As strange as this may sound, where you are right now is a great place for the beginning of your recovery. I was there too. It’s when you finally give up the idea that you can fight ocd in its own game. That you can out think it. That you can hold on to your certainty and your ideas and ocd won’t attack them. But finally you come to a brilliant understanding. The house always wins: and OCD is the house. So surrender. Let it believe it’s winning. The second you let go, and let it believe it’s winning is when paradoxically you start winning. OCD can’t win the game if you stopped playing the game. Ocd needs an opponent, stop joining in. When you stop playing the game of “is this real” or “why can’t I live the life I want to” you will start to see the peace you are looking for. The other thing I want to mention is that you are so resistant and afraid of your thoughts and feelings right now that it is causing you suffering. The suffering doesn’t happen from the thoughts or feelings. The suffering happens when you resist them. When you don’t accept their presence. This is the unfortunate fault of your ego. Ego wants to feel it has a story in life: “I am such and such… I work at such and such…. I’m dating such and such… I’m good at such and such”. Ego will do anything to protect these ideas, but Ocd will come in and ruin the party. So how do you stop suffering from it? Stop letting your ego or ocd try to run the show. Stop trying to protect your identity ans your story. Stop resisting ocd and let the thoughts and feelings come. They say that a drunk person usually survives a car crash because there body is loose and softened by the effect of alcohol. While someone else may have stiffened up and that causes more injury. Think of this analogy with Ocd. The more you resist, the more you stiffen up and cause yourself more pain. But if you can loosen, if you can soften, If you can accept the perceived threat, you will suffer less and less.
Hey Sasha. I know we’ve talked about this before. But I don’t know how to do it. Do I break up with my gf and embrace these new feelings? And act on them? I’m so scared of letting them in because I’m petrified they’ll become the new me, and that I’ll enjoy them.
@BradOCD Like I’ve said before in the past: it’s not about the thought content. It doesn’t matter what ocd is telling you. It could be telling you you’re trans, or you are gay, or you want to kill yourself, or you just poisoned your whole family- it doesn’t matter. It’s irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant and you should focus on is that feeling is unpleasant. That’s it. Allow the thoughts to come up, and trigger the feeling. Notice, observe, do not put a judgment on it. Do not identify with it. Just follow the physical feeling. That is what is causing destress. Forget about “do I act on it, do I leave?” That’s not the issue. The issue is you don’t want to sit with the feeling of uncertainty. But if you want to try erp by learning how to not resist the feelings as well as expose yourself to the ideas. Then go watch gay porn without giving in to compulsions. Or go to a gay bar. And just hang out there and talk to guys without giving in to compulsions. But you don’t have to. I had the same problem as you, and eventually I just let it be. I just let the thoughts come. I noticed the pattern that I had irrational anxiety with different topics, not just being gay. And always reminded myself this is an ocd problem, I have to treat like one.
@Sasha But I don’t feel uncertain sometimes. Sometimes I feel so certain that the OCD thoughts and fears are true and it eats me up. I wish I was still doubting (I still am partially) but now it just feels like denial
@BradOCD I’m going to have to disagree with you. Certainty feels peaceful. It feels like you know the path forward. So… no. You don’t feel certain, because you are still confused. So I’m saying, stop trying to feel certain, and just let the feeling pass. Your fear is that if you let the feeling and thoughts come, suddenly you will become what you don’t want to. And I’m asking you to take that risk and let them come, and see what happens. But don’t resist. Don’t give in to compulsions. And get an ocd therapist, because I can see you need the help and it’s going to be much harder to do it alone.
@Sasha What’s funny is even the sentence “certainly feels peaceful” triggered me. Because now I’m worried that these feelings do make me feel peaceful?
@Sasha Are you serious about the gay porn? Is that REALLY an ERP technique?
@BradOCD Have you tried watching gay porn?
@BradOCD You can’t worry about feeling peaceful. You are either peaceful or you are not. And you sir, are definitely not peaceful if you are being triggered by that word.
@Sparker1289 Yes it is. Both you and Brad should read this article for reference:https://ocdla.com/sexual-orientation-hocd-gay-ocd-treatment-2-1970
Again Brad, I'm with you on all of this...
I know this is a triggering question, but what holds you back from giving in and experimenting? If you and your girlfriend were to break up...do you believe that you'd attempt to see if these thoughts are real or not?
If you’d asked me this question a few weeks ago then I would say I definitely wouldn’t see if these thoughts were real. Now I just don’t know
Battling SO OCD isn’t about giving into anything. It’s forcing yourself to live with uncertainty. Don’t break up with your partner. Don’t experiment. These are compulsions. Things you are trying to do to find certainty but it will make you feel worse. Get an OCD therapist and do the proper ERP work. I agree with Sasha. I’ve also been in a similar place. Certainty feels peaceful. Embracing who you are shouldn’t feel depressing or painful or horrible like you feel. SO OCD that is as severe as this feels real as hell. I’ve been there, but to do better start the ERP.
Is it normal to think people are ‘lying’ to you when they say “I know you’re not gay/straight”
@BradOCD Lol! I love when people tell me they don't think I'm gay..."tell that to my brain!"
@BradOCD Brad, these questions are what’s making your ocd worse. You gotta get an ocd therapist. You’re not going to recover through reassurance.
