I had a conversation with my mom like this and you’re right. OCD makes me feel like I HAVE to do something when I simply don’t want to. I have a boyfriend who is everything I have ever wanted and I don’t want to lose that
Right?? It felt so urgent to choose a label but like….society created labels and they don’t work for everyone. They are for people who they help, but for others it can tie them down to fitting into a box. OCD doesn’t get to decide who we love or what we do/don’t do💜
Thank you for this:. Do you ever have things from your past that come up as “proof”. I am stuck on those. I had these thoughts when I was young and I don’t know if it was ocd or I am just in denial. I don’t want to lose my fiancé at all. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Here’s what has been helpful for me to remember: If you’re looking for something, you will find it. If I look back on my life with a lens of “was it this???” then I’ll probably misinterpret..everything! It’s like when someone gets a headache and then wonders if it’s cancer, and then sees everyyyything as proof. This is what OCD wants. It wants us to doubt and question and search for answers. We all had all kinds of thoughts when we were young, but those thoughts don’t need to mean anything. I used to think that me watching late night raunchy TV at a young age meant something, but really it just meant I was a kid who was curious about wtf was going on. Proof is where we look for it. There’s plenty of “proof” that you’re happy and love your partner too. We can resist the urge to check. You’re awesome!!
@LSea2021 Thank you for this. It helped so much. I appreciate you. Are you having a hard time with wedding planning? My dress came in today and I feel like I should be over the moon but ocd is making me feel sick.
@OCD33 I was having IMMENSE trouble with wedding planning, but I think part of that was due to uncertainty around COVID. We actually ended up rethinking our vision and are going to get married at the courthouse then throw a big party at our house (post-Omicron). Doing something that’s more our style removed a lot of stress :)
@LSea2021 I love this. That makes me so happy for you. If you don’t mind me asking, how is intimacy? I seem to struggle with that. I have never been very into “it” which scares me for proof.
@OCD33 I’m an open book! I have struggled with anxiety for our whole relationship (SOOCD for almost 4 years is sooooo fun!!), but before I knew I had OCD I was almost always anxious before, during or after. This made it hard to fully enjoy or be present. Things that have been helpful: communicating what I want in the moment (even if it feels embarrassing!), not being so serious (sex is supposed to be fun, not some…super passionate movie scene. I’ve literally never experienced that in my life), and trying to be more present in enjoying his body and him enjoying mine. There is no “right” feeling to feel during it, as long as it’s consensual and you enjoy the time together. Give yourself compassion and grace! Sex can feel complicated with anxiety, but libido and taking the time to find what makes it most enjoyable don’t need to *mean* anything
@LSea2021 You are awesome!!! Thank you for being so open and kind to me! I wish we could be friends in real life because I feel like you get it 😂 I also feel with the wedding coming up- the stories that people leave their fiancé before because they realize they are gay or the women who have been married for years and leave for another women gives me so much anxiety and pain 🥴🥴🥴 have you ever been turned on by “sexual things” that freak you out??
@OCD33 One thousand percent yes I have!!! It’s actually what originally triggered my SOOCD. I am very of the mind that sexual things are arousing for everyone bc we are human. TV and movies and books especially are literally created to be provoking in that way. Again: doesn’t need to mean anything. I also get shook by those stories!! I had a bad weekend bc of it. But you know what? We don’t know the *actual* why of why these women left their relationships; we don’t know what they decided they could find with another person VS their own; we only know what we are shown. I’m so guilty of projecting other people’s story onto my online and absolutely agonizing over it. Has that ever helped me avoid something in the past? Absolutely not. Has it frustrated my fiancé? 10000000% 😂 We are our stories. Just because we are attracted to something or someone that feels out of character doesn’t mean we want to choose them. We’re just human ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Also, I might be coming across as someone who has her shit on lock but I fully spiraled last weekend so don’t be fooled 🤓
@LSea2021 Projecting other people’s story onto my own life** I was trying to say above
@LSea2021 Do you feel as if it’s attraction though? I view attraction as wanting to be with someone and feeling “home” with them. I think arousal can be from anything sexual in nature. Do you agree with this? Lol sorry I feel like I’m asking you a million questions. I see one persons story and I’m like OMG that’s going to be me 😭 in regards to the later in life stories!
@OCD33 In my opinion, attraction is finding other people attractive—plain and simple. We don’t have to do anything with it, we can just notice it and move on. Totally agree that arousal can be from anything. I don’t want to be a source of ~ reassurance ~ but I do want to say that we get to choose how our life goes :) We get to choose who we’re with. We define happiness for ourselves. Things aren’t as black and white as OCD likes to make them seem. We can have happy, long lasting marriages if we put in the work 💜
@LSea2021 I love that mindset. My OCD has been so loud lately and has been making me miserable. Even like reassurance hasn’t been enough to make me feel any better. My therapist was like yeah because you are feeding it so much now you just have to sit with the discomfort and say “there is no problem here for me to solve”. I notice when I do exposures I have a hard time not doing compulsions (mental ones usually) how do you handle that?
