Sunflowers: A Bad OCD Day

Yesterday was crap.

For the first time in a looooooong time, my OCD felt out of control, and I just couldn’t get it “settled” again. Every technique I’d learned to use in CBT, every distraction, was tossed out the window in a jiffy, and I was stuck in a delayed train, thinking, I can’t do this. I can’t go through all of this. Not again.

You see, for the most part, my OCD isn’t something which interrupts my daily life anymore. It’s still there, every day, but I can brush it away because I know what it is. I can refocus my energy onto other things, because I know it. I’ve dealt with it. I’m fine. It’s an ongoing battle which I regularly win.

But then, every so often… it wins. I try and I try to push it down, to distract myself, but eventually, it bubbles over, and I’m left drowning, helpless in a sea of thoughts. What do?!

Yesterday, OCD won. I can’t win every time. And while I remind myself how fantastic it is that I have good days 80% of the time, when I’m in that moment of difficulty, it’s hard to see it like that. The 20% sucks, and it’s hard to imagine how things could possibly get better again.

This is not the post where I’m going to tell you all about my “journey” with OCD (ps : casually vomming into the bin under my desk at having described OCD as a journey). That’s for another day. What I want to talk about is what happened after.

As I often do on tough days, I marched to Tescos, to buy myself a bunch of flowers. I always treat myself to flowers when things aren’t going well. And as I was riffling through bunches of roses, something bright and yellow caught my eye.

Sunflowers are not something I’d usually go for, but they looked so lovely, so summery. So I decided that instead of being preidctable old Amber, I’d buy the sunflowers  instead. As I carried them to the till, I was mulling over in my mind how the French call them tournesols, literally “turn-suns”.  It got me thinking that whilst I was in the midst of this OCD attack, maybe the way out was to turn myself towards the sun- towards the good things- so that I could thrive again, and grow, and be okay.

I know in my heart that no matter how bad things get, I’ll never be totally crushed.

I know that I am loved and safe, and nothing my stupid brain conjures up can ever really change that.

I know that this is one bad day out of hundreds of days, and things will get better.

So I left Tescos with the sunflowers safely under my arm, determined that everything was going to be okay, because I am safe and secure and loved and things were going to get better. And as I stepped outside, painted across the sky, was a gorgeous, vibrant rainbow! It was so beautiful, I had to stop and absorb it’s beauty for a moment.

OCD often leaves me feeling like I’m drowning. The rainbow reminded me that no storm, no matter how big, would ever totally consume me. I can’t be drowned in a sea of thoughts, because my fears can be drowned in perfect love. I just need to look towards the sun again.

A Bientot,


Amber xx

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