My obsessive, intrusive thoughts are a lot like an itchy bug bite. When bitten by a mosquito, I know it’s best not to scratch. But it itches so much that sometimes, I can’t help but give in. As I get older and more mature, I realize more the reality that scratching does no good, and in fact makes the situation worse; each time I get better at avoiding it, though sometimes I take a few steps back. It might take all of my effort and chip away at my sanity to avoid scratching that itch. But when I can avoid scratching it, and I let the itch be, at a certain point a threshold is reached where the itching stops. The wound will heal with no scar.
You can’t get rid of an itchy bug bite — you just have to wait while it runs its course of healing. You also can’t get rid of an intrusive thought caused by OCD — all you can do is accept the thought and let it run its course. Just like you don’t really need to scratch that bug bite, your body in both situations is giving you a false alarm. The sooner you realize that and treat it like what it is, the sooner you can get better.