My Mental Illness Recovery Story: Finding Freedom From OCD
“Courage is to confront what can be imagined”. (Leo Rosten)
My Illness Today
The trauma of my abuse was a giant that I had to face and defeat every day. Before now, it was a stronghold that haunted me day and night. For too long, I tried to prove the “stepdad in my mind” I was good, worthy of love, and a beautiful creation. Through success and performance, for too long, I tried to avenge the “teacher-choking incident” and the “threatening to kill an officer” experiences, memories my OCD didn’t want to forget. Now I can gladly say those demons are gone.
Right now, the main obsessions are “blurting out obscenities”, sexual obsessions, checking alarm clocks, money in wallet, and basketball shoes, etc. in car while driving, pulling the fire alarm, scrupulosity, ruminating over unresolved issues, and obsessive calling people on telephone.
“Blurting out obscenities” include “saying the n-word in public”. Every since about 2006, every time I see a black person, I have the obsession. Imagine every week being in church, and being afraid of screaming out “n-word” in the middle of the service. Or saying it in a movie theater, at work, around African American neighbors, or at the YMCA. If I committed this transgression, it would be another example of me “choking a teacher” in high school or “threatening to kill an officer” in the Navy. People would reject me like how my stepdad and others used to do it, and “I would be further proof” of these people’s “assumptions” that “I am no good”; thus, I would relive those traumatic experiences again. Yes, the abuse and my OCD made me a “prisoner” of my own mind, as I fear experiencing the shame as a “failure who got rejected and abused” again.
Praying to the Holy Spirit for power not to say those bad words (or commit other bad obsessions) has helped dramatically in me not committing the obsessions, but also given me peace in the process. When afraid, I ask the Trinity for His power not to commit those obsessions as I ask Him to fill my words with His – which are ones of love, peace, and purity. Realizing I cannot do it in my own strength, I also ask Him to enable me to “confront my fears, accept the fact in my mind that I having the obsessions, surrender my fears to Him, postpone thinking of the obsessions, believe in the truth that “I won’t say them” (as well as believing in the truth that I am a special creation of God)” as I surrender my fears to Him. (Please read my “God Please Help Me Overcome My OCD article for further information and understanding.)
Like how defeating “lions and bears” built David’s trust in God’s ability to deliver David from his trials, my previous victories of defeating “blurting out obscenities” (by not committing them in that situation) through God has also made me more confident and trustful, in God’s deliverance, when I face future battles with OCD. In essence, God has conditioned me to increasingly and increasingly be less afraid of my OCD as I rely upon me to overcome. “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible”. (Matthew 19:26). (Please also read “God And I Always Greater Than OCD in My projects section of book).
Other major reasons for my successes in dealing with OCD include: my improved self-esteem and self-worth, finally confronting the fears of my stepdad during the camping trip, my better relationships with God, biological father, and stepdads, the medication Anafranil, less stress from not working, and again, ERP and Brainlock (see again “God And I Always Greater Than OCD”.)
Today I am glad to say “I still often have the “n-word” obsessions and other “blurting out obscenities” obsessions; but they don’t control me. Yes, I have times where anxiety is bad, but overall, I am in control of the fears, as my obsessions are normally mild in anxiety. The “thoughts” don’t control me, as I do what I do, in spite of them. Every time I get afraid, I ask the Holy Spirit for empowerment to enable me to overcome. If the obsessions don’t go away immediately, I pray and pray until my faith becomes strong enough to go on with life.
I have never committed the “blurting out obscenities” before. If I ever do, my Father in Heaven will still love me unconditionally the same, even though others may not. In essence, that it was really matters!