I missed Obsessive Thought Thursday again. This time I completely and totally forgot about it. It wasn’t until Friday that I even thought about Thursday. This could very well be a good thing. Maybe I am forgetting about it because I am not having constant, unrelenting, obsessive, intrusive thoughts.
I made homemade chocolate chip cookies on Thursday. The number totaled 1 cookie short of 5 1/2 dozen. I thought about the number briefly. I was okay with having such an odd number. I did not stress over having that odd number. I did think about it, but I thought more about the fact that I was okay with the odd number. In the past I would have had to figure out how to get a much better total number of cookies. In fact I would have started my baking with the final number in mind. I would have made some cookies bigger or smaller to get to a decent final number.
12 cookies per sheet = 24 cookies each time I put the sheets in the oven. That gives me 24 each time. If I squeeze three extra cookies onto each sheet each time, that would give me 30 cookies which is closer to 32 than 24. Then I only have to worry about 2 cookies not 6. I do this twice and I end up with 60 cookies. This is much closer to 64 than 48. 48 is not a bad number it is just not as pleasant as 64.
If I do this 2 more times, which is 4 times, I end up with 120 cookies. 8 more and I have 128 total. That is a great number. Very easy for me to work with. I did not do any of this. Yes, the number of cookies was always in my mind, but it did not bother me too much or cause increased anxiety in me. I did count the cookies as I baked them, but my only goal was to bake a lot of cookies. The total number I ended up with did not matter to me. I just wanted a lot of them.
I sat and I pondered. I felt. I sat and felt whatever it was I was going to feel. I felt okay with this number. I liked the number better when I called it 1 short of 5 1/2 dozen, but 65 was okay too. Eat one and I am at the magical number of 64. I did not do this. Instead, I thought about how cool it was that I was feeling absolutely no anxiety over the number of cookies I baked.
Yes, I thought about the number of cookies, but that is okay. It may have even been normal to want to know how many cookies I ended up with. I have been obsessing over numbers since I knew what numbers were. I can’t expect to completely forget about them all at once.
What do I attribute this amazing feat to? A few things come to mind. Medication being number 1. Without the proper medication, I would not have the opportunity to even attempt to challenge my obsessions and compulsions. But, medication did not fix me. It helped me. It gave me the ability to really take a look at the obsessions and compulsions that were left. With medication, the battle of challenging the OCD seemed possible. A battle I believed I could finally maybe win. I had hope that I could beat this illness. Before medication, I was completely controlled by the obsessive thoughts and behaviors.
Many of these compulsions had become habit. I never thought about putting 4 ice cubes in my drink, I just automatically did it. I learned in childhood that if I did not do things in 4’s, I would feel uncomfortable. When I got older I learned that this uncomfortable feeling was called anxiety. I learned that I could prevent or lessen this anxiety by doing things in 4’s.
So although medication has helped me, I have had to do a lot of hard work as well. I have had to force myself to do things differently. I have had to be willing to experience those uncomfortable feelings I’ve been trying to avoid my whole life. I am challenging OCD and I am winning. Each and every time I challenge it, I get a bit stronger.