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My OCD Story (Long Post; May Trigger)

Discussion in 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' started by AsterWhelmed255, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. AsterWhelmed255

    AsterWhelmed255 Newbie

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    I’ve always felt closest to God when I’m creating, be it stories, art, or videos, and when something sparks that creativity and instills in me a deep love and passion for that subject and for creating, I’ve always seen it as a gift from God, and continually praise Him and give Him thanks for it. About two years ago, I came across something that, after carefully examining it and deciding whether or not it was okay to like, quickly boosted my creativity and curiosity to heights that I had never before experienced. I found myself drawing nearer to God during that time, while all the while honing my skills as an author, video editor and artist, and for a couple short months, I was happier and more content than I had ever been in my life. I literally could not wait to get out of bed in the morning, and that’s no mean feat. But then… *sigh* then things got bad.

    I heard a voice in my head while sitting at my computer one day, telling me to get rid of some of the things I had done for this subject, and I was completely, utterly stunned. I was shaken, to the very depths of my being. Was God not pleased with what I was doing after all? Was He not behind my creativity and inspiration? Had I felt and read everything wrong up to that point? Was I really so deluded? Had I done something irrevocably wrong? I anxiously turned to the Bible, and at first, everything seemed to be pointing to the opposite; that that was not God speaking to me. But almost immediately after I heard the mental voice, I became very ill, with one of the worst sore throats I can remember having. I worried that this illness might be a sign of judgment, that God was really displeased with me and that this was just a warning of things to come, and I just could not shake those feelings of anxiety and confusion from then on (Incidentally, I’ve read that there is ample proof that the bacteria that cause sore throats can also be a contributing factor to the onset of OCD).

    As is the case when one feels guilty, however irrational it might be, things I started to read – both in the Bible and elsewhere – seemed to be pointing fingers at me, telling me that it really was God, and I should drop it, drop it, DROP IT!! I didn’t know what to think anymore, and my joy dried up like a puddle during a long drought. I didn’t stop doing creative stuff, but my motivation was considerably less, and I started to become incredibly stressed out and worried, always second-guessing myself and feeling very condemned and miserable most of the time, stuck in a continuous limbo of indecision.

    I mean, I don’t want to do anything that is against God’s will, much less have something that’s an idol in my life. I just want to please Him with what I’m doing, to know that I’m in his perfect will for me, and if this was God telling me to do this, I would. I just want to be sure, you know? I’ve asked and asked and asked for signs or confirmation from Him, to know what it is He wants me to do, and have gotten everything from “Drop it like a hot potato!” to “No, no, it’s alright, keep going, that wasn’t Me. ^-^” (Proverbially speaking, of course.) So, as you can see, that’s… not really been a whole lot of help. :doh1:

    And you know… the few times when I’m actually able to find peace and move on from the doubt and anxiety, I find my creativity and joy come rushing back, and my creative output astounds even me, and I again find myself drawing nearer to God. The spiritually-oriented people in my life whom I trust and have told about this have also said time and time again that that wasn’t God, that He does not sound like that and he doesn’t work that way, and that it’s perfectly fine for me to continue doing what I’m doing and I haven’t done anything wrong (aside from listen to the OCD for so long, lol. Also, don't try to diagram that sentence. XD).

    But of course, like a bad cold, the OCD will just come back and find a whole new way to get me on the worry train again (I go into more detail about some of these things on the previous threads I’ve started), and if it can’t get me to worry that God wants me to get rid of this/I’ve made it into an idol/what-have-you, then it’ll just get me worrying about something else, attacking anything it can. Heck, I once spent a whole month angsting over whether or not I was lying to someone, not to mention some of the other things it’s gotten me to freak over!

    This is also why I’ve classified my OCD as a mix of Scrupulosity and Relationship OCD, because I have seen the exact same symptoms and questions that I have posed by people who have ROCD, and from what I’ve seen, the people who’ve replied to them have said it wasn’t true, and it was just OCD’s lies, which in turn has given me hope time and time again about my own symptoms. But again, the doubt just keeps on creeping back (or bludgeoning me over the head, depending on its mood ;)).

    Questions I have:
    - Is there anyone else who noticed that their OCD symptoms either started or were exacerbated by a physical illness of some kind? (And I’m really not making this up, either; another person I knew got sick at the same time I did and all of a sudden developed trichotillomania while I was busy dealing with my newfound OCD)
    - Has anyone else here had ROCD? How did you overcome it, if so?
    - What are some strategies you have for counteracting scrupulous thoughts? Because I know that Scrupulosity does NOT seem silly or irrational 95% of the time to people who suffer from it. It all seems perfectly legit, and thus the freaking out and anxiety.

    If you actually read all this, I applaud you.:cheer: Hopefully this gives you a better look at where I’ve been coming from in my previous posts. Thank you very much for your time. :thankful:

    Aster
     
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  2. HollowManJD

    HollowManJD Newbie

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    If you don't mind me asking, what kind of things do you write about or draw? Also, what was it that you came across that boosted your creativity so much? Just curious.
     
