Need Support : I’m not really sure where to... - My OCD Community

My OCD Community
808 members487 posts

Need Support

I’m not really sure where to start. I have been a little absent from this forum lately because I have placed pressure on myself to only write posts that inspire and help others, posts that are positive and uplifting. I can not tell you how many times in the past month I have drafted up a post in my notes only to be at a loss for words and angry with myself for struggling. Right now the truth is that I don’t feel positive or uplifting or encouraging. The truth is that OCD is a torturous and cruel bully, and that even in recovery, relapses do happen.

I am struggling with a particularly nasty obsession that focuses on a false memory of me harming a loved one. A loved one who passed away suddenly four years ago. Lately I replay that day in my head over and over again. Before I can stop, I find myself going over every detail and every reason why it is impossible for me to have caused him any harm. I know I am doing compulsions, and I know it is not helping me. But how do you just let go of something that was so traumatic in your life? Something that OCD chose to latch on to? My therapist always encourages me to try replying to my thoughts with a simple “Maybe, I don’t know”. But I wonder if she would be able to do the same if even an ounce of her believed that there was a chance she harmed someone herself. When you have OCD, you can’t just let go. It’s not that simple.

In all honesty, I’m angry. I’m livid, actually, that I am having to face this setback not knowing if I will be able to come out of it. I hate the way my brain malfunctions. I hate how I still question if I do in fact have OCD. I hate the way the world misunderstands this disease, but mostly I hate the way I can’t take the advice for myself that I give to others. It makes me feel like a fraud, but I know that is OCD speaking to me. So here I am asking you for support or just a simple word of encouragement. I can’t do this by myself, and that is why I am so thankful to have the support on here that I do. So please, if you have something nice to say send it my way! I’ll be praying for all of us on this difficult journey.

16 Replies
oldestnewest

Your post could well be something that I would write. It seems like I start to get a handle on one aspect of OCD and then another thing pops up that throws me for a loop and I'm back to questioning everything. It is very easy to fall into the trap of black-and-white thinking. Remember that you have learned a lot about how to deal with OCD. There are a lot of skills and an outlook that you have learned already in therapy. It sucks that you have to be back to trying to reapply those skills to deal with new areas of worry, but you can do it. It's OK to ask for more help. I had moved back to three sessions a week to try to deal with my increased symptoms and poor functioning of late. This has helped me a lot, and I'm ready to cut back to two sessions a week.

I won't say that OCD is easy to handle, but if you work at it, it is possible to start to get things under control again.

I don't know if this will help you, but when I struggle I find that it always helps to read this:

iocdf.org/expert-opinions/2...

You can do it!

1 like
Reply

Thank you for your response! You’re absolutely right, it is possible to get things back under control again even when it feels impossible. The article was really helpful and there were a lot of good points. I need to completely cut out mentally reviewing and trying to reason/argue with the thoughts. I know it won’t get me anywhere if I continue on this path. I am down to once a month with my therapist and I am hoping I can shape up and use my tools instead of falling further down the rabbit hole that is OCD. But I know that if I have trouble there is nothing wrong with seeking help more frequently. Thank you for the support, it really means a lot!

Reply

MyOCD123 you are not alone! You are never alone - I promise. I understand more than I can possible express. I was there for about 4 months and you are the one who helped me begin to crawl out of the hole. I understand the feeling that it is irresponsible to let it go, especially when it is so close to you and feels so painful (and so real!). And yet, this is how we know it is OCD. Your OCD clings to what is most important or painful to you - then gets stuck - and this is something important (and traumatic) in your life - just like the loss I experienced a few months ago that my OCD convinced me had to be my fault.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm 100% better, but I am finding joy again because you believed in me. Because of your words, I really believed I could fight OCD and get better. I know you can do it, too - as hard as it might seem. I started forcing myself to do my ERP exposures in a mirror (with the may/may nots) every day, followed by meditation and reading so that I could not do compulsions right after. Then, I journaled about how I felt. I'm still doing it every single day. After just 3 weeks, I feel like I'm in a completely different place then the dark hole you found me in a few weeks ago. I almost relapsed and did a compulsion last night, but I fought it because I just didn't want to go back there.

