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Stuck in a Vicious Cycle Because of Overthinking, Part 2

Discussion in 'Prayer Wall' started by Nicole Roberson, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Nicole Roberson

    Nicole Roberson New Member

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    This is continuing from Stuck in a Vicious Cycle Because of Overthinking Part 1 of this thread.

    At this point I'm scrutinizing every little thing in my mind. It's like everything in my mind that I think, believe, and feel, is getting questioned. When I'm trying to remind myself of God's goodness, all that He's done for me, God's plan for me, then I'll hear in the back of my mind,
    "Do you really believe that?"
    "That's just in your mind, not your heart."
    These thoughts are all geared toward doubt. I'll be reassured by God's word at one moment, then the next, often hours later, I'll be caught up in fear and distress again. And I can't stand it. I'm so scared of having dead faith and not putting enough trust in God, no matter how hard I'm trying. I have to remember that He's fighting for me, even when I don't always realize it. There have been several times when I thought that I couldn't do this anymore, and that I wanted to give up. But I don't want to! I then rebuke these thoughts and say no, I can't give up. God doesn't want me to give up. I am rebuking these horrible thoughts constantly. Some of the most off-the-wall things have come into my mind, and then I consider that these are intrusive thoughts, which just fly in out of nowhere and make no sense of all, definitely don't feel natural. They don't feel like me. But then in the back of my mind I'll hear,
    "Do you really believe that these things are of the devil? Or are you just telling yourself these things? Maybe this is all you."
    It's like even as I'm rebuking these thoughts and reminding myself of the devil's tactics, in the back of my mind something will be trying to convince me of other things. It's gotten worse. I'm scared that even after I read God's word, carefully, praying for His word to absorb into my spirit, uncertainty tries to creep in, and then I feel sick. I feel like I'm going crazy. I remembered learning that you can't blame everything on the devil and so I overthink that to mean that must mean this is all me. My overthinking goes to the extreme. I find that as I'm trying to get clarity from His Holy Spirit first and foremost, then I really like to read other's testimony and learn how they through God have dealt with these similar things. I believe God speaks through people on earth to help others understand more about the truth. But then I know I've got to be careful about how much time I spend reading things. Because I've learned that some people spread false doctrine, some people are just saying really off-the-wall things, and not every interpretation of God's Word is quite right.

    Another problem that I'm having is, with overthinking, my mind takes individual things that I've learned from God's Word and people's testimonies and it over-analyzes. For example, I recently learned about how God sends strong delusions to those who have hardened their hearts to Him. And those people will be suffering horrible things like a plague, they'll be buying into a false sense of security. Then I'm lead into this idea that this is me, that I've must've hardened my heart, and so God is giving me the silent treatment. I don't know how after reading that I'm lead into that, but I should realize, again, these are the kind of things that the devil wants me to believe. And if I believe these things, then I'd stop praying and end up giving up completely. I don't want to do that. These things are so upsetting to talk about, it's just horrible. It's like in my mind I don't know what's me anymore, what's in my heart and what isn't. And I'm tired of this. I don't want to take ownership of these horrible thoughts. I think about the idea what if this is what I'm becoming and then I'm horrified by these thoughts. I once read about someone who is afraid of being told by God when we stand before Him "I never knew you," because of a lack of faith in this life. This got into my mind and I've become terrified,

    "What if this ends up being my fate? Because I just didn't understand." All these horrible things to imagine and I don't want to be caught up in these thoughts, I'm scared of letting these things get to me. So many times I've almost convinced myself that all these blasphemous thoughts about God are from me. These horrible thoughts these days that I'm hearing, like God is evil, God is a hypocrite, God is a liar. And I know these are lies from the pits of hell, and I know in my heart that I would never want to believe that, and I don't believe this. God has left you, you've done too many bad things and so you're done. God is angry at you. I'm hearing horrible things from F**k God's commandments to F**k the Holy Bible. I'm just tired of this. I'm rebuking these thoughts all day long, and these feelings that I've suffered.

    I've learned about the different types of soils in which the seed of God's Word is planted. I focused on one of them, which receiving the seed on stony grounds. How those people will read God's Word, immediately have enthusiasm, but then that goes away quickly. Those who receive the seed by the wayside, those who receive the seed among the thorns. My mind is trying to convince myself that one of those things are me and that'll never overcome it. And I just cried, and I keep calling out to God to help me and telling Him that I don't want to end up like one of those people, that I want to receive the seed on good grounds. I've been so focused this and overthinking it and I just feel sick. I keep thinking that one of those things are me and I don't want to think that. I'm asking the Holy Spirit to guide me and to deliver me from this suffering, and the doubt tries to come in and tell me that I don't really believe that I'll get help. It's horrible, I don't want to give into this doubt, fear, and uncertainty, and I'm scared that it's taking over my mind.

