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  • Himani Choudhary

Recovery from OCD

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Recovery is an optimistic yet terrifying concept for someone with a mental illness to think about. Recovery means regaining your life back and enabling you to finally live your life without any boundaries. However it does require you to work harder than you have EVER worked before. When sufferers first think about, ‘recovery from OCD,’ they immediately think about eliminating compulsions, rituals, intrusive thoughts and the overall anxiety it brings. What some sufferers first fail to realise is what key aspects you need to know in order to begin the journey of recovery and fully recover. At the beginning of my recovery journey, one of my compulsions was to fold my hands over each other 8 times during washing them. My therapist then convinced me to try folding them 6 times during washing and told me that I had a week to complete this. What sufferers should realise is that if a therapist sets deadlines or edits a certain compulsion without guiding you on how to actually eliminate they clearly don’t understand OCD. I didn’t get anywhere with my hand washing compulsion until I discovered that self acceptance is a key part of the recovery journey. Self acceptance is being at total peace with something and truly trying to believe what you are telling yourself. For example, I walked into the bathroom one day to wash my hands and stood at the sink for a few seconds and mentally told myself that folding my hands 8 times truly won’t have an impact on future actions. It is crucial you deeply believe what you tell yourself before acting on a compulsion. Anxiety will lessen and intrusive thoughts will decrease gradually. If you don’t however, the recovery process becomes harder and slower. Self acceptance is the key to exposure, if it doesn’t work the first time, keep on trying! The main reason I have escalated in recovery is because of self acceptance. Compulsions and intrusions are guaranteed to gradually vanish.If recovery from OCD is your main priority or one of your main priorities in life, try and act on at least one compulsion a day until it is completely eliminated. Every time you think about acting on a compulsion but choose not to, the OCD monster grows stronger. There is no war to win with OCD, recovery is when you can walk away from OCD knowing whatever it tries to restart the argument with is of no interest to you any longer.The only that fuels OCD is fear, once you work on self acceptance and no longer fear it, OCD has no power over you. This is the end of the cycle hence, the end of suffering.Recovery may be scary but it’s no less terrifying than remaining ill.

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