think one thing that's helping me think about my religious beliefs and keep the OCD tendencies at bay is having some structure to the thinking. Perhaps you could get a book about religion, or thinking about faith, or about religious experiences of other people, or even short articles online? Then you could read it in chunks to challenge your OCD in small ways, in a way you can control. Allow yourself to think about the topic while you're reading, perhaps write down your thoughts after you're done and then try and do something else completely different. If you find a worry or concern is sticking with you as an OCD rumination, maybe you could try a 'thought record' style CBT approach? Try and identify what the concern is, and work through it that way. 🙂 I wonder if setting a small amount of time specifically to think about these things would help? What a strange coincidence about fanfiction though! I absolutely know fanfiction; I used to write all the time - I had hundreds of stories for a while. I've been a massive fangirl since I was tiny and discovering fanfic was awesome - it meant I could practise my writing and explore what I was thinking and feeling in a pretend world I considered my safe place, if that makes sense? Unfortunately, it ended up triggering more anxiety as I got older and during a bad OCD episode a couple of years ago, I deleted all of my accounts and stopped interacting with the internet. I'd stopped watching most TV shows and movies because of my OCD, despite them being things I'd loved and got myself in a big old muddle. It's something I miss a lot though, and would love to start enjoying fandom again once I'm a little further on with my OCD treatment. I don't think it's arrogant at all to write about the things like OCD - it can be really cathartic to do that kind of thing! But never feel like you have to write differently for other people or produce the 'right' kind of content - your writing should make you happy first and foremost. 🙂 It's awesome that you write; I hope it's something that continues to help you! One person's right and wrong is going to be different from another's. Sticking with books as an example, I personally hate violence and can't watch or read stuff like Game of Thrones but that doesn't mean that book is wrong. I adore fantasy stories or YA literature or books about magic, but that doesn't make the author right for having written them. It's all perception. It's difficult accepting that about our own morals, though I think. You're right though - we don't have to be saints. It's also okay for your values to change over time too, and change your mind about certain issues. It'd be easier if everything was black and white though, for sure! I hope this made sense; sorry, I think I rambled a little! But just one more thing: can you take advantage of unconditional love? If God's love was dependant on us not making the same mistakes over and over, it wouldn't be unconditional. I like to think part of being loved is knowing I'm safe to make mistakes and still be loved. A daft example, but when my dog is learning something new, he often repeats the same mistakes over and over - I don't love him any less for it. 🙂 I like to think that God might think similarly about humans.
  5. Hi Cub! Happy new year! It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas and that you did really well to be able to enjoy yourself! It definitely doesn't sound silly at all. You can use it to build your confidence going forward. It's great to hear you had a nice time 🙂 I have religious worries related to my OCD too; I worry I'm not Christian enough and such like, or that I don't believe enough in comparison to others... But I've been doing religious studies courses at uni and while other people definitely know more than me it's helped me work through some worries about my own faith. I agree that it can be so difficult to tell if my worries in that regard are rooted in faith or if it's coming from OCD. And I sometimes think some aspects of religion are difficult because of OCD but I'd eventually like to go to church more often in the future. Is religion something you enjoy having in your life? While I've been studying, I've come to think that - like with OCD - it's hard to accept that we might never have certainty in religion. But I really believe that religion should be something that can be a comfort to us, and that I'd like to believe in a God that understands the challenges OCD and life in general presents with us, and trusts us to make good choices. We might never know if we're doing the right thing, but if we are comfortable and confident with the decisions we are making, and we are making them for the right reasons (and if faith comes into those reasons, that's fine!) then to God, that should be enough. You are enough. 🙂 I think religion can be something we can use to comfort us, and however that works for you, is totally fine. There are so many denominations of Christianity all practised differently. I don't think there's a right way to practise your religion, and I don't think it's helpful to compare yourself to how other people show their faith. It's okay to question things. I found listening to some religious mindfulness podcasts helped me - it lets me find comfort in belief, rather than focus on the things that worry or scare me. It sounds like you're the right things to challenge your OCD, and I'm glad you had a lovely Christmas! All the best, Ivy x
  6. Ultimately, you'll never be as sure as OCD would like. You don't need to be. 🙂 There's a thought record exercise I got from my therapist that I find useful. I don't have all the titles at hand right now but the three main points are the following: It asks me to consider 'why your thought might be true' - make a list of all the reasons you think you worry might be true, basically all the things you've written here. Second, list why it might not be true. Try and break out of this rumination by looking at it another way. List every reason you can that means you haven't slowed them down. You were a cyclist so likely an easy vehicle to overtake. They went by you because you weren't a big enough vehicle for them to need you to pull over. Does it matter if they had to pause a few seconds? No different to having to slow for a tractor to pull over, etc. Write all you can think of. Next, try to figure out a more balanced response. For me, this is often 'this situation made me feel bad and like I'd like to perform a compulsion but the guilt comes from my OCD and is not a proportionate response to the situation. I don't need to respond to that feeling and it is okay to dismiss this'. Something like that 🙂 Perhaps this is an exercise that might help you break out of ruminating about this? 🙂
  7. It won't. OCD likes us to think that, and sure, it might help for a second if you get the reassurance you want but in the long run, it'll make things more difficult. Like @OnlyAlex said, your worry shows that this went against your personal values. You're holding yourself far too responsible for this situation. The best thing you can do is acknowledge that you feel anxious about this situation and then don't act on it. Don't call the police for reassurance. Leave the question unanswered. You can get through this. 🙂
  8. Hi there! That's great that you have a holiday to look forward to and I think you're right; it's a great opportunity to break away from a ritual. 🙂 I'm not a parent so there'll be other people who can offer better advice than me and know more about safe sleeping, but I think it's important to keep in mind that you know it's a ritual brought on by OCD. 🙂 Beyond that, I think what I'd do is to try and think about it like your baby would! To her, you are the most important part of her bedtime routine - spending time with you. She likely won't mind that it's a different tub or cot, and it's okay for you to feel the same way. 🙂 You can make the changes in your normal routine sound exciting to her, bring a different storybook, talk to her about how exciting this holiday is and how nice it is to do things differently. once you can see that she is happy and safe without the rituals you feel you need it might help change how you see them yourself. You don't need them for your baby to be safe. 🙂 What if you changed one little thing at a time in the run up to the holiday? Make a list of those things you need to do to follow safe sleep guidelines and also those parts of your routine you think are a compulsion and start challenging the latter gradually? 🙂 Hope you have a lovely holiday!
