OCD – Breaking the Cycle #Recoveryispossible
‘It’s there again – the buzzing in my head , moving outward like an itch under the skin , the anxiety creeps in .. the voice keeps talking – the buzzing gets louder .. I try to ignore it , suppress it .. it just keeps coming like a drill in my brain .. and then the fear .. If I don’t listen, if I don’t do it , get it just right, something bad will happen .. no it won’t what are you saying ? – yes it will .. do it .. do it … DO IT!
The compulsion builds and there is only one way to break this , to make it go away and that is to take action .. to get it right , to keep doing it until the thought is soothed. And so I work through it – the relief floods through my body …. the tragedy is averted … but then .. a small buzzing like a fly start to appear .. what if .. what if… what if ?’
This is a description from one of my clients who was trapped in the cycle of OCD. As we spoke about during my awareness week this is a very different picture than one sometimes portrayed by people who use phrases such as – ‘oh that’s my OCD kicking in .. ‘or ‘I am a little bit OCD with that.’.so let’s be clear you are never just a little bit OCD. If you have OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – then you have it full on . Yes to different degrees but to have a disorder it needs to be having a direct impact on your life and your ability to function in the way you would want to . – so there is no such thing as ‘ a little bit OCD!’ .. and those reading this who are living with it or have experienced someone living with it will know it’s not be belittled and it’s not something you want.
However just as it’s my firm believe that you can’t just be a bit OCD – it is also my firm belief that you can become totally NOT OCD.. yes permanent relief and recovery is possible.
I can’t go through the whole process in one blog but in this I want to focus on one of the first and most important principles I teach when working with people in this space – the principle that allows them to gain a different perspective and to lay the foundations for what is to come.. this principle does not cure the problem in itself ( much as I wish for my clients it would) but it gives them a view-point that creates a change .. and with change we have transformation and with transformation we can move from the space of simply doing things differently to actually being and feeling different.
Before looking to make change we must first understand that the cycle which starts with the obsessive thought and then moves on to the emotion or feeling is just that, a thought and a feeling. Generated in our mind with nothing to do with the external reality we are living in right now. That the thought and the feeling cannot influence our reality and cannot live outside of our mind… just because you think something doesn’t make it true and just because you feel something doesn’t mean it will happen …
This is a different type of thought and feeling which is owns space alongside logical thought and working as it should – to protect ourselves from danger — so for example you might have a thought that if you step out in front of the car approaching you will be injured .. and this creates a feeling of natural nervousness and then we take action by stepping back. Then you cross when it’s clear and you pay no more attention to it.
The thoughts and feelings in the OCD cycle are not working in the space with our logical thought – they are not based on actual events – they are based on illogical thoughts and perceived reactions.
With Mindfulness Based therapy we don’t spend energy at this stage trying to change the thought – we look to accept we are having this thought .. and it is just that a thought we having. However we are now learning to be fully present and understanding that right now we are sitting in the therapy chair perhaps , holding a warming cup of tea , the thought can stay there but we do not have to act and it cannot, on it’s own, become more than a thought.
In the same way a feeling we experience is our body going through a physiological reaction or a psychological reaction. It is the feeling it is – we acknowledge that – perhaps it is anxiety , perhaps it is fear , – however again we do not need to take action. As we learn to explore this we see that when we do not take action – the feared event does not happen. .. and so our brain starts to be re-trained with the evidence.
More and more I find that Mindfulness is a tool which works alongside traditional therapy – to create the space in which to see different choices – to remove us from the noise that is hindering us and allow us to start to simply be and breath … and in this space #recoveryispossible.
Why not come over to the Bemoore Face Book Group – Reconnection and join in the conversation and find support ?
If you need help with OCD or Self Harm Behaviours drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming soon – dedicated webpage to OCD/Self Harm Support
Online coaching course to introduce you to my Reconnection Programme.