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HadenoughofOCD

Small OCD Victory

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This is a tiny victory in the grand scheme of it all, but every step counts and so I wanted to share! 

 

I have what I can only describe as legal OCD which means my obsessional fears are being a criminal and getting sued. This makes me super paranoid about literally everything I am doing in my day to day life. 

 

So, I had to return an item of clothing I had bought and made the decision to fold the packaging over the original address label, rather than sticking the returns label on top. I found this really hard as it made me anxious that whoever handles the package could potentially be able to unfold the packaging and see my name and address (this makes me anxious as part of my compulsions is taking steps to “hide” from the world). 

 

As soon as I had made the decision, I had the overwhelming urge to undo all of the packaging and stick the label on top of the address label - but I didn’t! I resisted the compulsion and sent the package off anyway. 

 

Yes I did wake up in the night with anxious thoughts about it, and yes I did think that I had made an awful mistake, but I resisted those thoughts and refocused myself back to sleep.

 

And that’s it lol - that’s my victory! Small yes, but gave me a surprising boost of hope and determination that I can in fact overcome this.

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Yay! well done HadenoughofOCD- it sounds like that was really difficult to do but it will make a huge difference to your recovery.

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2 hours ago, HadenoughofOCD said:

gave me a surprising boost of hope and determination that I can in fact overcome this

That's great! Yes every time we can manage to resist those urges are so helpful in building our confidence to get over this.

Thanks for sharing--always encouraging to read some successes.

Keep up the good work :) 

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2 hours ago, HadenoughofOCD said:

And that’s it lol - that’s my victory! Small yes

Small NO!!!!!

I reckon any victory over OCD is HUGE and worth celebrating!  Well done you! :clap:

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Hi HadenoughofOCD :)

Great job! :57439eb60db27_thumbup: You should be very proud of yourself and enjoy your great victory! 

big HU

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Thanks everyone! 

I wonder so do these small wins really add up to overcoming the big ones? I feel like my big ones are such mammoth obstacles that there’s no way that these little wins would have any impact. But then again, not much about OCD makes sense anyway lol so you never know! :) 

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6 hours ago, HadenoughofOCD said:

Thanks everyone! 

I wonder so do these small wins really add up to overcoming the big ones? I feel like my big ones are such mammoth obstacles that there’s no way that these little wins would have any impact. But then again, not much about OCD makes sense anyway lol so you never know! :) 

For sure I think that the small wins add up to overcoming the big ones, as long as we consistently practice not giving into compulsions. I like to think of it like learning an instrument-the beginner can't ever imagine playing complicated pieces when they are starting out, but eventually if they keep practicing they do get there!

The thing is to stay committed and consistent.

I, too, feel I have some huge obstacles that seem insurmountable from here, but I figure its all one step at a time! I  think back to when I had a terrible relapse a few years ago and I felt so trapped by my compulsions. I could hardly leave my house at all, but I worked through that little by little and gained so much freedom. I let things slip a bit lately but I know now to just keep at it and the CBT does work.

 

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Thanks Leif, I like the idea of being a beginner - gives me hope that I can one day become an expert and beat this stupid beast! 

I have been attempting to tackle a couple of things off my fear heirarchy - tasks which I have been vehemently avoiding as the ocd burnt my fingers badly last time I tried. This time was better... the initial anxiety was lower than in previous attempts, but rumination has been difficult to ignore. I find that this rumination then leads to more intrusive thoughts, which if not controlled, sends me into a severe anxiety spiral. 

But, I am happy to say that I have been able to refocus my efforts both when I have noticed the rumination, and when the related intrusive thoughts pop up. But I wonder, what now? 

So although my anxiety is currently controlled,  my instinct is to leave the situation well alone for a while as I feel too much exposure might be dangerous as I don’t feel strong enough to consistently battle it. Is it okay to do this? Can this be successful or am I somehow still reinforcing the irrational fears? 

I also feel that today’s exposure exercises have kind of emptied my resilience tank so to speak. A telephone number called me this evening that I didn’t know and I could feel the all too familiar anxiety and intrusive “what if thoughts” flood my brain. I didn’t want to answer as I don’t know the number (and I am afraid to), but at the same time, the uncertainty of not knowing who it was, and more importantly, the possibilities of who it could be, made my stupid anxiety spike. Once again, I managed to refocus after a little while, but I have a feeling I will get more intrusive thoughts again after this. 

This is so tiring! 

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The faster and harder you tackle not doing compulsions and doing ERP, the faster you'll get to recovery. BUT, you can only handle so much anxiety at once. You need to lay off, relax and recharge at times. How much is individual to you.

Push yourself but do take breaks. We often say recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, but more accurately its a series of sprints with breaks in between. 

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42 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

The faster and harder you tackle not doing compulsions and doing ERP, the faster you'll get to recovery. BUT, you can only handle so much anxiety at once. You need to lay off, relax and recharge at times. How much is individual to you.

Push yourself but do take breaks. We often say recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, but more accurately its a series of sprints with breaks in between. 

Thanks PolarBear. I definitely feel as though I have emptied my mental strength bank as I’ve just tried to look up something in relation to the subject and I saw a word that triggered me immediately so I know my resilience is spent. Anxiety flooded me hard in a nanosecond so I got out of there sharpish.  

It’s really frustrating as minus the OCD, the triggering subject is something I am really interested in and want to keep doing. I had been doing it for around a year when OCD decided to hit it and I had to just step away immediately as the anxiety was immense. But this last trigger just shows that I only have a very small threshold for exposure at the moment. 

The hardest thing is reminding myself that the fears are not my instinct telling me that I shouldn’t be doing this thing, but that it’s my OCD fabricating these fears. Urghhhhh!!! :wallbash:

 

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