Hey DBurch13, I feel like I should preface this by saying I am not a therapist, but I have been struggling with OCD and would like to share the perspective I have been developing that has been transformational to me. I have felt how you feel as well, and I am sure I will feel this way again in the future. I have found a way to get my feet back on the ground; it is difficult, confusing, and often challenging to have hope. The combination of consistent work, using ERP (if we can at least understand the basics to practice), and developing mindfulness through meditation has helped me see my thoughts and feelings differently. This metaphor helped me see why I was struggling so much with my OCD; "The Elephant and the Rider." The rider is the conscious mind with its rational functions and volitional power. But the elephant is everything else: all the internal presuppositions, genetic inclinations, subconscious motives, and layers upon layers of uninterrogated, raw experience. The elephant is bigger (more powerful) than the rider. If the elephant wants to go somewhere, it will take the rider with it! To me, this means, with practice, we can build a healthy relationship with thoughts and feelings - I am not trying to control them - it just first requires us to forgive ourselves - to treat ourselves as our best friend. In one of the live Q&As, Dr. Patrick suggested treating yourself the same way you treat a friend. For example, if a friend made a mistake or had an intrusive thought, I bet you would tell them it is normal, we all struggle with that, but if WE had that thought we would instead turn against ourselves. Maybe just for one day, treat yourself like you would your best friend. Try meditating for five minutes a day - there are some great apps that provide guided meditation, be gentle with your mind. If we feel tension, we resist something in our mind; we can learn to allow these things to unwind naturally. We think we can use our conscious thinking to fend off thoughts and feelings, but it is a trap - it will only create tension. Small challenges each day will build a foundation you can stabilize yourself onto; however, it needs deliberate work to get there. ERP reminds me that I should not avoid the things that trigger me, but be mindful to not get overwhelmed. Meditation reminds me that I am not in control of my mind yet I can observe what it is doing and strengthen my control over what I am focused on. Be well and good luck to you.
Thank you. I appreciate the support. I just want to be around family and friends and spend as much time with them as I can and I’ve always wanted to be a writer, lol. Finally got the courage to try it and hopefully my OCD doesn’t mess it up for me.
Same honestly. I too am trying to be a freelance writer. Do you have any tips by any chance?