  3. OCD=Owie

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    I've had some of the same things happen to me. It's late for me, so I don't have time to re-read your post (I read it the other day), but I know you said you're afraid you have to give up your creative activities.

    I've had the same sorts of things happen to me. I used to be afraid that I had to give up something I really enjoyed because I was afraid that I might love it more than God. This occurred with lots of things, many of which I can't remember anymore. Lol.

    But I also like to write, and there was a time when I stopped because of a fear I got. I'm a guy, and a science-fiction fan, so the types of stuff I like to write are in the vein of sci-fi/action stuff. However, I got the fear that it was wrong to watch movies, play video games, or write stories that involved violence because, I feared, I was enjoying death. Obviously, I considered this a bad thing, and I was afraid that if I kept watching action movies and such that I'd be desensitized towards violence, and not act/feel/think properly when a real act of violence occurred.

    The way I got through them really, as far as I can remember, was that I just got to the point where I wrote/daydreamed about the stuff I liked anyway.

    Hope that helps. I'm tired and probably am not articulating as well as I could otherwise. Lol.
     
  4. AsterWhelmed255

    AsterWhelmed255 Newbie

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    HollowMan,

    Well, um… I like writing historic fiction and sci-fi, with maybe some cutesy fluff or just normal fiction on the side. I very occasionally write poetry too (though admittedly, that’s VERY rare). Art is pretty much the same; I like drawing characters, both my own and others’. And, lol, since I’ve always been a history and geography nut, it was a history-related show.

    Aster
     
  5. AsterWhelmed255

    AsterWhelmed255 Newbie

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    Owie (is it alright if I call you that? lol),

    Thanks for commenting! And… in a certain manner of speaking, yeah. (Course, my OCD chimes in right about now and says “*gasp* You don’t want to get rid of it?! That just means you SHOULD, you idolater! *beats me around the head with a baseball bat*)

    So… “used to”? You don’t anymore? You were able to get over it and realize it was just OCD? <8D And :sigh: I know how that feels, believe me. I remember a couple times when that “voice” came back and said I had to not be friends with one of my best friends anymore, and another time when it said it hated my friends. Needless to say, I… did not take that well. ^^;

    So what you’re saying is, you just did the things you liked doing anyway, despite what the fears and feelings told you, and eventually they just went away?

    Aster
     
  6. HollowManJD

    HollowManJD Newbie

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    Hey Aster,

    Sounds like you have a pretty amazing talent. I tried to draw once (it didn't end well). Do you ever draw or write about Christian themes. That would be really awesome. A piece of art that has really helped to lift me up in the past is "Forgiven" by Thomas Blackshear. Maybe one day I will own one of your pieces, and it will lift me up as well. That would be pretty cool.
     
  7. OCD=Owie

    OCD=Owie Newbie

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    That's exactly what I'm saying. The fact of the matter is that there aren't many instances in which God would want you to stop hanging around a good friend. Since you have OCD, then it's highly likely that your fears are unfounded.

    Are you afraid you can't give up writing/art because you're concerned that you love it more than God? Or is there another reason? (excuse me if you explained this earlier and I forgot.)
     
  8. AsterWhelmed255

    AsterWhelmed255 Newbie

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    HollowMan,

    :blush: Well, thank you. :hug: And yeah, I do. Not all the time, but occasionally. Who knows? Maybe you will! :)

    Aster
     
  9. AsterWhelmed255

    AsterWhelmed255 Newbie

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    Well, that’s a relief. :ahem: Gives me hope that I’ll someday get over this without having to get rid of anything except the worry. :)

    Well, the thing with my friends is basically what happened with my writing/art, too. It’s not that I love it more than God, not at all! Perish the thought! I heard a voice saying I had to get rid of some of the creative things I’d done for a particular subject, and that sent me on a downward spiral of “Goodness, what if that was God? What if He wants me to get rid of EVERYTHING I’ve done for this? What if He wants me to get rid of it entirely? D8” I mean, if it WAS God, I don’t mean to say I wouldn’t have done it. It’s just I wanted to be SURE it was Him. It’s like if someone asked me, “Would you jump off a cliff if God told you to?” my answer would immediately be, “Absolutely. Just as long as I’m 110% sure that it’s God that’s talking to me and not something else that would just love to see me go splat on the rocks.” You know? I’ve even prayed multiple times that if God doesn’t want me to keep doing stuff for this, to take away my desire to, and - while I certainly have uncreative days sometimes, or I want to do something else occasionally - that hasn’t ever happened. The desire’s always come back. ‘Course, then I start to feel guilty and anxious for always monitoring my body and mind’s reactions right after I pray stuff like that, to see if it’s happened or not, and then freaking out sometimes: “*gasp*I don’t want to do this today! I don’t feel really excited or motivated! IT’S A SIGN! D8” XD You know, the basic ROCD shtick. Yes, Aster vastly overreacts sometimes, why do you ask?

