managing life with ocd

Managing life with OCD when you’re recovering…

February 9th 2018

It's something that I didn't pay any attention to until I couldn't avoid it any longer...

I don’t often find myself consciously thinking about OCD as much anymore because it’s usually something that happens on autopilot. Like an app functioning in the background, OCD ticks along, whirring away and every now and again, it gently sends me a push notification as a reminder; I’m still here.

This can be weird when you’re having a period of time (whether that’s minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years) that the OCD isn’t at the forefront of every waking moment. Because you get so used to focusing on it all the time that when it’s quiet, you can almost forget it’s there. And this is a good thing in some aspects, because it means that you’re on that oh-so cliché road to recovery, y’know, the one that people bang on about all the time and you’re there like, “Say whaaaa?!”

So what’s it like actively being in recovery but living with OCD? Well, it’s a lot calmer as could be expected. And not worrying 24/7 is an incredibly welcome respite. But I almost feel like something is missing, like my brain has got so used to having something to worry about that when I don’t, it needs something to fill the spaces in between. This was really disconcerting at first, nauseating if I’m honest, but I’m steadily getting used to it. I’m finding things to take my mind off the absence, the lack of, and the emptiness in my brain space.

I struggled a lot and felt guilty in the beginning, for all the people who are still suffering so much. But I’ve slowly reminded myself daily that, just as much as everyone else, I deserve to be well, I deserve to get better. Music, movies and simple but enthralling mobile games have really helped me get to grips with not worrying, with being able to think about things outside of OCD; with recovering. Reading has also worked fantastically well in terms of giving my brain something to focus on instead of the vast emptiness of space and time and boredom and all that jazz.

So don’t feel guilty for getting better, don’t beat yourself up for having nothing to do and find something to focus your mind and time, because you might come to realise that you’ve got a lot more of it on your hands than you used to so try and enjoy if you can!

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