The Life Lessons That OCD Taught Me

The beginning of the OCD journey is terrifying. Many people have suffered from the disorder for so long that their perception of reality has become blurred. It gets so hard to imagine life on the other side of recovery, and even harder to imagine how to reach there.

The Life Lessons That OCD Taught Me

I started my ERP a couple of years ago. It took years of exhausting hard work to tackle my disorder, but along the way, I have learned a lot about myself. I sincerely believe that all these years fighting OCD has made me a better version of myself. This journey has gifted me with a strong mental character. 

Believe it or not, OCD has taught me some earnest lessons about life. I feel that I owe to share the life lessons that OCD taught me with my fellow friends who are in the darkest of times.

Complaining Won’t Get You Anywhere.

The Life Lessons That OCD Taught Me: Complaining

It’s difficult not to complain when everything going in your mind is negative. It is easy to yell when life is nothing but a bumpy ride. Remember it takes a toll on you and everyone else around you as all you are exuding is negative vibes.

Be it OCD or any other issue in life, complaining about it will solely aggravate matters than solving them. Always remember that there’s someone out there who is not even as fortunate as you are. There may be someone who doesn’t have a limb or has lost his loved ones; if he is living his life bravely, then why can’t you?

I struggle with my OCD, and I know I may suffer with it for the rest of my life, but I also know that I can handle it. My condition doesn’t define who I am, but the way I deal with it says a lot about me. So, yeah, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not exactly a walk in the park, but for me, it has proved to be a source of rich lessons.

Embrace the Past

The Life Lessons That OCD Taught Me: embrace the past

We may all look back and feel remorse or sadness for our mistakes or decisions. No one is flawless. Life is a journey, and we take wrong turns and make bad decisions on our journey. If we already knew everything, we most likely wouldn’t need to be here. All of us felt remorse and wanted to kick ourselves for the stuff we did. It’s normal.

We may not like the past decisions we’ve made, but our past helps us make future decisions! It strengthens us to be the person we need to be. Everyone’s journey is unique and comes with various challenges.

Looking back in time, I see a little kid scared of revealing his fears to anyone. Today when I see myself as a person who is living his life productively and hasn’t given up on life because of OCD. I feel proud of the person I have become. Every fallback I had, every shortcoming that came to my way has helped me build a strong character.

Looking back makes me realize how far I have come, that I haven’t submitted to the dark times. Reminiscing back the struggles through the tough times is what gives me the courage to face any trouble that comes my way.

Most Things Are Temporary

The Life Lessons That OCD Taught Me: Hourglass

Most of us seem to be actively struggling for things to be 100% stable and never-changing, but that is not how it works. It is all transient and ever-changing in life. Our life itself is fleeting. There is nothing guaranteed. In life, the challenge is to learn to embrace, accept and appreciate the reality.

The first thought that comes to your mind when you are depressed is nothing is going change. But my friend, I believe otherwise. 

If after failing miserably in your life you are still here, it is an achievement in its own. If nothing was ever going change, would you be here reading this piece? I can say it with the utmost surety that things change.

“There is nothing in nature that blooms all year long. So don’t expect yourself to do so either”

It reminds me that there will be tough times, and there will be times when I feel like giving up, but I will not give up as nothing lasts forever. 

Channelize Your Anxiety

The Life Lessons That OCD Taught Me: Channelize Your Anxiety

The sweaty palms and fast heartbeat you experience are usually thought of as obstacles to your performance, but we actually developed this response on purpose to react when we were faced with danger.

Often, anxiety arises from uncertainty. Try to deconstruct your fear by asking yourself what you are scared of. What is the worst scenario possible, and what are the chances of that actually happening? Most of the times the answer will be ‘zero chances’.

The more you look at anxiety as natural and routine, the less control it can have over you. Fear is faced even by successful people. Despite it, they only choose to find a way of persevering. Try to note that anxiety and fear are normal responses. Choose to concentrate on the challenge in front of you, rather than the anxiety connected to it.

Find your perfect spot of anxiety and turn it into inspiration. Research reveals that most individuals have a sweet spot of anxiety, where they have enough anxiety to feel alert, but not enough to feel weakened. Anxiety can be an exceptional motivator in this state.

Anxiety also stems from some kind of uncertainty about the future. You may worry about the outcome of something that you really care about. Remind yourself why it matters to you in the first place, and let that drive you forward.  Anxiety has the potential to make you more alert, centred, and efficient, and you can benefit from that.

You are just a step away from turning your greatest enemy to your greatest motivator.

Always Move Forward

The Life Lessons That OCD Taught Me: Always Move Forward

While all these lessons were significant, nothing taught me compared to OCD’s greatest lesson: I am stronger than I know. Anyone suffering from OCD is an incredibly resilient human. Many individuals will never have to withstand what we do. We are compelled to feel our darkest fears daily. We have to face these concerns head-on to recover from them.

I hope you too have learned how brave and capable you are when you come out on the other side. I hope you feel like you can take any hurdle in your path. I hope you will build a life of value, meaning and intent. I’m hoping to do that with you.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”


Liked this piece? Also read, OCD: It’s My Story.

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