I really love the new bookshelf Dan got me for Christmas. I love books and I love reading. We put the new bookshelf up in our living room. While putting books on the shelf I decided to put the book, Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts by Sally M. Winston and Martin N. Seif on there. I think this is something that shows how far I have come since I was diagnosed with OCD.
I first bought this book in October of 2019. I had been having distressing, disturbing thoughts for probably 10 years; they had gotten to the point of extremely obsessive. I did everything I could to make them go away, but that just made them worse. I got to the point where I was seriously thinking about suicide. I came up with different plans in my head to kill myself. I asked God to kill me naturally. I hated myself and seriously thought I didn’t deserve to live. I finally decided to google how to get these horrible thoughts out of my head; that’s when I learned intrusive thoughts were a thing. Then I googled how to stop intrusive thoughts… you can’t… this is super scary! It said you have to just accept the thought as meaningless. I thought, no, I need a different answer, please. I bought this book, Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts and hid it in our bedroom. I only read it when Dan was at work because I didn’t want him to know about it. That’s how ashamed of my intrusive thoughts I was. I was afraid my wonderful, loving husband would hate me if he knew about the thoughts. I eventually kind of told him and he said it wasn’t a big deal. I thought, what? He doesn’t mean that? Of course it’s a big deal! I’m a horrible wife! I’m a horrible mom! I’m a horrible person! A couple days later I told him I was suicidal and he took me to the emergency room. I was diagnosed with OCD and told I’m not a horrible person (it took me a lot longer than the two-week hospitalization program for me to accept this).
It’s never a good time to end your life.
I think putting the book on the bookshelf is a great step for me. I’m still a little anxious about it. I think, what if someone reads it and thinks what is wrong with this crazy lady? But I also know a lot of people struggle with intrusive thoughts and don’t talk about it. I didn’t tell anyone because I felt intense shame. Many people who have OCD go for years without being diagnosed because they can’t tell anyone about their intrusive thoughts. It is also extremely misunderstood and misused. You can have OCD and be a messy person. You can have OCD and not care about germs. There are many different types of OCD. If you would like to read about some of them read this post http://www.snugglesandstruggles.com/indexphp/2020/12/02/drowning-in-snakes/. I think putting this book on my shelf could possibly help someone who is struggling. I am so glad I was able to get help. I’m so glad I didn’t decide to kill myself when I was only 29. I’m excited to turn 31 next month and see what God has in store for my life.
“Shame works only if we think we’re alone in it. If we think there’s someone else, a group of women, a city full of women, a country full of women, a world full of women, struggling with the same issue, the concept of shame becomes bankrupt.”- I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brene Brown
I really like this quote from this book; everyone struggles with shame (in this book she had studied mostly women and shame, but men also struggle with shame). It is so helpful for me to know I’m not alone. Other people struggle with OCD; other people struggle with similar intrusive thoughts. You are not a bad person for having intrusive thoughts. You are not a bad person for having OCD. Everyone has struggles. If you share your struggles with others you will realize you are not the only one.
“You brought me back from my brokenness. You took my shame and you buried it. What You’ve done I won’t forget.”- Greater Things by Mack Brock
I really love the lyrics to this song. We sang it in church this morning and it reminded me how much God loves me. When I bought the Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts book, I was so broken. I didn’t think I deserved God’s love. I felt like a horrible person and a horrible Christian. However; God blessed me with a wonderful husband who took me to the emergency room. He blessed me with an OCD diagnosis. He blessed me with therapy and medication. And, very importantly, He blessed me with Christian friends who recognized mental illnesses are real, they didn’t just tell me to pray it away. I didn’t understand why God would have me go through such a hard time, but I think I do now. I came close to suicide so I could help others who may be struggling. It can still be difficult for me to talk about in person, but writing about it has gotten a lot easier. Of course, I still overthink, oh, no what if people think I’m crazy or a bad person? But it has gotten much easier. If you are struggling with any mood disorder, I want you to know you are not alone. If you are suicidal, please don’t be afraid to get help. Your friends and family would NOT be better off without you. God loves you. I love you. You matter.
“No despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:37 NLT
Suicide Prevention Hotline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org