When to Let the OCD Run Hot

Sometimes the best way to deal with OCD when it runs hot is to simply let it run its course. That’s one of the things I’m learning about myself.

Mood music for this post: “Check My Brain” by Alice in Chains:

I’ve gotten pretty good at managing the disorder most of the time. Medication certainly helps, as do the therapy appointments and various coping tools I’ve developed over time. But even with those things, the OCD will kick in from time to time.

It’s mostly the little things these days: Obsessively picking toys off the living room floor even while the kids are still playing, re-checking and re-checking again the various project lists I have at work. Stuff like that.

When I first embarked on my effort to bring the OCD under control, I had the faulty notion that I could beat the disorder and drive it from me completely.

Six years on, I know that was a stupid notion, though I don’t beat myself over it. It was still a worthy goal.

But the lesson I’ve learned is that you never get rid of a mental disorder completely. You just learn to manage it and make sure the bad days are the exception to the rule. I’ve definitely won that battle.

I don’t spend every moment from sunrise to sunset spinning a web of mental chaos over every big and little thing that’s bothering me. I’m able to live in the precious present most of the time, and that’s a blessing.

Reigning in my addiction to compulsive overeating has been an enormous help on that score, because the brain works a lot more efficiently when it’s not all gummed up with processed flour and sugar.

But I now know and accept that there will be days where the mind spin is tougher to control, especially when I run into a big stress factor like family finances. There’s a little OCD in all of us, and I think it’s perfectly normal for people to get fixated on their troubles when they are particularly vexing.

In learning to accept that I’m going to have my occasional depressed or angry days, I’m able to get on with life and have a good time doing it.

Nothing is ever perfect. Some people are still more irritating than others. Worry still comes and goes.

I’m OK with that. And that’s progress.

8 thoughts on “When to Let the OCD Run Hot

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