Not sure if I covered this or not previously but here it goes!
A lot of the time when we start our recovery journey we tend to focus on the outcome rather than the process. What do I mean by this? I mean that we set goals such as “I will eliminate OCD from my life” or “by the end of treatment I will not feel anxious anymore” or “I will not have intrusive thoughts again”. If we take these as measures of success we are destined to fail. And why, you must ask? Mainly for two reasons:
First, these are all things that we cannot control. As we try to exercise control over things that we do not have any power over it will only get us more disheartened if we have a bad day or short relapse.
Second, once we build this expectations in our brains that these are things to be expected if treatment goes well a.k.a. cure then we are also training our brains to look for MINIMAL signs of this. The funny thing is that any SMALL problem will look BIG once this expectations sets in. Instead of thinking “this is just a short blip” we start thinking “this is a disaster and will never get better from rOCD”.
So what is the antidote? It is simply focusing on the things that we can control. We can control the process not the results. Examples of this are: exercise, good sleep routines, mindfulness practice, etc. A great quote from Gandhi that illustrates this principle is:
It is for us to make the effort. The result is always in God’s hands.
A great blog that talks about this as well can be found here. So, my invite to you is that you focus on those things that you have control over and be patient. Do not set timelines either. We are aiming for a lifestyle change – to better live with OCD. Does this mean that we cannot be happy? Not at all. People with OCD can be as happy as anyone else. And I know that from personal experience. :)