I asked my client who recently attended a wedding,“Why was everyone celebrating? What’s the accomplishment?”
She paused for a long time. “Hmmm, I guess it’s a celebration of two people finding each other?” I asked, “And you celebrated that?” My client smiled and said, “I know what you’re doing.” She was on to me.
This client, once unable to take three steps without a lengthy ritual, danced the entire night at a wedding reception—completely ritual free! There’ve been so many victories over the last few months. And not once has she ever celebrated. Not one tiny little whoot whoot!
I asked my client, “What? What do you think I’m doing?”
She said, “You’re wondering if I celebrated my own accomplishment. You’re wondering if I did a little happy dance for myself.”
I moved to the edge of my seat in anticipation, “Yes! Yes! I’m wondering if at any point you twirled around on that dance floor and shouted with glee, “I’m free! I’m free!” She replied, “Oh God no. I’m not ever going to do that!”
This woman is doing the hardest thing she’ll ever do in her life. She’s defying OCD. She’s been disobedient and doing the opposite of what OCD tells her to do for months now.
OCD says leave. She stays. OCD says don’t think about this. She thinks about it more. OCD warns, “Do this (ritual) or something bad is going to happen.” She says, “Nah, that’s ok. Whatever happens, happens.”
Time and time again, my client proves to be more powerful than OCD. Everyday she’s winning more and more battles! If OCD kicks it up a notch, she powers right through it. She says, “Oh yeah OCD??? Watch this OCD! You’re not the boss of me anymore!”
And yet she won’t celebrate. ?
Reasons Why People With OCD Won’t Celebrate Their Victories
No Plan or Intention
I forgot all about celebrating. I planned the exposure but didn’t think about what I could do to celebrate. It just slipped my mind.
Isn’t it about the climb more than the top of the mountain? No pain—No gain. If I’m not suffering something’s not right. I thought I was supposed to be suffering all the time?
It’s Too Soon
I’ll celebrate later. I’m not where I want to be. I haven’t done enough. I’ve got a long way to go before I should start celebrating.
Minimizing the Victory
There’s people with far worse problems than me. I’m so ashamed of being self-absorbed by my worries. There’s people starving in this world.
I Don’t Know How to Celebrate
I can’t think of anything to reward myself with. There isn’t anything I want or need. I don’t know how to acknowledge what I’ve done. I feel silly.
Why would I celebrate doing something that everybody else can easily do? I’m not going to celebrate over some piddly little thing I should have been able to do a long time ago.
Too Focused On What’s Wrong or Not Working
Sure I pulled that off. So what! What good did it do? Even though I did the exposure I’m still anxious and the thought is still there.
There’s No Point
Why should I celebrate? Sure, today was a victory but tomorrow that’s another story. Tomorrow everything could go back to the way OCD wants it. Who’s to say all my success today will be repeated tomorrow?
Don’t Want to Jinx It
I don’t want to let my guard down by celebrating. As soon as I acknowledge that I’m doing pretty good, OCD will throw a bomb at me. I don’t think it’s smart to say anything positive right now. I’ll jinx myself.
What’s Your Reason? Have I missed yours? When you are victorious over OCD, what keeps you from celebrating? Is it mentioned above or do you have one to add? Please let us know! You can add it anonymously in the comment section.
The cold, hard/ugly truth is that without acknowledging your victories it can take twice as long to be healthy and free!
If your child or best friend gave you any of the above reasons for not celebrating a victory would you say, “Yeah, you’re right. You can’t celebrate.”
People with OCD often ask, “How can I stop all this chatter in my head?” “I’m feeling like this will never get better.” If you really want to influence your thoughts and feelings, then celebrate your victories!
Celebrate to generate motivation. Feel better. Release the happy juice: dopamine. Celebrating is the foundation to success!
No matter how tiny or small you think your victory is, CELEBRATE! Cultivate a positive mindset with a happy dance! This is scientifically proven so why not try it out!
When to Celebrate
- OCD told you to leave and you stayed
- OCD told you to stay and you left
- OCD told you to stop think a thought less and you thought it more
- OCD told you to sanitize and you got dirty
- OCD told you to go back and check and you shrugged ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and kept going
- OCD told you something bad could happen and you said, “Whatever happens, happens. I’ll deal with it if and when it happens.”
- OCD questioned your morals or intentions and you said, “We’ll just never know. Oh well.”
- OCD questioned your health and you said, “I don’t want to live in a small little bubble.”
- OCD suggested other people are more adequate than you and you said, “I’d rather just go ahead and be inadequate than agonize over whether or not I’m adequate.”
- OCD tells you to keep doing it (ritual) until you feel just right and you say, “I’d rather feel just wrong.”
- OCD tells you that you’re going to end up all alone you say, “Then I can leave the dishes in the sink as long as I want!”
How to Celebrate
Here’s the thing about celebrating. It doesn’t matter how you celebrate. What matters is that you consistently do something that tells your brain you are pleased or even happy about something you did. It doesn’t have to be a glamorous affair. But it can be! ?
Let us know in the comment section how you like to celebrate!
Think of all the rituals and compulsions you’re willing to use to cultivate a mindset of fear and avoidance. You’ve been etching this groove in your brain long enough! It’s time to flip it and cultivate a positive mindset! Put some thought and muscle into celebrating!!!
And for those of you who don’t celebrate because you don’t feel like it—do it anyway. It can help. Check out this link: Go Here From the book, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
If you aren’t celebrating, you can’t blame it on OCD. You’re getting in your own way of freeing your mind. Freeing your life.
What are you going to celebrate today and how are you going to do it?
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