A War in the Mind

war in my mindI remember the Sunday mornings in church when my mind was a war zone.

An intrusive thought would show itself, and with my Pure-O compulsions, I’d mentally bat it down (usually with repetitive prayer).  I was a ninja with my compulsion moves, but OCD was just as fast and furious.  Back and forth, back and forth, like a relentless game of Whac-a-Mole.

And no one knew.

All these happy people around me, worshiping God, taking in the sermon, happy and safe in their suburban church sanctuary– and, for me, it was a battle field.

Pure-O: so invisible, so dark, so exhausting.

I praise God that those days are a part of my past.  If you want to learn how I survived (and WON) this war, click here.  Your mind doesn’t have to be a scary place.

For (lots!) more about OCD and ERP, go to jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

Image credit: unknown.

Theme Hopping

Recently someone emailed me and asked if my OCD was more about worrying about hell than it was about worrying if God was real, and I had to say honestly that after twenty-five years of OCD, there aren’t a lot of themes I haven’t experienced.  Is God real, is Jesus real, is heaven real, is Christianity legitimate, was Jesus really God’s son or was he the devil in disguise, have I committed the unpardonable sin?  OCD can cycle through a lot of themes in a quarter of a century.

That’s the thing with OCD: it often doesn’t remain in one place.  When I was still in high school– and even into my college years– I kept thinking, “If I could just sort out X, then I would be happy.”  So I’d wrestle with X, read books about it, seek reassurance, talk things over with my youth pastor and parents, research things online … and if I was ever able to “solve” it, then … my OCD moved onto Y.

Hitman: Contracts by TheKingArthur at deviantArt

Hitman: Contracts by TheKingArthur at deviantArt

I was in perpetual motion for so many years– but I never got anywhere.  It was all spinning my wheels.

Exposure and response prevention ignores the emergencies that OCD is sparking in every corner and goes after the OCD itself.  Instead of relying on compulsions, which temporarily help to “solve” individual issues, ERP is like a hitman with a mission to assassinate the OCD.

You can see why one is far more preferable than the other.