Ever since I have made my way out the burning heaps of OCD that used to surround me, I have found myself in a constant state of fearing the relapse.
When I read my journal entries dating back to when I used to struggle with my OCD, I feel happy that I am not going though that right now, but at the same time I feel worried about relapsing into my old habits and having to start from scratch all over again.
As I have mentioned, OCD isn’t something that you can just lose or get rid of completely. It sits in your brain like a constant companion, but you can definitely learn how to control it and not let your OCD control you.
I have found, after a little bit of research, that relapsing – or perhaps fearing relapsing – is a pretty common thing.
You shouldn’t worry about dropping into your old habits, instead you should focus on becoming strong enough to overcome it every time.
Recently, I found myself on a verge of tears as I tried to fight my conscious. It was telling me not to study, to start studying tomorrow. To make tomorrow a new day, because I had already wasted half of that day (getting up late and whatnot), there was absolutely no point in doing anything productive now.
But that was just my OCD beckoning me.
You see, my OCD sort of flourishes on the state of stating new, starting with a clean slate, and starting good. “If you don’t wake up early and put every second of the new day into a productive use, then don’t work at all,” it says, “If you didn’t start good, then don’t start at all. Try tomorrow.”
But this attitude is very unhealthy.
How can someone put their efforts into making every single second of their day productive, and not lay back for at least half an hour to maybe catch up on their favorite TV show?
I know that I used to try to be life this. I had this goal in my head that needed to be accomplished and if I did not spend every waking hour working towards it, I used to just give it up for the day (waste a whole day) and tell myself that I would try again tomorrow.
I didn’t want to go back to my old ways.
So instead of giving in to the beckoning that day, I decided to take one hour rest from studying, because I knew I couldn’t get anywhere sitting on my table and staring my book while the two sides of my brain were dueling.
I watched an episode of Friends, listened to a little bit of music whole doing some painting and had a bag of popcorn.
I know that I am trying, and for that I am proud.
And with that, the voice of my OCD had faded away and I hadn’t even realized it.
I went back to studying after taking a one hour break (something I would have never done if I was still under the control my OCD) and I felt great. I felt normal, because this is what most people around me do. They take a break after a long work session and then go back to work again.
So guys, don’t fear the relapse. Do something about it!
You are stronger than you think you are and you have certainly accomplished more than what you think you have.
Paakhi Bhatnagar is a student from India and an avid reader of historical fiction. She is a passionate feminist and blogs about current politics and feminist issues. She is ardently pro-choice and possesses the uncanny ability of turning everything into a debate.