For the past couple months I’ve been on a very familiar roller coaster ride. Thoughts about harming my children? Check. Thoughts about suddenly dying while i’m home with my children? Check. Thoughts that I may or may not be experiencing reality? Check. Thoughts that cause anxiety and discomfort and shock and guilt and fear? Check, check, check, check, check.
I never expect that my OCD will stay in the background because I know that recovery isn’t linear. So while it’s not surprising that I’m experiencing more regular symptoms again, it’s still annoying. I see my OCD like a toxic ex who won’t stop trying to contact me. I know the easiest way would be to ignore the calls and texts but my feelings make it hard to do that. The plan of action to tackle these symptoms is not a mystery. I know exactly what I need to do to nip this in the bud but the resistance is there.
What has been bothering me the most is that I’m doing great otherwise. I’ve shut down my imposter syndrome, I’m going towards my values, I’m creating the life I want to live AND STILL my OCD says, “This would be the perfect time for you to fuck up majorly. If you suddenly snapped and killed someone the people would go WILD.” It’s f*ucked up. This disorder has stamina, I can tell you that much. But the first step in getting back on track is admitting that you fell off.
Here are a few ways I can tell my OCD is starting to make the rules again:
- I wake up feeling anxious and go to bed feeling anxious.
- I am less likely to try something new, and more like to want to stick to the routine.
- My appetite is smaller or I suddenly lose my appetite in the middle of a meal.
- I don’t catch myself engaging with the intrusive thoughts until I’m already in a spiral.
- I find myself trying to cancel out the bad thoughts with good thoughts, or reassuring myself that they are “just thoughts”.
- I lose myself in my phone because being unoccupied feels unsettling.
Now that I’m noticing this, it’s time for me to make an audit of my routine and change what isn’t working.
Ok now you go. How are you feeling and how do you know when it’s time to get back on track?