The Buddy-System, Does it Work (part two)

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Continuing from my last blog, where I tried the ‘buddy system’ to prevent myself from falling into what I call an ‘OCD possession’. Read the blog HERE for context.

For me, on this occasion, the buddy-system worked: Instead of falling into the OCD action of picking my skin before going to meet a group of people, I reached out to my friend who is a life coach, and together we found the source of why I felt the compulsion in that moment. Once I was able to find the source (read the first blog to see what it was), and I did some forgiveness on having created the source for myself, I was able to walk out of my house without having to go through the ‘usual routine’. This is quite a drastic contrast compared to what I am used to in these situations, and I want to talk a bit about that.

The ‘usual routine’ would be to work myself up into a state where I feel the only solution, relief, or way out is to fall into the compulsion aspect of OCD. This would be the actual ‘acting out’ of the disorder. The way my OCD expresses itself in these situations is skin-picking. So instead of going through the very normal process of getting dressed, making sure I look presentable, and then walking out the front door, I would instead be unconsciously having repetitive thoughts, and feeling unable to think clearly, focus or re-direct myself. This causes an internal environment that is chaotic, tense and uncomfortable, filled with fear, anxiety and stress. This internal environment is one which I have simply never developed the skills to cope with.

In my life, OCD has developed ‘naturally’ since childhood as a coping mechanism, due to genetics, past experiences, and actions performed in unawareness on my part.

What happens is I will go up to the mirror and obsessively examine my skin. This takes my mind off of the intensity of the internal environment. In this mental state, any small imperfection seems to me to be a huge flaw that I think everyone will look at, and is the mistakenly perceived source of my unbearable internal discomfort.

Within this, I feel that instead of seeing me, everyone would see only flaws and blemishes. So, in a seemingly uncontrollable mental-state, I would go about removing all the perceived marks and spots.

The consequence of all this, which is the play-out that I experience on a daily basis, is that due to all the time it takes to go into OCD (which, once in the possession, can be a very long time and  beyond my control to stop), plus the time it takes to carefully apply makeup to try to be presentable, leaves no time to actually get ready and do all the normal things one would do to prepare to leave the house.

To be continued in the next blog…

 

The Buddy System, Does it Work?

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I recently spoke to a life-coach friend of mine regarding ways to tackle stopping OCD. She asked me to describe the experience of what I call an ‘OCD possession’ in detail. As I described it, we together realized that there is always a trigger, or a source to why the compulsion seems to ‘take over’ me entirely. We arranged it so that I would reach out to her, either online or phone call, when I feel an OCD possession coming on. So I tried it, and I must admit, it was very difficult to do at first.

The first point I faced were the excuses my mind would throw at me in the moments before I would call her. I would feel the OCD possession coming on, and I would think about calling her, and my mind would come up with so many reasons why I should not call. The excuses looked like this: ‘she is too busy to receive a call from me’, or ‘this is silly, I can do this without her’ (I couldn’t), and so on.

I forced myself to reach out to her on Viber. I told her I was having urges to pick my skin. We looked behind the urges, and it turned out that I was anxious about going to meet with a group of people. I was anticipating all the judgments they would think about me because of my skin. My friend suggested this is a form of projected self-judgment, wherein I was taking my own self-judgement and projecting it in to the future, and ‘attaching’ it to my ideas of others and how I was guessing others would look at me (the same way I look at myself: in extreme judgment for what I do to myself).

It turns out that I judge myself more harshly than anybody, and I create in my mind this harsh world ‘out there’ that is painful to live and function in. But the reality is that I have created this within myself, and then projected it on to the world.

Yes, it’s true that, from time to time, I have received harsh judgment from others. But when I actually experience that judgment, it is not usually as bad as it is in my mind. Judgment from others does happen, and I will look at this in another blog. But for now, I have realized that the greatest, harshest, judgment I endure actually comes from within me, and this is great news!

Why is this great news? Because of the power of self-forgiveness. Returning back now to the scenario where my life-coach friend and I found the source of my anxiety as I was feeling the compulsion to pick my skin before going out to meet a group of friends – the moment she suggested I was projecting my self-judgment on to my friends, I began to forgive myself (I will post the self-forgiveness below). As I forgave myself, the pressure and anxiety went away, and I could move myself.

In the next blog, I will describe the second resistance I faced, how I walked through it, and the outcome of the scenario that was VERY different than how things usually play out!

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear facing a group of people with imperfect skin.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear the judgement I may receive from people regarding the blemishes on my skin.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear the secret thoughts that others may have about me because it is apparent that I pick my skin.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing the thoughts I think others may be having lead me to fall into an ocd possession and actually end up picking my skin/picking my skin more, thus manifesting that which I am actually fearing.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing the thoughts I think others are having, affect Who and How I am within myself, and how I experience myself, instead of ME deciding who and How I am, and directing how I experience myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to project my own self-judgment about Who and How I am within OCD onto others.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge myself for picking my skin.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge myself for having fallen into an OCD possession, leaving marks on my skin.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge myself as weak/flawed/imperfect/out of control when I pick my skin so much that it leaves blemishes.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear my mind being exposed to the world when I have marks which show the true nature of my mind.

I forgive myself for NOT accepting and allowing myself to live and move myself within forgiveness, instead of constantly being harsh and judgmental towards myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be hard on myself most of the time.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel the need to punish myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think/believe/perceive I need to be punished.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to punish myself and be harsh and judgmental with myself instead of changing myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear changing myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear change.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear losing OCD.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear self-movement.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear living fully.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to resist reaching out to my buddy when I feel an ocd possession coming on.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel undeserving of assistance and support for OCD because I feel like it’s my problem that I created, it is my burden and no one else should have to deal with it.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to make excuses for why I shouldn’t reach out for assistance and support when and as I can see that I am going into an OCD possession, instead of embracing any and all support I can get to walk myself through stopping this disorder.

I will continue in my next post: ‘The Buddy System, Does it Work? (part two)