    These days, I find that I'm just scrutinizing every little thing in my mind, and my prayer. Every time I pray then I'll be told from the back of my mind that my prayer is not genuine and God won't hear me. That I'm only telling God what He wants to hear and I'm putting on a show for Him, which is really upsetting. I rebuke these thoughts and ask God to reassure me that He does hear me, that He knows my heart, that He hasn't left me and of course will never leave me, as promised. I think back to His promises. There's a lot that my mom has explained to me about this battle, as I believe and she herself believes that God is using her to teach my brother and I His Word. I always tell her about what's happening with me in this battle, and she explains this to me that it's all in the mind, this is a battle for my mind and the devil is trying to take away God's word from my heart. These horrible things in my mind about myself, my situation all go into the devil trying to trip me up and that I can't listen to him. The devil is the master of manipulation and the accuser of the brethren. He'll make things in the mind seem real when they aren't. I have to keep fighting this. And I can't deal with this alone, I know that.

    Another thing that I'm struggling with just goes back to me overthinking and over-analyzing God's word. I'm confusing myself so much about what God expects of me. I'm trying to understand more about doing the works of the Father. I've since learned about people who rely on their own good deeds for faith and those people won't be saved. I'm glad I learned this. But now my mind is getting everything confused, with me wondering if focusing so much on avoiding these things God doesn't want us involved in means I'm getting caught up in my own good deeds. Reflecting on this I realize that doesn't even make sense. Which is just another way the devil wants to trip me up. My mom explained that the devil is going to try to throw anything my way so that I'm always confused, as Satan is the author of confusion. She explained that the devil hates the fact that I'm reading the Word and trying to grow closer with God, so the devil wants to try and stop this.

    Last major issue I want to address is just how my mind is scrutinizing every thing that I think about and pay attention to in this day to day life. I'm trying to understand the things that God doesn't want me to be caught up in, from what I watch on tv, to what I read, to what music I listen to and so on. I've become more and more worried about whether this is ok or that's ok. Whether this is a sin or that's a sin. And it's draining me, I'm just wearing myself out thinking about these things throughout the day with every activity of mine. It's gotten so bad. I am asking God for help with these things, praying about every thing I choose to involve myself in and ask God if this or that is ok. And I'm trying to listen carefully for what He says. But because I'm caught up in so much overthinking, I'm worried about not being able to recognize when He is in fact telling me something. So I ask Him for the gift of discernment.

    Everyone, it's just gotten so bad. Has anyone experience things like this at this level of severity. I was hoping some of you would give me advice on how God has delivered you from this. Again, please pray for me. I just feel sick right now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  2. TenthAveN

    TenthAveN New Member

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    Sister, I currently identify with you in many of the things you’ve mentioned. I was sucked into a mindset of salvation by works, and (I believe) it led to me having depression, anxiety, and possibly even OCD. I’m sure reading scripture out of context also contributed to that. I know what it’s like to pray and feel like God won’t listen because of your little faith, and begging God for the words you’re speaking to be genuine.

    I know about the terrible and absurd things that pop inside your head. I’ve struggled with many of the scary verses in the Bible. I know what it’s like to know the truth in your head, but not in your heart. The fear of punishment and eternal judgement is present in my mind every single day.

    I’ve been given the same (and I do think this is the answer) solution: Trust in God’s Word over your own feelings. I fail at doing just that every single day and it’s frustrating. I’m constantly afraid that God’s patience is soon to run out, or has run out already.

    I just want you to know that you’re not alone, and I’ll be praying for you.
     
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  3. Nicole Roberson

    Nicole Roberson New Member

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    It's such a relief when I remember that I'm not the only one. God bless.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  4. Nicole Roberson

    Nicole Roberson New Member

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    Brother,
    Thank you so much for you're response. I know that prayer is powerful and the power increases when we come together. This resonates with me too, what you said here. But then I remember that God is patient, He has promised us that He won't leave us for anything, unless we reject our faith and His Word. But neither of us will be doing that, that's just not in our hearts. We are children of God who have been called upon Him to walk in a journey with Him and live in His Glory. God won't let us fall.
     
  5. TenthAveN

    TenthAveN New Member

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    I appreciate your prayers. I just kinda read your first post, and I also worry about the End Times. I think you’ll find quite a few people that share our struggle in the OCD forum. I read posts on that forum multiple times a day.
     