@Sasha I do have a therapist. We’re on our 5 session now I’ve just been finding this week particularly hard
@BradOCD Are they ocd trained? Because it just seems like you’re not fully conmprehending the mechanics of ERP and Acceptace commitment therapy yet.
@Sasha Well they’re from NOCD. They’ve just been going quite slowly with me
@BradOCD Gotchu. Have they been teaching you to not give in to compulsions? Because I notice you doing them quite frequently on this chat.
@Sasha can you help me here is my story and how I believe this whole thing happened here goes so I was working nights at a ware house, didn’t have hocd or any thing like that I have never liked men or been interested in them at all,then their was this one night were I was really tiered and was half asleep,the guys there they was joking around saying I can see why gay guys are happy they don’t have girls in their life’s an then like straight after that, I stared questioning if I was gay or not and running to the toilet nearly every 5 mins I still am going through hell now can’t shake these thoughts,no matter what I try I have had this now for 2 years on top of that I have Aspergers too.
I’m sorry to hear about how much you’ve been suffering. I can relate to your story, for I had those experiences with ocd as well. One trigger, and then “boom”, your in this endless vicious cycle that feels like your inprisoned for life. But here’s the thing: the more insight you gain about ocd, and the more you understand how to manage it, the less of a problem it will be. I want you to read this carefully, and trust my words. Your first thought that triggered this, caused your body to go into a “fight or flight” state. You interpreted this state as though it meant you wanted to be gay. Then you proceeded to think about it, because you wanted to prove to yourself that you weren’t. And then the “fight or flight” got dramatically worse. And now you feel trapped. So here’s the thing. You misinterpreted what happened. You have a brain with a very sensitive amygdala. It fires when you hear something that is uncomfortable. The idea that you might be gay scares you. Not so much being gay that’s scary, but the reprucussions of being gay. “What if people find out?” “What if I will no longer have sex with women who I want to have sex with ?” “What if I’m ridiculed and pushed away from friends and family.” So that fear is something you are trying to resist. So this is why your body goes into fight or flight mode. It thinks it’s protecting itself from some real intruder. The problem is there is no intruder. It’s just a thought. I have thoughts like yours at random moments through out the day. The difference is that I have a new relationship with them. I don’t take them to think they are valuable thoughts. But when you put value on them, your brain believes then that this was an actual threat. And so it reinforces you to give in to more compulsions. Running to the bathroom for relief, ruminating, disproving and analyzing and checking- these are all things that are weaking you, and strengthening ocd. So if you want to get out of this cycle, you have to stop fearing the thoughts. Let them come, and don’t argue with them.
Thank you Sasha ... yeah I do try to agree with them but then am like am I agreeing with turning gay and then I fall again it so hard I have a girl friend and a little boy I just want to get better for them it not fair on them I didn’t ask for this tho it is just what it is
Do not confusing agreeing with accepting. Accepting means you are allowing the thought to be there. You are allowing uncertainty to exist. Just the same way if I told you tomorrow you will turn into an alien, you would feel certain about it, but there is still an uncertainty there. It’s infetesimally small, but it exists. So I’m asking you to accept this infinitesimally small chance of being gay. No one knows for sure anything, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Will you be struck by lightening tomorrow? Maybe … maybe not. You get where I’m going with this? It’s accepting the feeling rather than agreeing with the feeling and thought. Just allowing your body to do what it does without identifying with it. It’s really uncomfortable at first because your brain thinks it’s in a survival situation. But it’s not. It will soon realize that and it will be less uncomfortable
I too have a girlfriend and a son. She has two children of her own and I feel so guilty while going through this
Thank you Sasha again yeah I will just accept it for what it is thoughts you advise is really helpful thank you again
Anytime. I know the way out because I was inside the same turmoil you were in. Change the relationship to the thoughts, change your life.
@Sasha Thank you so much why does it keep saying I am in denial and just accept it and be guy this is horrible what do I do just say okay yeah I am gay big deal for example ?
@Sasha Be gay I meant sorry
@kyle g tucker Yea say that. Or just say maybe I am in denial maybe I’m not. And then carry on. It weakens the more you do that. Don’t argue with it. It will get stronger. You will suffer more. It may seem like the way to do it, but it’s not. Its what causes the cycle to continue
@Sasha @sahsha I forgotten to say that when it start on the night shift the thoughts we’re saying I am gay over and over...to the point we’re I screamed out load no I am not it only got worse and worse can’t stop going on you tube watching chrissie hodges vidoes I agree with most thing but she said what if am gay mine was telling me I am but it is so obsessive all the time
I and yeah me to my girl friend has a daughter as well as our son together I been with my girl for 5 years now I miss the old me and my old life am sure we all get there in the end
I went through this same experience in the beginning of my recovery! I felt like I needed to shut everyone out and start all over. I did not do that though, I kept going and leaned into the anxiety everyday. It was so difficult and I thought I would never make it through, but I did. What kept me going was that I knew my thoughts were thoughts and not actual actions. I could keep going every single day and my OCD could play these tricks but I would not let it win. Maybe try writing down what it would be like if you actually did lose everything. Would it give you anxiety? If it does, lean into that anxiety. Sit with it and then let it go. You got this!
What if it doesn’t give me anxiety?
@BradOCD OCD can trick you and make you feel like you’re not anxious of something.