This video by Ali Greymond / YOUHAVEOCD on YouTube really helped me: Feeling Like You Actually Want The OCD Thoughts - PUREO HOCD ROCD POCD HARM FALSE MEMORY OCD
Basically, OCD is very good at making things SEEM real. If you think about it, this is VITAL for OCD's survival, and this was a big thing for me to realise.
If the fears didn't seem real, we wouldn't do compulsions.
If we didn't do compulsions, we wouldn't have OCD.
See how it kind of goes full circle to OCD trying to keep you in a loop?
THE VIDEO DEFINITELY INCLUDES SOME REASSURANCE, BUT in my case, it helped me understand OCD better, and helped me recognise my behaviour as OCD and make steps to try and adjust it (do less compulsions):
Intrusive thought > this seems real, what if it is? ok i think it is, that's bad > compulsion > TEMPORARY calmness
Here, I noticed that the only reason I was doing compulsions was because my thoughts seemed real. Now, I knew that OCD is very good at making things seem real so you engage in OCD behaviour and keep it strong, and this allowed me to take the first step towards resisting compulsions.
This was very scary, but I did less and less each day, sitting with anxiety that got much more manageable over time as I re-trained my brain. As I learned to sit with anxiety more, I became much more accepting of uncertainty (I think this is what the anxiety is actually, so of course learning to sit with it is really great!).
Sorry if this isn't a great explanation, I have a bad headache! But I hope this is adequate enough. Let me know if you don't understand anything!