  6. Paulus59

    Paulus59 Active Member

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    Hi Nicole,

    I agree with this guy in that we have to trust God's word and NOT our feelings, it's a great lesson to learn. I can't read all of your post as it's too much for me. I want to tell you that you are not alone in your struggles as there are many who suffer like you do and my prayers are with you.

    I suffer from OCD and intrusive thoughts and I was convinced that I had committed the unpardonable sin and that there was no hope for me, but I have learnt to ignore that and get on with just seeking God's face out through prayer and bible reading/study despite what I may feel and that has helped me. You are going through a terrible struggle no doubt, but you can come out this and have a joyful life and your suffering will make you into a more compassionate, humble and spiritual person. May the Lord God heal you and give you insight & strength to win your battles and may you be clothed in all the armor of God so that you have victory!

    And please give yourself time for healing.

    Victor.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  7. kdm1984

    kdm1984 WELS Lutheran

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    You are certainly not alone; I think more of us struggle with those kinds of things than many are willing to admit. I definitely have trouble with over-thinking, doubting, and keeping thoughts in line, and it's been especially bad this last week. Had a point where I was even doubting the faith a few days ago, because of so many things and divisions I'm seeing in the news, and things I read online. E-mailed pastors about it. Later this week, I have a meeting with one of the pastors at the church I go to, so some of these issues can be addressed.
     
  8. LoricaLady

    LoricaLady YHWH's Supporter

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    This takes practice but reaps great rewards. Don't analyze and fret over the Word much if at all. ust repeat with praise. We are told that the Word is "the hammer that breaks the rock" i.e. our barriers. A hammer is used in a repetitive way. You will need to hammer all your life to get the full benefits.

    Every time a concerning thought enters your mind, repeat a Bible verse that can come against it with praise. Again, this takes practice. Lots of practice.

    There are some songs that can help you learn the Word on You Tube. Tons of them. Search for Jump Start, Integrity Music Scripture Songs, Scriptures Songs, etc.

    I pray for your freedom.
     
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  9. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    From what I understand from your posts you are fighting with intrusive noughts.
    This is a battle you cannot win as you are not fighting someone or some thing but struggling against random thoughts.
    Please read 25 tips for successfully treating your OCD, it was written by a psychologist to help his patients who had intrusive thoughts and OCD.
    It contains many helpful tips please read it and discuss it with your therapist, or doctor..

    A key point from it is, Only you are responsible for your successful treatment. That is you have to take your medication or follow he instructions that will help you.
     
  10. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    Put ALL of your trust in Jesus.

    Offer up your sufferings to Him. Lay them ALL at His feet. Surrender to His mercy and love.

    Everytime you get a bad feeling etc, hand it over to Jesus. Trust in Him.

    God bless and protect you.
     
  11. Sophrosyne

    Sophrosyne Let Your Light Shine.. Matt 5:16

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    I've dealt with obsessions and with people that overanalyze things to the point it paralyzes them to do nothing out of fear. A common phrase that describes this thinking is "making a mountain out of a molehill". The things that can help with this is the following:
    1)Simply things as much as possible
    2)Trust yourself to do what you can without reservation
    3)Trust others around you to help you with things you cannot do
    4)Trust God to do things that are beyond you and those around you that help you.
    5)Keep things as simple as possible so that trusting is easier
    6)Read the Bible in the New Testament and pay close attention to scripture
    7)Don't overly concern yourself with the unknown

