“There are no facts, only interpretations”

Last year I became preoccupied by the idea that I didn’t want to socialise with certain friends of mine. It wasn’t anything that I could put my finger on but I seemed to have this lingering feeling that perhaps they weren’t the “best” people for me. It drove me to distraction trying to figure out why I felt this way. Why did I suddenly feel anxious about seeing two of my oldest friends? What was the right thing to do? Part of me wondered if it was related to my OCD (a slight coincidence that it became an issue when my OCD was bad!) and it did in some way appear to be related to a worry about being a ‘good’ person but it wasn’t a clear cut thought that I could put my finger on, it was a blurry sensation – like an out of focus photograph.

On the other hand, I had also had some experiences with these friends that had left me feeling uncomfortable and so I wondered if I was just realising that they weren’t the right people for me. I wondered if perhaps I was just moving on. I was seeing a psychotherapist at the time who felt that it was related to changes I was going through and that this was my instinct/subconscious telling me that these friendships weren’t the right thing for me anymore. On the other hand when I started seeing a CBT therapist she offered the view that perhaps I was just trying to seek a certainty about my friendships, looking for perfection and that perhaps these thoughts and feelings were intrusions related to OCD.

So what is the truth? I am learning that perhaps there isn’t one truth. My psychotherapist had one view, my CBT therapist another and so clearly the truth is only the truth from that perspective. I continue to see these friends (although not as frequently) and try to just tolerate the discomfort this brings with the idea that perhaps I am investing time in relationships that have moved on and conversely sit with the worry that perhaps I am drifting from close friends for no real good reason. The truth of the matter is that perhaps I will never know the truth (now THAT’S a difficult truth to swallow!)

In my experience it is one of the hardest things about OCD, this feeling that you can no longer trust your instincts or know that you can rely on yourself to know what the truth is. But I have realised that if I can sit with that then I can probably overcome just about anything (now that is a good truth to have!).

I’d be interested to hear other’s experiences and thoughts in the comments section of trusting yourself when you have OCD 🙂

Emily x

Blog hop – Favourite quote

This month’s blog hop is being hosted by the lovely Ellen and she’s asked us all to talk about our favourite quotes.

I have quite a few but this one is my quote of the month:

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I love this idea of perfectionism being a person. One of those irritating, slightly smug, never a hair out of place people who is always wearing shiny shoes. I hate those people, I far prefer the person with the messy hair, smudged make up and wrinkly tights so I have had to ask myself why for so long Mr Perfectionism has been my sought after companion. I should be clear and say I’m not a perfectionist in all areas of my life (I’m fairly sure my maths teacher didn’t see my perfectionist streak once) but certainly when it comes to being a “good” person I have strived to be the best – the kindest, the most thoughtful (no prizes for guessing that I work in a caring profession) and no wonder then that my OCD has always hooked me in with worries about being a “bad” person. 

This is classic black and white thinking. In my mind I’ve never even entertained the notion that perhaps I could be both – perhaps one day a kind person, maybe the next a little bit mean. One morning I may be happy and that evening I could be beetroot with rage and that both these things are OK. I love people who are open about their mistakes, happy to share where they fail sometimes and quick to giggle at the things they get wrong. Those people are awesome to spend time with so I’ve made a decision to dump Mr Perfectionism (he never did me any good) and I’m off to hang out with Ms Imperfection.  

Emily x