Thursday, April 2, 2015

Irrational OCD Thoughts #1

Yesterday I just had to laugh at myself. As someone living with OCD, I have a lot of random and crazy, nonsensical thoughts. No rhyme or reason, they just pop into my head from time to time (much less than they did in my previous years). But I still have OCD. They're there; I just know how to deal with them now. And I know how not to feed into my OCD thoughts.

Yesterday afternoon I bought a few tennis balls to help rub some knots out of my back to relieve my stiff neck. The only tennis balls that I could find were doggie-playing tennis balls like these:

The first thought in my head was an OCD thought. Here is what my brain said, "Maybe I should give Remy the orange one and keep the blue one because blue is a calming color and blue will help calm my muscles. If I don't use blue, I won't feel calm. So I better not use the orange." All of a sudden, negative feelings started to become associated with the orange-colored paw prints on the tennis ball. I can't keep thoughts like those from popping into my head; it's what I do with the thought that matters. 

I told my brain to shut up, silently, of course, handed the blue ball to Remy, and proceeded to lay on the tennis ball with the orange paw prints and rub it around my back. OCD thoughts squashed!

The problem with OCD irrationalities like these is that with OCD, you convince yourself that these thoughts are true. Years ago, I rationally would have known that the blue paw prints had nothing to do with relaxation and loosening muscles, but my OCD brain would've convinced me that it did. I would not have been able to get this thought out of my head. I would not have been able to use the orange tennis ball, thinking that my back would never feel better as a result of the color of those silly paw prints.

I get it--it sounds ridiculous. But OCD plants these tiny, irrational thoughts in your mind that you just can't shake. Even if you question them at first, OCD has a way of getting you to question your common sense, your ability to rationalize. It makes you believe it. That's the tricky part.

Today I am able to see it for what it is--nonsense--and move on. I know it will be something that I will always have to live with. Of course, I do have bad days where the thoughts last a little longer than I'd like them to, but I am so very proud of myself for being able to squash OCD in its tracks when it's trying to derail me. 

Lots of love <3 Holly

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