    Now to 1), keeping things simple as possible narrows your focus on problems so that you cannot be distracted and wander into the "what if" unknown area that can lead to way way too many variables that the majority of will never happen. It is like driving down a street trying to find an address and instead of paying attention to the signs you are worrying about the road dead ending, unannounced construction, accidents blocking traffic, not going the right way instead of worrying about things beyond your view concern yourself with what is ahead and handle what you do know and can see instead of thinking.... what if.
    Onto 2) Trusting yourself is key to starting down the path of reducing fear and anxiety. Call upon your past and the problems and situations you have been in and got through and take stock of your strengths that brought you through those situations. We can learn from history (our own especially) and that knowledge can either give us the correct decisions and actions or tell us what to NOT do by our mistakes and also when we go through a tough experience and do well we can compare the current experience to it and if it is equal or smaller we can relate that we have handled similar situations and should be able to handle this one.
    To 3) When you encounter problems in life and are at your wits end in the "do-it-yourself category we often either have people volunteer to help us or we ask them. If we know we have people that can and will help us and our personal history with these people and even our knowledge of others histories with these people "on their side" we have seen a lot of problems solved with their help. We simply can trust these people to try and help us.
    For 4) There always arises problems that are beyond ourselves and those around us to solve and sometimes we have to ask God (pray) for help in them and every time I have come to such situations I have got by either barely or triumphantly when somehow I get help from someone or even a miracle happens when nothing else seems to work. If you don't want to try and trust God then you are not very smart logically if you believe in him because by the time you have got to this point he is your only choice left and not trying that choice means you think you deserve what you get which brings us to the next number.
    Alive for 5) I mentioned this again because it is the must of getting over fear and anxiety due to OCD type thinking. Typically many people suffering from OCD end up "looking ahead" with scenarious that they dream up in their mind and try to brain think them into a solution. They are in a sense playing mind games with themselves and defeating themselves because the (in their mind) want to solve the problem before trying to solve the problem and the part of them thinking of possible problems is better than the part that thinks of possible solutions and in the end they defeat themselves by thinking. If this is you then the only way to not defeat yourself is simple.. don't challenge yourself to a "thinking" battle just look at problems like someone who is a child and has to be told "do this" and step into that "do this" mentality with the mind of a child as simple as you can and deal with things as they come about.
    Fix it with 6) One way to help yourself is with all the prior steps in mind to read the Bible. I strongly suggest that you do NOT delve into theology at the start, just look at the people and their interactions in the Bible. See what God says to people in what situations and what they do. You can find a lot of interactions in the Bible that greatly simplify how we are to "think" about God and "act" in situations and God's character plus positive and negative characters in God's eyes. Until you get the simple and direct things of God in your mind straight the "Brain" work or thinking or theology etc will only bring you right back to that part of your brain that always wins.. the part that can think of problems endlessly that the problem solving part of your brain cannot solve and you will defeat yourself endlessly. The Bible can give you history of people who had problems and how they and God solved them.. over and over and direct advice on thinking.
    heaven with 7) Until you are able to get a grip on the known things and not be driven nuts over them to dwell on unknown things is just silly. If you think about it the part of your brain that comes up with the "what if" problems endlessly is always defeating you and it relies often on the unknown which often are things that you "think" will happen, or things that "might" happen and so on very often being scenarios that are extremely rare but when there is a mountain of these they can overwhelm you as your thinking is wrong often.
    If an unknown scenario has a 1% chance of happening and you come up with 100 of them if you are not thinking you ADD them up and say something unknown happening is 100% but in reality you cannot add them all together because you are forgetting that if the chance of an unknown happening is 1% the chance of a "known" should be more like 99% and you aren't adding up 100 times 99%. Often the chance of an unknown happening depends on another and another unknown happening first which means three unknowns in a row may mean 1% of 1% of 1% or 1/10,000th of a chance of getting to that spot and if in your thinking you have a lot of these in your 100 top unknowns you could have most of them ADD up to not even 1/100th of a percent chance yet in your mind you have made them 100%. Simply tossing aside unknowns means to solve your problems you try and deal in the 99% range and then you start at number 2 if the 1% happens and start there as when an unknown happens it is no longer unknown but known and it is a lot easier to get to the roof by looking for elevators or stairs in a building than thinking.. "what if there aren't any stairs" or "what if the elevator is out of order" or "what if the elevator breaks while I'm in it" or other endless "unknowns". What is known is stairs always work, elevators very rarely have issues that are life threatening and that you have been up and down elevators and stairs so often that odds are nothing will happen any different.

    I hope this all helps as it has helped me a lot, I've had to deal with stress a lot from unknowns happening to me and thinking simple has probably saved my live as worrying and fear can slowly over time mess your body up to the point it malfunctions. God isn't the author of fear but of power love and a sound mind. (find it in the Bible).
     
  12. Nicole Roberson

    Nicole Roberson New Member

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    Hi,
    Thank you so much for your response. I know God is to be put first with advice I need and answers I ask for. And I believe that God uses people on earth to help others, especially like me, learn more and receive additional clarity. But only additional. Yeah I apologize, I try not to make my posts so long but I don't want to leave out anything important. I did break it down though into two separate posts, part 1 and part 2. But I thank you all. God bless everyone here.
     
  13. seaofsand

    seaofsand New Member

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    I have been diagnosed with severe OCD and see a psychologist for it. These are intrusive thoughts, and they can be debilitating when they get bad or cause us to question our core beliefs. One of the best things that helps me is to simply remind myself that what I'm experiencing is OCD and that it is NOT my rational mind. It helps to put some distance between the thoughts and me. I recognize that it is a glitch in my brain. As I do this, I breathe deeply and focus on relaxing my body. While it doesn't always get rid of the obsessions completely, it does help me to feel better.

    Above all else, remember that God is in control. If you remember this, things won't feel uncertain or scary anymore. You can even sit and meditate on this fact. There is a tremendous amount of peace that comes with recognizing it. Just recently I started to reflect on this, and it has helped. Let us know how you are doing.
     
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