@OCD33 Never a fun time!! I probably look silly bc I basically just hold my breath and don’t blink until the moment has passed 🥴 Discomfort is my least favorite, but I know it’s where we do our growing. I try to lean in to it and not grab for my mental coping mechanisms. Easier said than done sometimes though! I’m also medicated (Lexapro) which has made a WORLD of difference.
@LSea2021 That is awesome!! Thanks for being so positive and helpful! You give me hope that I can do this and be with my fiancé ! I’m on Prozac but haven’t noticed a positive change yet.
@OCD33 Girl, you CAN do this. We are not our OCD and we can have the lives we want. Sending you all the positivity and strength!!
This was wonderful to read. Thanks for sharing.
I tried to do this before and my mind simply won’t let me. Minutes later the thoughts can flooding back “but what if...” “you’re just saying that because you don’t want to accept it” ... how did you get past this?
Great question. I guess removing the labels for me gives me more power. Also, taking some meaning away from “attraction” and instead focusing on what’s more important in a partner to me: kindness, honesty, trust, etc. I get to choose whatever person I want, and I know I prefer men (because I don’t want to be with women, and I trust myself in that…even if OCD is pressuring me to not). I’ve decided that my OCD doesn’t get to set rules for me or decide who I am with.
I’ve tried this as well but I get caught up on whether or not I feel sexual attraction to my partner and the whole cycle starts up again. I’d love to be able to love and desire my partner without worrying
To be transparent, my libido has been super down because od anxiety so I totally understand this struggle. What brings me peace is that attraction to my partner will always be changing because it’s *just* a feeling. We don’t have to look for meaning in that. We can choose to love our partner and express it in whatever way is comfortable in a moment. I only recently was able to tell my fiancé about my OCD, and that felt intimate. I’ve also been working on taking it slower during sex so I can be more present instead of being sooooo anxious. When I get anxious, I try to just let it be there instead of focusing on it. It’s a process, and I’m still learning, but it’s helping me to gradually reestablish the joy of being with him.
Hi, I know you’re getting a lot of questions and I’m new to the forum, but my therapist suggested I reach out. I had been doing a lot better with my SOOCD for several months (still checking and ruminating but not as severe). I was able to hang out with friends again and go on dates with men. Recently I got my first boyfriend. And he is so kind and amazing and being with him makes me feel safe. But we just ‘announced’ our relationship on social media and friends started asking questions and telling me I look so happy and how handsome he is. But this triggered a huge panic attack, the worst I’ve had in almost a year. (TMI it made me throw up). I’m just so terrified of everything, that I’ll hurt him because of my ocd, that I shouldn’t be with him because I ‘could be’ attracted to the samesex, and all of the above that you and OCD33 talked about goes through my head (especially Carol from Friends, I know that’s fictional but like that’s one of my triggers). I want to love him so badly and think that I do, but OCD tells me no. I’m crying as I type this because I’m so scared. And I know I shouldn’t be asking for reassurance, but I don’t know what to do. Sitting with the doubt just makes feel like the world is ending.
I hear what you’re saying, and I can see that you’re scared. I totally get it 💜 First, as you can see in this thread, you are not alone. We are all struggling in our own ways, and we are all taking it day by day. When I was at my lowest, I was doing a lot of crying and feeling a lot of despair, but it can get more manageable. I’m living proof!! What’s felt like a common theme to me in a lot of SOOCD convos is that we are scared we’ll lose our ability to choose who we want to be with. We want to be with our partners, or our preferred type of person, and we think it’s as black or white as “we can” or “we can’t.” But that’s not the case 💜 We are all humans looking for a partner who suits us—and we get to choose that partner! It doesn’t matter who we find attractive, we get to *choose* who or pursue. The reason you look happy with your partner is probably because you are! You chose him to be with because he has the qualities in a human that you think are valuable, and I’d be he makes you laugh. And he makes you feel safe!! So important. The most. I am not a pro at managing my OCD (by any means), but I have been focusing on separating my thoughts from my anxiety which has made it easier for me to let thoughts go more quickly. After all, they are just thoughts and they don’t have to mean anything. I follow the wisdom that I am safe in my relationship, I have an amazing partner, we have a special relationship, and I know I don’t want to choose anything else for myself—or any one! At the end of the day, attraction is just a feeling. Feelings are just little connections in the brain—nothing more. I don’t know about you, but that gives me peace. Enjoy your relationship. Try to feel empowered by the idea that you do get to choose and that things aren’t sooo black and white. Sit in discomfort without pushing back (uncomfortable, but wow has it helped me). You are bigger than your anxiety, and you get to choose to love your boyfriend. Remember: love is more an action than a feeling 💜