From my experience with years of having OCD, I always struggled with the question who am I? I think when you have so many confusing thoughts and feelings constantly running through you and your head its easy to lose sight of who you are and it sometimes feels like you suddenly never knew who you were in the first place.
We tend to define ourselves by our OCD thoughts and feelings, for example with me and certain thoughts I have I am constantly feeling like I’m this evil, horrible person and I remember crying thinking of memories from my childhood and thinking ‘how could I turn out like this, how could I have gone my whole life not even noticing how bad I am’ it broke my heart to think I was this scary monster. Even writing this gets my brain thinking ‘Am I?’ but I think us people with OCD need to stop questioning who we are, it takes time for anyone to discover who they are, let alone when you’re so lost, battling a mental illness, constant anxiety, doubts and thoughts. I don’t think anyone could find their inner self with all of that going on in there heads. We need to stop asking ourselves ‘Is this me or my OCD?’ mainly with intrusive thoughts, because I think that is the main reason people question themselves and try to work out whether what they are thinking/feeling is them or the OCD.
How about instead of ‘Is this me or my OCD?’ we just think ‘I have OCD, it doesn’t matter right now if its me or my OCD, I’m feeling anxious, the need for certainty, reassurance or to do a ritual so it most likely is OCD, I will come back to this question later on when I’m calmer’. What is the point in that question, if you asking yourself ‘is this OCD?’ it is most likely to be OCD, its known as the disease of doubt and that’s a doubt in itself questioning if your thoughts and feelings are you or OCD.
As Sharon Davies from the OCD Treatment Centre said ‘You can’t think yourself into inner peace, inner peace comes when your mind is clear’ which I think is really true and relates back to feeling like you know longer know who you are because OCD is such apart of your mind and life. You can’t know who you are until you’ve learnt to except and deal with your OCD until then except you may not know who you are, as scary as that sounds. Why beat yourself up over not knowing what’s OCD and what’s you any more, you get more and more lost in your mind and are less likely to find your inner self. Take a deep breath, accept OCD, label OCD and refocus on anything BUT OCD.