I Don’t Have To

I don’t have to think about anything I don’t want to.

That may seem like a stupidly obvious statement for normal people, but for us with OCD, it’s a powerful realization. Our brains constantly try to make us think about things we’d rather not, not only that but often even things there’s no practical purpose in thinking about. Then of course, there’s the second powerful realization: not only don’t I have to think about things I don’t want to, but it’s OK if I do. So even though a thought may feel very strong and intrusive, I don’t necessarily have to take it at face value, and I’m free to have those thoughts and let them pass without feeling guilty about the thought. It’s normal for everyone to have bad or weird thoughts sometimes, but the average person does not dwell on them. Every single thought or feeling I have does not define me, and I need not attach a lot of importance to thoughts or feelings that were really meant to occur and then pass away rather quickly.

One thing I still struggle with is when I feel that my OCD or lack of social skills/experience are used against me. For example, if I’m told something like: “This is just your OCD” rather dismissively about something I doubt is actually my OCD, or “If you weren’t so sheltered you would understand/wouldn’t feel this or that way” or “You just can’t deal with people.” These are over-simplifying, inaccurate blanket statements which do not paint a clear picture of the issues at hand or of me. I am more than my problems, and if I have strong convictions about something, a lot of times that’s actually for a good reason and I deserve not to be dismissed just because I do have weaknesses which I openly admit. Admitting weaknesses is often equivalent to hanging a big target over your head that says “Blame everything on this” but it doesn’t have to be that way. We have to stand up for ourselves when we know we are right, even if others don’t understand. We also have to believe in ourselves even in the face of disorders because unfortunately, others will take advantage of us when we are weak.

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Have To

  1. Excellent post, and I think you bring up a very good point. Of course you are more than your OCD and you deserve to be taken seriously. I’m sorry that some people don’t realize this!

    • willitbeok says:

      Thanks Janet. The things I post are sometimes about little things someone may have said to me years and years ago, but which I can’t stop thinking about. I don’t have any malicious feelings towards anyone anymore, at least for the most part, I’m not above a twinge now and then… but, my brain gets stuck on things.

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