A person with OCD seeks one thing.
Trying to Get It Deprives You of All Your Power
If you’ve got OCD then seeking certainty is how you’re wired. It’s your automatic solution for doubt and anxiety.
OCD lies: “Get certainty and you’ll feel much better.” Unless you’ve learned how to shrug ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ you’ll do whatever it takes to feel better. It’s odd, but actually shrugging feels better than seeking certainty. That’s because you’ll always end up empty handed.
The problem is, it can’t be gotten. Certainty isn’t possible. There’s a possibility you’ll (falsely) feel certain for a brief moment. But, in a matter of minutes or even seconds, the doubt and anxiety will return. It’s a vicious cycle.
The Most Frequent Way People Try to Get Certainty Is By Seeking Reassurance
Reassurance is your kryptonite. As long as you’re seeking reassurance you’ll be forever vulnerable. OCD will be your boss until you learn to shrug.
You’ll have no confidence in just about anything you do. Like an addict, you’ll be thinking about your next fix, and the next one, and the next one, all day long.
Reassurance can be sought in many ways:
It Starts With a Question and Then the Analyzing Begins
- Am I okay? Is this okay?
- What does this say about me? What does it mean?
- Is this wrong? Is this bad? Am I a bad person?
- What if I lose control? What if I make a mistake?
- Am I going to act on this thought?
- What if something bad happens? Won’t I be responsible?
- What if I get overwhelmed? What if I can’t relax?
- Did I do something wrong? Am I making the right decision?
- Is this OCD? It’s just my OCD. Right?
The Checking Begins and Never Ends
- I don’t remember if I did that. Go back and check.
- Do they know what I’m thinking? Let’s see if I can get them to smile. If they do, we must be okay.
- Did I leave something behind? Look behind and check.
- Did I touch that? Ask. Wash to be sure.
- Say it again. Make sure they heard it.
- Give all the details one more time. Make sure they understand.
- Do it one more time until it feels right.
Avoidance is Reassuring Too
- The way to feel safe is to stay away.
- Don’t touch it. Don’t look at it. Then there’s no risk.
- Don’t think about it. Then it can’t happen.
- Replace that bad thought with a good thought.
You can spend hours reassuring yourself through compulsions and mental acts. You can involve others by asking for reassurance. But, it’s not going to lead to freedom.
You can’t free your mind this way. There is no breaking free of OCD in seeking reassurance. Resisting reassurance will increase your level of anxiety and doubt. It’s not dangerous. It’s unpleasant. Be tenacious. Keep resisting. Shrug. Stick with it. Tolerate it.
If you want to be set free, there is no other choice. You can start doing it now or do it years down the road. But, if you don’t start now…OCD will only rob you of more and more.
Resisting reassurance is what you’re going to have to do eventually. Why not just get it over with? Lean in to the pain and break free.
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