How to Stop Drifting and Start Defying OCD

160_F_104942289_OG15RaCiY8rHeyNh8qFqcIh99VDa1cMFWithout a plan to defy OCD you’re operating on automatic pilot. Which means you’re not paying attention to what you really want in life and going for it. You might be getting through the day—but barely.

If you have unwanted intrusive thoughts and you’re on automatic pilot, then you’re spending a lot of time in your head trying to analyze whether or not you’re a good person or bad person. You’re seeking reassurance asking people over and over, “Is this really OCD?” You’re spending a lot of time doing “magical” compulsions. Living your life with joy and purpose is difficult because you’re so hyper-vigilant, looking for signs of danger.

If you’re on automatic pilot and have contamination fears, then your day centers around avoiding people, objects, surfaces. Almost every move you make requires a scan of the environment. You’re seeking a lot of reassurance, “is this safe?” or getting people to touch things for you. Living your life with joy and purpose is difficult because you’re having to be so hyper-vigilant.

If you’re on automatic pilot and have “just right” OCD then you’re spending a lot of time thinking and doing repeated compulsions until you feel just right. Your life is driven by feelings not values. You’re constantly trying to fix a bad feeling. People around you are affected because all activity must stop until you feel just right. Living your life with joy and purpose is difficult because you can’t do much of anything until you feel right.

If you have no plan to defy OCD you’re drifting. And if you’re drifting you’re going nowhere fast. It’s a life of desperation filled with guilt and avoidance. OCD is in charge and it’s running you ragged. Without a plan all your hopes and dream pass you by.

You can beat and defy OCD if you take yourself off automatic pilot. Make a plan. Stick to the plan no matter what. If you stick to the plan you’ll have a life of joy and purpose.

During the month of April I’ve posted on my blog every day about the sort of plan you need to defy OCD. The plan consists of four proven components that spell out the word DEFY:

Determination
Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP)
Fitness: Mental & Physical
Yielding with a shrug

While it was sometimes challenging to find the time to do it, I’ve enjoyed writing about all of these components for the last 30 days. Thank you to all of you who have posted comments. Those were my favorite part of this challenge!

If you haven’t had the time to read them, please do because all of them will be removed from “Blog it Back” by May 4th.

3 thoughts on “How to Stop Drifting and Start Defying OCD”

  1. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” – John A. Shedd

    A ship exists to be out on the seas, not restricted to a harbor. We exist to be out in the world, not trapped in an OCD-prison. For many years I didn’t know what to do – I was stuck in the harbor and didn’t know how to get out. Now I have the mental tools and know what to do, but I must APPLY them. Take the tools of determination, fitness, exposure and response prevention and yielding and go out into the world. I’m not close to where I want to be yet, but I’m also not going to get there by sitting in a “safe” harbor. I’m convinced each of us can be where we belong if we use our mental tools and keep on moving forward, even when it seems almost impossible: it’s not. The ocean is joyful and feels risky, the harbor feels safe and is filled with guilt and avoidance.

  2. Great post! I found this really helpful, it really describes what it feels like to be lost in OCD.

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