OCD with Self Image
While i could discuss many things, i will focus on the OCD experiences which i have not heard anyone relate yet. Does anyone ever feel the anxiety of a changing self-image that seems real. For example, you see someone (and I am not a hateful person) that you view negatively, you fear that somehow their negative traits will "infect" you. To avoid this, I will try not to look at this person. Usually this does not help, as my mind will just produce a mental image of them immediately, and if it is really strong, this image of this person may recur for long periods of time. From day to day, this type of anxiety usually triggers extreme anxiety that affects my personality. For example, I am in a relatively good mood, forgetting for the most part ocd things, when all of the sudden a trigger happens. This pulls me down further and further triggering other (even non-related) anxieties. The next thing I know, I am completely engrossed in this anxiety and irrational attempts at alleviating it, and it may or may not be the same thing that triggered it originally. Also, physical contact with certain people is irrationally avoided for fear of a negative transfer of some negative force. I also avoid taking deep breaths when looking at or thinking of the people who trigger these responses for me. If i am having a mental image of someone who i view negatively, then i can't touch things that i enjoy or cannot engage in enjoyable experiences until I have alleviated the anxiety. Usually I make up my alleviations on the spot, though I do tend to have a few "go to" things like touching anything random that I can find. I don't always understand how the choosing works though. I sometimes do notice that if i am in a really big hurry or pressured situation and need to act fast, I can auto-suggest to myself what should "make something okay" and that works if i immediately forget about it or change stimuli (but even then, a little is carried over), which is encouraging, but then sometimes I can't if the anxiety is too extreme. Anyway, this being just one of many things, can steal you away from yourself. I wonder just how many OCD people think that they are flawed beings, mistakes of nature, insane, or just simply think they are weak or unvirtuous people, all things that i have thought. The affect it has on an overall persons life can be devastating. I feel so sad for all my brothers and sisters here who, like me, are here because they cannot talk to anyone else. We have sworn to ourselves the privacy of this hell. It is truly great though, to be able to relate to others for a second, even strangers connected by sparks of electricity and common humanity. I feel love and compassion for all of you. I see myself in your posts. I still keep hope.
I have thought for a time that if I could just build a solid criterion for what is reality, then I could eliminate OCD by reason. I find that sometimes I actually can do this, which is encouraging, but other times when the anxiety or stress gets higher, the more difficult it is to reason my way out. Usually, when I feel that something particularly important to me is at risk, is when I cannot control OCD. It has a possessive quality.
Curious to note that OCD is different in what it "protects". I believe that if we can begin to understand what we are protecting, maybe we can pull it out by the root. When you want to remove a weed you pull it out by its roots. I'm sure there is the similar idea here.
Don't we all deep down know that we are not who we currently move as. We all have a light shining in us, I believe that. We all want to return to that "freedom" we had when we were very young, before whatever "it" was that probably triggered this. We have to keep hope and know that OCD is not who we are. It is a complex reaction to the world, an imperfect world, a world with a lot of avoidable problems.
Keep your searchlights on beautiful angels...