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.
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I love that the french word for sunflower is "tournesol" (literally: turn-sun). Just wrote a little blog post about how I had a bad OCD day for the first time in a while yesterday, and how buying a bunch of sunflowers turned it all around 🌻 link in the bio if you're interested!
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.