OCD is chaos. Recovery shouldn’t be. The wacky haired scientist Albert Einstein once said “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. We know we can’t beat OCD by thinking our way out. We can’t beat it by proving it wrong or out-thinking it, because it is better than us at its own game. OCD will win the war every time if we fight back. OCD may be a genius at its own game, but if you combat it from a different angle its hard and confident exterior will soon crumble.
What I’ve learned from The OCD Stories podcast is that recovery needs order, it needs focus. OCD has been pressing your weak spot for years, it’s about time to turn the tables around and press on its weak spot.
What is OCD’s weak spot? Uncertainty. When you as the OCD sufferer can learn how to live with and in uncertainty, OCD will soon lose its power. After all, OCD just wants you to be certain you didn’t kill that person, harm that child and catch that extremely rare but conveniently placed disease. When you can show OCD that you are ok with not knowing the truth, and live your life in spite of the anxiety and uncertainty you will show OCD it needs to go on a long holiday.
One of the quickest ways of dealing with uncertainty is to “learn to suffer” as Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh would say. Learn to suffer? Are you crazy? Yes, yes I am. You see when we get scary, unwanted thoughts fueled by paralyzing anxiety we fight them (or not and do compulsions). We tell our brains why they aren’t true, we passionately explain to our brains they have got it wrong, and for a while anxiety decreases. But then our brain will say “But did you think about this?” and “what if…”. So goes the cycle until we cry or give in and do a compulsion to relieve the pressure. We don’t allow ourselves to suffer and by this we end up suffering more. When we stop fighting our brains and proving them wrong, and just learn to sit with uncertainty and uncomfortable feelings we strip the petrol from the OCD engine. After a while the OCD engine has to come to a stop – it has no fuel. Sitting with uncertainty means not judging, not fighting your thoughts or feelings but instead observing them. It takes time, but it’s a worthy skill to have in OCD recovery and life.
*Sponsored by nOCD – an OCD treatment app that helps OCD patients get treatment when they need it most in a clinically effective way (https://e2pt.app.link/treatmyocd-blog)!
Learn more about nOCD and our mission to revolutionize OCD treatment at Treatmyocd.com