I believe in you! You can do this! Tell OCD that today is the day that things are going to change - tell OCD that you are in control. I really believe that if you can make it 24 hours without doing a compulsion, it will start to lift a little bit. It did for me. Just 24 hours. Tell OCD that you will deal with this tomorrow if it is still an issue but that no compulsions are happening today. Tell it that you are relaxed, fine, and having fun. Lie to OCD just like it lies to you.

Sending love and hugs in your pain. You are never, ever alone. I am so deeply sorry. I know how much this hurts.

4 likes
Reply

It’s terrible that we have had to endure this but I can’t help but also be so thankful and find comfort in the fact that somewhere out there in the world is someone who understands exactly what I am going through. If you can do it, than so can I and I am really going to try to resist my compulsions and practice what if statements with this obsession.

It’s hard because I am a Christian and do believe in both Heaven and Hell and lately my fear, or obsession rather, is that I will be sent to Hell if my intrusive thoughts are true and that is what torture me the most. But at the same time I realize exactly what OCD is doing by attaching itself to something that was so devastating and close to me, yet it still tricks me.

Reading your response reminds me that even though I don’t feel like it - I have a choice. I can continue to argue with my thoughts and never have certainty, or I can respond to my thoughts without judgement and accept the fact that I will probably never have the reassurance I desperately want. I can’t continue to live my life fighting with an irrational brain, but I can continue to help others and fight this disease. Thank you for the inspiration, I hope to keep in touch!

1 like
Reply

I know you can do it! You are so strong. As I've been struggling, I always look back at your posts, and it makes me feel less alone. As for the faith aspect, we continue to have so much in common. I am actually clergy (an ordained protestant Christian minister). I haven't shared that here, because I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. But...it's who I am! That is sometimes what makes things so tough...everyone thinks I have it together as I walk everyone else through life, loss, abuse, funerals, etc. And yet, I struggle personally more than anyone in my congregation knows. The funny thing is, in faith, we often offer others compassion that we struggle to offer ourselves. I strongly believe that God looks at each of us with nothing but love for what God has created. The tough part is seeing ourselves through the same loving lens through which God sees us. Please know that the turmoil you feel and the fear you feel is OCD...the compassion and love you feel for helping others is where the OCD ends and God begins.

You have a choice, even though it's hard. I've had the same fears around Heaven and Hell with this OCD theme (though in my role as clergy the fear doesn't even fit in remotely with my understanding of theology...but OCD is crazy and irrational) - I promise it is the OCD and only the OCD. We have a choice, and I believe faith can be a part of that choice. Rather than letting OCD take over that faith to make you fear God, you can choose to use your faith to fight OCD. I actually pray a revised version of the serenity prayer after every ERP session. I always say..."God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, the wisdom to know the different, and the ability to be here...to be present...and to find joy in life. Amen."

I hope I'm not oversharing. I just resonate with your story so much and want you to know that there is someone out there who gets it X10000%. And I also want you to know that you are wonderful, you are loved by God, and you are loved by everyone whose lives you have touched with your compassion.

4 likes
Reply

This was a very beautiful reply- it touched me as well. Thank you for your insight about God and how he feels about us.

1 like
Reply

I don’t really know how to respond to this. I have tears flowing down my cheeks but they aren’t because I am sad or worried. I’m crying because I have a new found sense of relief, happiness, and gratefulness towards God. I pray and I pray, but I often think that maybe God doesn’t hear me (even though I know that is not true). I haven’t always had the closest relationship with God, but no matter how often I neglect him he has always been there for me in ways I can’t deny.

For example, a few months ago I was crying in my therapists office telling her how isolated I felt with my OCD. I told her I wished there was a support group in my area and that I hated feeling alone and lost in this. The very next day, the IOCDF posted on Instagram about this group and I knew it was the grace of God and that he put this forum in my life for a reason. Each time I stumble, He has always picked me up. The support I have received and the connections I have made on here are truly a gift from God.

