Hello everyone. I hope you're all doing okay. How things have been going these days? As for me, I've been doing rather well these two past weeks, except for yesterday and this morning. I forced myself to not give in my compulsions and to practice CBT/ERP, and it worked pretty well. I was much more relaxed than a few weeks ago. I had good grades so this gave me hope, realizing that this disease couldn't prevent me from succeeding in life and doing what I wanted. To remind myself of this helped me a lot and gave me the tools to tackle the intrusive thoughts. Unfortunately, I relapsed a bit yesterday evening, when I was studying for an exam that I had today, and I was just so nervous. I suppose it is normal, because overcoming OCD takes a lot of time. But I couldn't concentrate, I don't know why, I suppose I was too tired to ignore the thoughts. I had intrusive thoughts like: "what if I don't understand what I'm reading?" "what if I don't assimilate anything and what if I fail my test?", and this morning I was very nervous during the exam and I couldn't remember some stuff I had learned yesterday… But oh well, I hope I'll have at least a C. I've been very tired these past few weeks because I have a lot of exams and in two weeks, my final exams begin so I'm not always effective when it comes to ignoring OCD thoughts. When I'm too worried about everything, it's like I forget how to do CBT/ERP and I don't know if I'm supposed to let the thoughts where they are and continue to study or to try to push them away. I know I must not push them away because they will get stronger. At the moment, I have Checking OCD I think. It's like I'm worried about being worried. I'm always afraid to not understand what the teacher says or to not understand the question so I'm like trying too hard to concentrate and I'm like always verifying that I understood right, and the more I try to understand, the less I understand actually. So I don't try too hard to concentrate. I'm like: ok fine OCD, you want to stay? Fine, stay. Go ahead, try to make me lose control. Give it your best shot. When I do this, the thoughts disappear little by little and I'm able to study. I learn how to accept the thoughts. Sometimes I'm like: how can I accept these thoughts? How can I accept their huge impact on my life? Then I realize that I'm the one in control. That if I want something, I can get it, OCD or not. This thing doesn't have to ruin my dreams. OCD or not, I can achieve what I want. Maybe I'm gonna have these thoughts for the rest of my life. So what? It doesn't mean that I can't be happy. On thursday night, my friends asked me if I wanted to go out with them at a bar. At first I didn't want to because I was afraid that I would regret it later, because I had too much work etc. I just thought: well, fuck it. Live a little. Stop being so afraid of failing. What will happen, happen. You can't control everything. And for the first time since months, I've been able to laugh, to forget, to have fun, and to feel alive. Because OCD can't prevent me from achieving what I want in life, right?
Do you have any advice on how to concentrate yourself when studying or reading? I noticed that ignoring the thoughts doesn't work for me; the more I try to ignore them, the stronger they get. If I just let them where they are and that I continue what I'm doing, without panicking because I realize that I don't understand what I'm reading, if I tell myself that it doesn't matter if they're here or not because it won't prevent me from passing the exam, they lessen. Take care everyone and never lose hope.