  9. No, I don't think so because your post says you can't remember the details or how it actually happened. This is OCD distorting your view of the situation. Your OCD had picked up a memory you didn't previously worry about and has fixated on it, for lack of a better way to describe what I mean! You need to break the cycle like the others have said. 🙂 About this, you can't possibly know what everyone else is thinking and it's not helpful to try and guess. You're giving too much significance to your OCD worry by trying to guess how we will react, based on what you think about this situation. I think it's another way of giving your OCD too much credit! 🙂
  10. Congratulations on your wedding! 😁 I'm not married so can't directly help with wedding nerves but perhaps some mindfulness exercises might help with the anxiety? One I like is trying to focus only on the immediate task. Ignore the big picture, just focus on 'right now I need to get dressed/eat breakfast' etc. 🙂 I actually think I picked this up from a TV show about a wedding now I think about it! I find it very useful when dealing with something overwhelming (good or bad!) though! Congratulations again! 😁
  11. This is really awesome to read! 😁 Congratulations on all you've achieved!
  12. Congratulations on the new job! 🙂 I'm sorry these thoughts are making it difficult for you - OCD is the worst kind of bully and it can feel very distracting! You're doing the right thing in trying not to engage with them and let them pass. You're right, I think, in that OCD plays on fear. You had an intrusive thought that disgusted you and scared you. But we can't control intrusive thoughts - they're automatic and just happen. They just happen and don't have to mean anything. What if you had an automatic thought this morning like "imagine I ate ice cream for breakfast today, instead of cornflakes." This is an automatic thought. You didn't ask to have that thought. Maybe you heard an advert on the TV for ice cream and your brain adds "what if we broke the rules today and eat it for breakfast." Maybe the thought came out of nowhere as they often do. If you're anything like me, you might find the thought amusing and entertain the possibility for a minute. It's just a thought, it doesn't mean anything and it doesn't mean you have to act on it. The difference between the ice-cream-for-breakfast scenario and the situations you're describing is fear. The thoughts you're having don't mean anything more, the difference is that you react to them because it's something that upsets you and goes against your values. OCD just likes us to think all our thoughts mean something. 🤷‍♀️ We don't have to listen. 🙂 Easier said than done, though, I know! Stay strong, keep challenging the thoughts. Good luck at the new job! It sounds like you're doing all the right things. 🙂
  13. You handle it exactly the same. 🙂 You said yourself; you know it's an OCD thought. You do not have to act on that thought. It sucks, and it's uncomfortable, but don't let yourself engage with compulsions. You did great in not acting on the compulsion before.
  14. Just while I remember...! Something I'm looking into for uni is a non-medical helper allowance from the DSA, for a mental health mentor. 🙂 It was mentioned to me at my last Disabled Students meeting (I went for help with a different condition but said they could help with mental health, too) and it's a person who can check in on you throughout the semester. Not a therapist or anything, but someone that can help support with issues you might be having at uni and keep you on the right track. As far as I know, they focus on some of the practical issues that make being a student with a mental health condition so difficult. This might be something that'd help long term, alongside your CBT? 🙂
  15. You have nothing to apologise for! 🙂 You're not letting anyone down. You're struggling with an illness that's affecting your studies, and it sounds like you're already taking steps to work through it; I'd say that's something to be proud of! I'm sorry your uni are difficult about extensions. That's so frustrating! I think perhaps I'd try anyway, but put my request in writing in an email? Or go to your student union or student support to help you ask for it - that's the sort of thing they're there for. 🙂 For this assignment, maybe create a plan for today to help you make a start? Is it an essay assignment? Have you heard of the pomodoro method? It involves setting a timer for 25 minutes, working in that time and taking a timed five minute break and repeating the process. And every couple of repeats, take a longer break. I find it a useful technique when I'm struggling because it breaks up the study session and means I don't get too overwhelmed sitting there! Write for you, edit later. But if you've got a piece of work that meets the minimum requirements, you've got something to hand in even if you don't manage to do anymore. 🙂 Also, your work doesn't have to be perfect. Even the marking schemes don't ask for perfection. It's something I'm working on accepting too! 😅
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