“My anxieties have anxieties.”- Charlie Brown in There’s No Time for Love, Charlie Brown
Have you ever felt like this? I feel like it is a common symptom of OCD. Since I have learned about intrusive thoughts I will overanalyze many thoughts I have. Was that an intrusive thought? Maybe I really wanted that thought. Am I overthinking this? Overthinking is probably one of my superpowers. One of the hard parts of OCD is that you are supposed to be comfortable with the uncertainty? But how can anyone be comfortable with uncertainty? Especially uncertainty about their intrusive thoughts. I guess this is an example of being anxious about having anxiety.
One of the things I have been overanalyzing lately is my thoughts about germs. I seem to be selective in the germs I care about so I wonder if this is a part of OCD or just a part of my personality. It is also confusing because we are in the middle of a pandemic so it is normal to be a little cautious about germs. Sometimes I wonder is this an acceptable time to wash my hands? Is this an acceptable time to not touch the doorknob? I am not a compulsive hand washer but since I have been trying to touch more doorknobs I feel like I have been washing my hands more. Although, I think I wash them a normal amount of times during the day. Maybe a little more often than most people but not obsessively. Part of my problem is that I don’t want to be too paranoid about germs but I don’t want care too little about them either. Yeah, my anxieties have anxieties. Having an OCD diagnosis is helpful for the most part but it can cause me to overthink about a lot of things.
I know I have neck pain and for some reason it has been hurting a little worse lately. But then I wonder, am I making this all up in my head? Maybe my neck doesn’t really hurt and I’m just a hypochondriac. And if it’s really muscular like the doctor thought why do my stretches sometimes make it feel worse? Is that just in my head? Now I’m feeling crazy for going through this cycle.
And of course I will often think, do I really have OCD? Maybe I’m just using that as an excuse for the horrible thoughts I have. Of course, a doctor diagnosed me with OCD so I’m pretty sure I’m not making that up. But I will think, what if she was wrong? What if I actually want these thoughts? I know these are symptoms of OCD. I try to tell myself, “Intrusive thoughts happen. I have OCD. That thought’s just a wave passing by.” It is a lot easier than it used to be. And my intrusive thoughts have, thankfully, been lessened a lot with medication. I will still sometimes struggle with loving myself. I don’t hate myself or want to kill myself anymore but I will still wonder, am I secretly a bad person? I try to remember to see myself the way God sees me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. No matter what I am going through God always loves me. You are also fearfully and wonderfully made. No matter how you are feeling right now I want to remind you that you matter. It’s okay if you still need to work on loving yourself. But don’t give up. You are strong. You are loved. You matter.
“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NLT