Stop Thinking, Just Move: Combatting OCD

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By Maria Senise

Is there any way to get an on/off button for my thoughts? They don’t shut up, they never give me a moment’s peace, and I’m sick of it. My relentless OCD is the heinous b*tch behind it all. She’s like a nagging, miserable old woman who refuses to cease her continuous pestering. She’s not happy unless I’m worrying past the point of rational thought. She’s not happy unless I’m repeating words, prayers, numbers to the point of exhaustion. She’s not happy unless she has me believing that unless I do these things, my life will go to go to sh*t. I know she’s wrong. I know she lies. I know she’s a f*cking miserable old hag that will never be satisfied. I know I can’t satisfy her, so then why do I listen? Why do I oblige her? Why do I feed the beast?

Fear. Fear is the reason I feed the beast. I fear that if I don’t comply with the beast, something bad will happen. I have a constant, crippling fear that the other shoe will drop. I have a constant, crippling fear that it will be my fault. My psyche is built on fear, superstition, and guilt — all things that are unfounded, unrealistic, and unhealthy. These festering parasites’ only purpose is to suck the soul from me and suck my happiness dry. There’s no evidence to support my line of thinking; I know this. I know that this fear is irrational. I completely realize this fear has no point, no reason, and no shred of positive impact on my life. I hate it. I’m disgusted by the hold it has on me. The thought of it makes me physically ill; I feel nauseated over it. I don’t want this fear to control my emotions, my thoughts, or my life.

There is something that occasionally helps me snap me out of my ritualistic and pointless fear-based thinking, and that is doing. If I get up and move into action, I’m sometimes able to shake the webs my thoughts are attempting to entangle me in. This is why I love boxing and exercising so much; I just get up and do. During my work outs, the thoughts try to invade, but it’s so much easier to fight them when I’m active. I’m able to avoid giving in to the rituals, at least temporarily. Rock climbing helps me, too. Once I get that harness on, I have to put my thoughts and energy into the wall I’m climbing. All of my focus has to channel into this one task, which allows me to disregard the the crowd of worries gathering on the periphery of my mind. Climbing forces me to keep going, keep fighting, keep looking up and moving forward.

The sense of accomplishment and of conquering the crap that ensues fuels me with the motivation I want and need in my life. I want joy, peace, contentment, hope, and happiness to be my motivation, to be my source of thoughts and emotions. I need to keep building up this sense of conquering; I need to gather my fuel. I need to keep doing.

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Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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