    But, since I can pretty safely say that that was not God’s voice I heard (and anyone and everyone has told me this; I haven’t had even one person who I’ve told about this who’s said this was God [and a few of those people hear from the Lord on a regular basis, so they should probably know]), the OCD still hasn’t let up on trying to get me to get rid of this, so it’s turned the argument around to say, “See? Since you worried and anxious about this, since you like it so much, since you were so happy, since all these thoughts keep setting you off, [other assorted arguments], it MUST be an idol to you, so therefore you should get rid of it! ^w^” And I’m like :argh:

    So I guess the real question that’s bugging me is: Have I done something wrong and now have to pay the price? My first and foremost priority is to please God, and if He doesn’t have a problem with what I’m doing, I’m generally happy as a clam. It’s just that I think the OCD keeps telling me that He DOES have a problem with what I’m doing, and/or that I’ve done something irrevocably wrong, yadda, yadda, so on and so forth, I’m sure you know the drill.

    It seems to me, from a purely objective point of view (HA, like I have the ability to be objective anymore XD), that from what I’ve heard from pretty much everyone on here, that all this guilt and arguments and the like is a fat load of bull and OCD is just trying to wreak havoc with my life like it does to everyone else who has it. But, of course, the doubt never really goes away, and because of that, I keep getting anxious and feeling like I’ve thought or done something wrong.

    Hope this cleared things up a bit. :)

    Aster
     
  10. OCD=Owie

    OCD=Owie Newbie

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    Oh okay. Yeah, I agree with all the others who have been telling you it's OCD. I have made the mistake of interpreting OCD thoughts as God telling me to stop doing something I liked, and when I tried to see if it really was God, I would start to feel guilty that I was just trying to weasel my way out of doing something I didn't want to do.

    But like you said, you want to know that it was God that was telling you. It would stink to give up something you love when you really don't need to! So I don't think you should be so quick to think you're wrong for trying to determine that first.
     
  11. AsterWhelmed255

    AsterWhelmed255 Newbie

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    Oh, thank God. :ahem: And yeah, I’ve felt that way too, multiple times, particularly since yesterday, when I decided to pray something to the effect of “If these thoughts and feelings and desires are bad, take them away, but if they’re good, help me stop worrying,” and then it was constant “Yikes, what am I feeling? Do I feel like I still like it? Do I still want to work with this? I don’t feel as anxious anymore, for some reason, but what does this mean? No, stop it, shut up, of course I still like this and want to work with this! Just not at this exact moment, that’s all. No, shut up, shut up, it’s fine:sigh: I have no idea what to make of this, really. On the one hand, the worry has certainly abated somewhat, but I don’t know about the other stuff. I really do want to keep working with this, but then something else chimes in and says “Hah, no you don’t, you just WANT to keep on wanting to work with this, that’s all. SO! This mean you really should get rid of it, ‘cause, yes, it’s an idol. ^3^” And I’m like “*#&$ OFF. I DO still like this and want to do stuff with it.” But I still worry. :(

    It might be because I’m so used to having this issue front and center in my mind 24/7 that when it’s suddenly NOT, when I’m NOT worrying, I feel like I suddenly don’t care, and hey, if you don’t care - say it with me now – get rid of it. :doh1: AKLJDLKASJKJKLA gorram stupid OCD. :destroy: But thanks for the reassurance, man. :) I really needed it. :hug:

    Aster
     
  12. OCD=Owie

    OCD=Owie Newbie

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    OCD is the manifestation of a brain that doesn't know when to stop itself. It makes you think about your thoughts about your others thoughts about your feelings towards your thoughts. It's insane.

    It's funny, because what you described has happend to many on this forum, myself included. You worry and worry and worry about something, and when you start to stop worrying about it, you start to worry that you're not worrying.... which makes you start worrying about what you were originally worrying about.... again. The cycle continues.

    When you stop worrying like that, it's almost always a good thing. It means that you're recovering from an unhealthy cycle of stress!
     
  13. AsterWhelmed255

    AsterWhelmed255 Newbie

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    It is defiantly that, at least. :doh1: I mean, I know it sounds absolutely nuts, but ever since I prayed that prayer for the first time, I’ve worried from time to time that when/if I feel like I don’t want to actively do things with this subject anymore, I’ll have to toss it. Which makes no sense, because I’ve had other things that I still really like that I no longer have the active desire to do anything creative for, and I still feel that it’s perfectly fine for me to continue liking them. Argh, what I wouldn’t give to be like normal people sometimes. :destroyed:

    Oh my gosh, yes, exactly! I’ve read about this phenomena, too. It’s like no one likes worrying or the stress or the anxiety, but at least it’s a sign that we don’t like or agree with the thoughts going through our minds constantly. When we don’t have ANY reaction, we take it as a sign that we suddenly agree with it or it doesn’t matter to us anymore. :nooo:

    Well, I’ll try to keep that in mind, then! :)
     
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