My mind continuously floods itself with what-ifs, crazy scenarios, and then, I try to figure out why I had those thoughts in the first place. My mind could look for days, rerunning that scenario in my head, replaying it over and over, trying to make some sense out of it. But of course, there never is any sense to make out of anything.
My husband, Bjorn, always says I should write for Law and Order or a CSI-type show or something like that. He doesn't know how I come up with some of the things I do. And that's the problem: neither do I. It's just my OCD brain.
For example, a normal trip to the mall to finish up some Christmas shopping brought a few random and nutty tv drama worthy scenarios into my OCD brain. The trigger might have been being out with so many people; that sometimes gets my anxiety going. Or my mind may have been having just one of those days, you know? Sometimes it just happens.
Scenario #1On our trip to finish buying some gifts, we also were exchanging some old tennis shoe inserts at Lady Foot Locker (hello one year guarantee!!) that Rachie forgot in the car. She said she'd run down really quickly and grab them in the parking garage and meet me back upstairs.
My mind said, No way is my sissy going down to the parking garage by herself! She could get kidnapped or beat up or robbed or something! What if some crazy weirdo is hiding behind her car just waiting for her to come down there to jump her?
So I went with my sissy. She had me stand by the door. And she did turn around to not smile for a picture to document my Law and Order SVU type movie line in my head. I had to tell my brain that my sissy is a big girl, and she can take care of herself. Even thought I felt uneasy about it, I should have let her run down by herself. I let me OCD give in that time.
This lovely scenario came to my brain after we passed this lovely in the parking lot.
Okay, so here's what my OCD brain thought: Someone planted this balloon here on purpose. They knew how busy the mall would be because of Christmas shopping. Inside the balloon is some kind of explosive device and it's also filled with Anthrax or some other biological agent. Once it goes off, it will poison everyone in this garage.
For a split second, I asked myself if this could possibly be true. Then I thought, Holly, it's a damn balloon. A kid let it go, and now it's left here. Shut your OCD up.
And that was the end of that.
This kind of thought is the one that Bjorn thinks is worthy of tv time. Trust me, I'd rather not have these kinds of ideas. But honestly, now that I know that it's my OCD mind messing with me and I can stop my loop, I am much better. Sometimes thoughts like these come into my head, and then I just think, Really? Good try, and move on.
My OCD response would be to park somewhere else and get out of there, but we stayed. I even walked up to take a picture of the balloon for my blog :)
Rachael and I recently stopped by the Scholastic Book Fair to see if they had a few picture books that I wanted to pick up. As we walked down the aisles, these signs were, of course, fuel for my OCD brain:
As soon as I saw this sign and Rachael saw this sign, we both kind of chuckled because we knew that this type of thing throws my OCD for a loop. For a split second, my OCD thought, Oh my God! We need to get out of here! I silenced that voice, and Rachael and I kept saying, "What the heck would they need to quarantine at a book fair?" It gave us a little chuckle.
My old self would not have done that. I would have obsessed about this one forever. I would have probably put my books down from that isle thinking this whole area was contaminated and needed to go. I would have obsessed that I was breathing in something that was burning my lungs. I may have checked my skin for areas of irritation from touching the books in this isle. But, I didn't.
I can't always stop the thoughts that come into my mind with my OCD, but it's how I react to those thoughts and what I do with them that matters. Now that I understand my OCD and have tools that help me, I deal with these thought much better than I used to. It is funny how your mind can play crazy tricks on you. Nowadays, I just laugh it off, and move on. I've accepted that this is me, and I can overcome these irrational thoughts. I've come a long way. It's not always easy, but I'm doing it.
Love and happiness <3 Holly