I have been free of OCD for years. No idea how many because it isn’t worthy of counting, however, I know it is enough to classify as “many”.
The only person who ever knew I had it is my Dad.
I don’t suffer from OCD, OCD suffers from me
I was working away, receding my gums with my vigorous toothbrushing when it occurred to me. If I can fool myself into believing my obsessions and compulsively act as a servant to them, then I can fool myself into anything.
Fool yourself into anything
If you have OCD, you are wasting the superpower you clearly have – the ability to fool yourself into anything. Anything! Why not use that to your advantage.
Fool yourself into the things you actually want to believe. Fool your OCD.
Step 1 – Find a new way of thinking
Who’s your daddy
You do not have OCD. OCD has you. How lucky of it to have such an obedient servant.
It is nothing without you, nothing without your relentless dedication. OCD needs you. You sure as hell don’t need OCD.
I always wondered about people who hear voices and thought, just because you hear them, doesn’t mean you have to listen to their crap. Being loud and obnoxious doesn’t mean what they are saying is right.
Why not acknowledge the voice for the total jerk it often is and tell it to boot off? Stop making friends with it. It’s not looking out for you, its domestically abusing you. It can trot on.
Now, I know nothing about schizophrenia and I understand OCD isn’t about hearing voices. However, this approach applies in exactly the same way. In fact, it’s ideal.
That niggle that drives you to carry out some nonsense behaviour to prevent some unrelated harm that you know is total bollocks? It’s not looking out for you. It’s like an online troll. Starve it to death.
I’ll explain how I did this in more detail in another article soon.
You can’t be serious
Wash your hands until you bleed, the germs – the germs! That niggle can’t be serious! What about the bloody germs? The human body has a one-to-one ratio of resident microbes and human cells. Most of these microbes we actually need.
Tap that doorknob 60 times otherwise something horrendous will happen to your daughter! Again, that niggle can’t be serious. I don’t even need to explain this one, its just crap and you know it.
The niggle is clearly a complete idiot. Why are you following the instructions of an idiot?
Life happens anyway
A satisfied compulsion is not a shield or forcefield. You haven’t dulled the wrath of some universal luck power. If anything, you’ve just embarrassed yourself and pissed off whoever has agreed to tolerate you and that can’t be good for the good vibes.
Bad things are always going to happen. You know that.
Just because you satisfied the compulsion, it doesn’t mean bad things are not going to happen now. They certainly will.
Great things will also happen, again, whether or not you carry out your compulsion. As will good things and meh things. All kinds of things will continue to happen regardless.
Not a single one depends on your stupid compulsions.
Wire and fire
You have trained yourself to obey the niggle and fear the mythical repercussions of leaving it dissatisfied. I’m sure you’ve heard, neurons that wire together fire together.
Start wiring your brain differently and it will fire different neurons. Preferably wire it in a way that carries you toward contentment. However, any disruption to the current wiring will certainly help. Interrupt it relentlessly.
How? Do everything out of order. Sleep on the other side of the bed – in a different position. Use a different hand to brush your hair or teeth. Take a different route to work. Put your shoes and socks on first. Anything you can do differently, do it.
Then start forcing yourself into a habit that you want. Start a chain of events that moves you to be who you want to be. Even if it’s completely unrelated to OCD. For example, when you wake, immediately get out of bed, then go to the bathroom, then drink a glass of water, then get dressed into exercise gear, then go for a run/go to the gym/do a Jane Fonda workout/anything you want. Do this every single day.
That was just an off cuff example but you get the idea. If you do this every day, eventually, exercise will be so wired with waking up that you will feel uncomfortable if you don’t exercise first thing.
What does this have to do with making OCD your bitch? Allot. It teaches you that you can rewire your brain which empowers you. Effectively that’s all you really need.
However, it also teaches you to experience and grow comfortable or familiar with the discomfort of rewiring your brain. This will help you to mentally separate out your OCD anxiety from the brain’s (and body’s) intense protests to rewiring.
Disobey the niggle! Your brain (and body) will fire with a red alert. It will insist, convincingly, that you must continue to behave as you normally would. With ferocity!
Your mind and body will behave as though it is anxious and carry on like a spoilt child. They’ve mastered this crappy OCD thing and want to go back to being familiar. Back to your familiar OCD prison.
You created this mess! Clean it up. Pick your wires off the floor and put them back into their correct place. You’re the boss. Train the brain and body to serve you.
Are you embarrassed about your ODC?
You should be! It’s stupid. Ludicrous nonsense. But you already knew that.
Be embarrassed! Be ashamed! Stop telling people. It’s not a badge of honour. You are a complete weirdo. OCD behaviour is not acceptable. It’s not ok.
It is already impacting your life, don’t allow it to impact anyone else’s, that’s just rude and selfish. No one owes it to you to accommodate that crap. Don’t expect them to.
I understand this seems mean. At least now. However, the potential humiliation of your OCD is an absolute blessing in disguise. I will write more on this in a future post.
For now, if you discuss it with your family, stop. Ask them to stop acknowledging it and most importantly, stop accommodating it. They don’t have OCD, let them enjoy that fact.
“But that will send me off the rails,” you say. Too bad. Suck it up and find a way to deal with it. Deal with your own crap yourself. Stop asking everyone else to carry your luggage.
I can bet your old pal OCD isn’t going to help you one iota – which brings me back to who’s your daddy.
The load too heavy with all of that shame, anxiety and secrecy? Well, there’s always something you can offload, say, your weakest or most inconvenient compulsion?
Part three coming soon, stay tuned.