Before I received CBT for my OCD my head was in a state of chaos, constantly battling and losing against this strange infliction. Horrible thoughts would intrude upon my thinking, eat away at my conscience until I had nowhere else to turn to but mental rituals which were never ending. My logic had no grip. I knew I was being absurd but I couldn’t stop. The intrusive thoughts reminded me of a fly buzzing, trapped up against a window pane or a burning sensation inside my head. Words and images, bits and pieces or whatever OCD could throw at me followed me everywhere I went. When OCD traps you it is a very scary and sometimes lonely place to be trapped in. I wanted to get out.
I turned to CBT for help and it offered to steer me away from this terrifying, conniving battlefield I had created inside my head. It convinced me that I didn’t deserve to put up with such horrible intrusions of thought and my constant worry and guilt over these thoughts. CBT persuaded me that my thoughts were allowed to be free. CBT was challenging, it’s what I would call facing your fears over and over again. It demands work and attention but the reward is so great that it overshadows all those challenges. The reward for me is that my thoughts are my own again devoid of guilt, I feel myself again, myself before I developed OCD. David Veale and Rob Wilson in their book ‘Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’ describe OCD as digging a hole for yourself with a spade, deeper and deeper. They go on to disclose that CBT offers you a ladder, a way out of the hole but you can’t hold onto the ladder with both hands until you let go of the spade. It was scary but I eventually did let go of the spade. Well, I thought, why not!
Now, after CBT, I feel a huge sense of relief, I feel like my old happy self again-the way I should and deserve to feel. Something which had been consistently and unrelentingly at the forefront of my mind has gradually moved towards the back of my mind. I am not saying that my life is completely free from OCD, it can, when you least expect it, come upon you in all sorts of guises. What I am saying is, OCD doesn’t occupy or consume me anymore, it becomes more and more insignificant as the days go on. Furthermore, CBT has provided me with so many lifelong tools that when OCD does randomly decide to attack me, I have the necessary resources to fight it, win and happily get on with my day. CBT provided me with the confidence to successfully stand up to OCD and it feels great knowing that that confidence will always be there. Thankyou so much Karen.