OCD and Self-Criticism
This blog is inspired by an article that I read a few days back, wherein it was written that, in order to believe in yourself, you first need to like yourself.
Those of us, who are showered with this constant self-doubting, fearing and anxious traits that accompany OCD, it is all the more difficult to like ourselves. One of the simple reasons for this is because ‘we know’- We know what we keep thinking. We know that we are constantly afraid and keep running away from our thoughts and how can we like ourselves like that? How can you believe in yourself, when you know that you can’t even control your own thoughts. For somebody who is continuously creating endless scenarios in their head and can almost see them come true, how can that somebody stand up and carve out a meaningful life with the chain of fears clutching his/her throat.
BUT, what I’ve come to observe is that just by knowing that you are separate from your thoughts is a silver lining. Whenever this OCD anxiety loop triggers in, I am aware of it now- Maybe not immediately but with consistency the self-awareness starts setting in quicker than before. I have gained a little control from spiraling down the anxious black hole. And let me tell you that it is Not Easy. The little courage starts sprouting when you keep reminding yourself every time you realize that you are being pulled down by your OCD. Remind yourself that it is not you, who is a bad person, it is those wrecking thoughts and stop feeling guilty about it. Feeling guilty only make the matters worse. You see, OCD driven thoughts feed on our fears and guilt. Once you start forgiving yourself, it gives you the courage to tell your thoughts to stop. So, you need to be kind.. kind to yourself. Stop bashing yourself for that thought that crossed your mind. When you enter that vicious loop of OCD provoked thoughts and if you can break the chain for even a second and just tell yourself that this is not actually YOU who wants these thoughts to come true, it is not you who is secretly wishing bad for any of your loved ones, it is only then that you can come out of that spiral.
It is almost funny how last night, while taking a walk after dinner & listening to my dance playlist, I entered the OCD thoughts circle and I could tell myself that these thoughts are NOT ME. I am simply walking and enjoying good music right now and these thought are like walls or obstructions in my path and I started swaying myself forward, kicking these walls down [ I just hope nobody saw me actually lifting a leg to push some imaginary walls 🙂 ] For some reason, I believe that these thoughts would never really go away completely. They are deep rooted in my system and existence, BUT, I can always make an effort to live (in spite of their presence). I can always make an effort to remind myself that I am not defined by these thoughts, taking away their severity piece by piece, till they loose their interest in me 😛
I would urge anyone who is reading this post and if going through something like this (even remotely similar) to practice telling yourself that you are not defined by your thoughts, for it is usually the most innocent hearts that get hit by these fears the most. It is us, who love the most are afraid to loose the worst. You are good, you are brave and you can heal yourself.
Be kind to yourself and then only can you be truly kind to others.
Strength and love to all.