I can’t properly express how grateful I am for you. I feel a sense of peace as I write this. To know that there is someone else who also struggles with OCD attacking their faith is such a comfort but also a motivation that we can beat this and continue in our faith. I feel like I have a whole new perspective on Gods love because of you. I believe he has sent you tonight to provide me with those words of comfort and because of them, I was able to resist a very difficult compulsion. Thankful does not even begin to describe how I feel.

As I was reading this response a few hours ago I was sitting in a Starbucks and my friend pointed over my shoulder and said, “look a rainbow”! I am not joking. I saw one of the most beautiful rainbows mere seconds after receiving your response and I’m reminded of Gods grace and his promise that I will not be alone in this. How wild is that?! I’m speechless. I don’t have any more words to describe how I feel but thank you again. I’m truly at a loss for words. I feel Gods love tonight.

2 likes
Reply

I am so glad you found some relief last night - this makes me so happy. I am equally thankful for you and the support you've offered me. I believe that God is full of love that we can catch a glimpse of as we offer compassion towards and receive compassion from others. And then...there are those little tangible signs (like the rainbow) that God is creating beauty out of the brokenness.

I am so glad you were able to resist the really difficult compulsion last night! That is HUGE!!! You are stronger than the bully that is your OCD. And everytime you resist, that bully gets a little bit weaker. You are an inspiration to me and so many. And you are never, ever alone. I hate that you are struggling with something so difficult (something that OCD has no right to use against you!), but I also take comfort that we are not alone in this. We can do this! With faith in God, support from those around us, and even the tiniest bit of self-compassion...we can beat OCD and find joy!!

1 like
Reply

You have been an inspiration to many on this forum. I have always found your replies to others very uplifting and caring. Please give yourself some of that same compassion you have offered to others to yourself. You deserve it and will get through this- my thoughts are with you 💪

2 likes
Reply

Thank you LuvSun, you have always been there for me and I really appreciate it! I’m going to fight my hardest. I’m not going down that easy, sorry OCD! Your support is everything to me, and I really mean that.

Reply

Hi 123 - The past 2-3 days I haven't spent as much time on here as I had been. I just now happened to see your post, or I would have responded sooner. You know how much I think of you. It hurts to know you are going through that torturous loop right now. That's the clue that it's OCD attacking you and not what really happened. For some reason OCD seems to want to just suck the life out of us and hurt us as much as possible. It really is an enemy. You may be doing better by now, it has been 21 hours since you posted. I said a prayer for you. I still have your poem in my purse. :) You have been through some really severe OCD, so don't expect everything to constantly be super easy all the time. On the other hand, you have been having some really good days, too. You are always an inspiration.

3 likes
Reply

People like you keep me going! Your compassion never seizes to amaze me and please know that I also often think and pray for all of you. You, and many others, are the reason I continue to fight. I never knew my purpose in life until I had OCD. It has made me feel completely lost at times, but I can’t deny the feeling that I am supposed to help others with OCD on a platform even larger than this one (I hope at least). Thank you for your support! I love that you love the poem, it means so much!

1 like
Reply

I feel like you speak for so many of us OCD sufferers! I deal with similar things, but I call it real event OCD.... something that happened and not sure if the situation was handled correctly so constantly questioning myself and going over the event again again. "Did I say something wrong or stupid? Did I hurt their feelings? Did I cross the line?". It's totally black or white when I get into this spiral...I was either a bad person or good and the OCD 90% of the time tells me I'm bad.

Honestly, I just try to stay busy. I know that isn't much help and I know you probably already know this. Remember, people with OCD tend to be some of the most kind people due to our fears of hurting others. Also remember that we all make mistakes and are not perfect people....we say things wrong, we do wrong. It's being human.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you!!

Reply

Well said 😊

Reply

I feel exactly the same as you. Every time I am about ready to throw in the towel I read something from someone on this site and I realize I am not alone. Despite this horrible, torturous disease I know I can’t let it win but at the same time I feel like I’ve tried everything and run out of options. I really appreciate your honesty and for sharing your struggles. I often want to write more and be more explanatory about my obsessions and compulsions but it seems too complicated and the list is endless. I will be praying for you and I really hope you can get to a place where you can convince yourself somehow that you are a good person and not to blame for any harm to anyone. OCD lies all the time. Don’t believe the lies.

2 likes
Reply

You may also like...