OCD and anxiety go hand-in-hand, so making our environments more accommodating definitely helps calm OCD.
My behaviours and intrusive thoughts are much calmer and less active now I live in my own home and work part time (I understand the huge amount of privilege I have with both of these). I feel less burntout and I have the ability to process my intrusive thoughts without immediately labelling them as awful, scary or weird. I also have the ability to know that they are not necessarily my thoughts – they do not follow my morals and understanding of myself and humanity.
One of the first clues to me approaching burnout is my OCD behaviours getting more intense and my intrusive thoughts becoming more frequent.
My OCD is very unlikely to ‘leave me’ at any point. It is intertwined with my trauma responses but my horrifying and violent thoughts can also seem very random.
My biggest triggers for OCD are long term – burnout, meltdown, low mood, depression. It’s not usually a one-off.
My OCD also goes with alexithymia so it’s all a bit of a muddle! Do I understand, know or feel my actual feelings and thoughts? And if so, how?
OCD is a difficult thing to live alongside, it can destroyed relationships and make people limit themselves and what they would like to do and achieve.
Its confusing and makes you constantly questions yourself and your morals. For me, OCD has been like fighting with a monster inside of you, however I have heard it better explained (I think by Autistic Realms) as a friend who is trying to keep you safe they’re just massively misinformed in how they go about doing this.
Friend or foe, OCD is a long term journey for most of us, so we might as well get to know who we’re travelling with.