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Ignoring doesn’t work

February 7, 2010

The thing about OCD is that you can’t ignore it. You can’t ignore the fact that you’ve been a bit anxious, you can’t pretend that your brain isn’t starting a little bit of a spin. When you ignore it, you’re not dismissing it. You’re just stuffing it down. And in the moment, of course you ignore it. You think, “I haven’t spun, been overly anxious, or had a really hard time in close to a month–so this is no big deal, it’ll just go away.” Rightfully so, you think that. But the trouble is, you have to be proactive instead of reactive. Always. You have to remember, “But, I don’t want to take that chance. Maybe it will just go away, but more likely, it’ll hibernate deep in the crevices of my brain. And maybe it’ll sit there, dormant, forever. But maybe, the next time something tiny goes to hibernate there, it’ll start to build. And maybe tomorrow, or a week, or a month later, it’ll be too much and explode.” But you want to ignore it. You want to give into the fantasy world you imagine, where ignoring it works and if you’ve had a good month then it means you won’t ever have bad spins or anxiety attacks again. You let yourself believe that, just for another day, because you feel so good.

It doesn’t work. Hibernation is temporary. Things build up. It is not worth letting it overflow. It is not worth it exploding into something bad. So you must face it. Every little thing, even if you don’t think it’s a big deal–you must talk about, or journal about. Let it out to someone, and then if it doesn’t continue to bother you, move on. You did your job, you were proactive. But don’t ignore it. It is not worth taking the risk of setting yourself up for a mind explosion.

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