OCD or the real me
OCD or the real me
I was described by my parents and the family doctor as a highly-strung child and of a nervous disposition, so much so that I was given sedatives by the doctor at the age of five to help with stomach pains.
When I was eleven a lot was going on in my life, including serious illness in my family, and I also started senior school. After attending a small primary school in my village, in the depths of the countryside, I was now at a large secondary school in our neighbouring town. I was scared of the bullies and kept my head down as much as I could so as not to be picked on. Soon after starting at the school I started compulsively washing my hands in every break, for the whole break. This I found distressing in itself, adding to my considerable stress.
I used to pretend I had just gone into the loo and was washing my hands, each time there was a turnover of people in there. My hands got so sore from the harsh soap and rough paper towels we had to use in those days, which of course added to the stress.
I had also had a phobia of spiders for as long as I could remember and as I moved into my early teens, I started checking my bedroom, moving all the furniture to check for spiders. And I mean all, including all the heavy furniture. Everything had to be moved and checked behind and under. I would strip my bed and then remake it before I went to bed, checking every layer. All together this would take about 2-3 hours every night and as you can imagine, I was exhausted. The checking went on all through my school life and into my work life but was expressed in different ways. My days were long.
Once I had left home it was then my bedsit. Even though I wasn’t checking for spiders so much, the checking still continued in case I’d left a candle burning, even though I hadn’t lit one, and that the power sockets were turned off. Were the cooker rings turned off? Did I check the main switch for the cooker? Had I shut the door? Repeatedly tapping and pushing the door over and over to make sure and repeating all the checking, questioning myself: did I check it? Was I sure? So I’d go back once more and once more and so on. I would almost be in tears, desperate to get out and on my way.
The more distressed I became, the more I would check. It was a vicious cycle.
I had counselling to get help. I was desperate for them to help me, at one time crying, saying: “please help me please help me to stop checking”. It would calm down but never went away and if something stressful came up, back it would come, in full force. And a force it was indeed, running my body; a force of energy. It felt like it took over my body; that it was running me. The anxiety and the need to check fueled my every movement, and the more I checked and the more stressed I got, the stronger it got. There would be constant doubting thoughts, fears of destroying other people’s property, fear of burning down where I was living, all driving me to keep the behaviour going.
As an adult in my thirties, I would take photos of things in the house like sockets and candles after my initial checking – several times – so I had proof I could check after I left the house… so I wouldn’t have to go back. I would repeatedly check the doors on my car and that the handbrake was on, in car parks and public parking places as well as at home, over and over, embarrassed that someone might see, but the compelling need to do it was stronger than the embarrassment.
Looking back, I only realised later in life I was suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I don’t know how I managed to hide it, if indeed I did. It took a huge amount of energy trying to cover it up, which I found incredibly stressful.
I wanted to tell people but was so scared to in case I was locked up. My family didn’t know, as far as I am aware, as I never spoke with them about it and nothing was mentioned to me. I told a couple of very close friends I trusted just so that when we went out, I could leave the house quicker with their support. They were great. I didn’t say to what degree I had it though and I just called it my checking. I made light of it with them by joking about it and laughing, but underneath I wasn’t laughing at all. It became something I managed as part of life, not as severe as I got older, but still there.
2011 was my turning point. A friend had told me they were attending a healing course in the summer and I later called them to find out more. After listening to some radio interviews with the presenter I then went on to attend one of the courses and meet him, Serge Benhayon, founder of Universal Medicine. As I listened to his presentations on the Ageless Wisdom and The Way of The Livingness, so much resonated deeply within me… I knew this.
What I liked about these teachings was they were so down to earth; nothing airy fairy. The more I listened, the more it pieced together answers to questions that had been unanswered for many years. I had a feeling of empowerment in me when I realised that the choices I had made in life had created my problems, health wise, emotionally and psychologically, so this meant I could undo it – it was in my hands!! But the thought of having to go back to deal with my hurts – to look at them all – filled me with a sense of dread, as I had many. BUT, as I found, with my willingness to go there, things soon started to change. It was bumpy, painful and there were times when I wanted to run away from what was coming up to be addressed in me… and sometimes I did, for a few hours or a day, only to return and face things, as I knew in every cell of my body this was the Truth and letting go of old hurts allowed me to move on in so many ways.
I applied the simple teachings to my life through:
- tenderly taking care of my body
- building a loving relationship with myself
- working with staying present in my body
- not drifting off or distracting myself in any way
- going for a daily walk, as this really helped with staying with me and in my body, by focussing on my feet as I walked or my hands or fingers as my arms moved
- the Gentle Breath Meditation® as presented by Serge – something I could do daily, several times if necessary and anywhere.
All these tools were invaluable in my process whilst addressing the hurts and beliefs that were fuelling the anxiety that was behind the checking.
This commitment slowly built a foundation within me, a foundation of love, so that when I got anxious and the checking could possibly start, I could feel I had a choice to let it happen or focus on staying present, bringing myself back to me, to a steadiness I could feel inside. And I began to find that quite quickly my checking began to lessen and within about 18 to 24 months it had stopped. If I felt anxious at all I would say to myself, “I feel anxious because of… or, I feel anxious about…”. I found that saying it would release the feeling from my body, allowing me to return to and stay with the steadiness within. Staying with my body stopped the thoughts rushing in and taking over, and consequently, the need to check.
It took time to build this re-connection with myself, but every moment was worthwhile – beyond words. With commitment and working with these simple teachings I learnt that we can change our life, and in my experience I am continuing to change, develop and grow as I continue to live them – without perfection, which is neither expected nor required. As well as working on myself, I had regular healing sessions, once a month, with Universal Medicine practitioners, which I found hugely supportive.
With the OCD now no longer an issue it was an unusual feeling to leave the house with no need to check anything. To start with I would look at the cooker – “yep, it’s off” – I’d look at the door and say, “yep, it’s shut”, and off I’d go into the day. Oh my, did my day feel different!
Along with my greater energy levels, instead of the jerky back-and-forth of the constant checking, now there was instead a beautiful flow to my life. I realised the utter exhaustion the OCD had caused, but now I was living free of it and the devastating effects it had on my life and my body.
I had this condition for 37 years and there were periods when it was pretty bad, yet by applying and living what I had learned from the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom to my life, and with the support of the Universal Medicine Practitioners, I was able to heal it completely… and it hasn’t returned.
In learning to live differently, in a loving caring way with myself, over time I was able to stay present much more, not drifting off into daydreams or going into my head running thoughts over and over again, or switching off by watching TV. I can now see that all these took me away from my body, whereas focussing on my hands when doing something or my feet when walking, how my body feels when having a warm bath or enjoying some healthy home cooked food keeps me present. From this I could feel I had the choice to allow that energy, the anxiety and compulsiveness, into my body or to stay with me: priceless.
It has been completely life changing and something I have continued to build on and bring to my daily life. It is now more than six years since I healed my OCD and the checking along with the anxiety is a thing of the past and even though I have had some big challenges over this time there is still no checking. There is nothing in me that feels the need to do this; it is no longer part of me.
That could have been me for life, living with OCD, but now I am living proof that we can move on from a condition like this, for good, by simply changing the choices we make and choosing to live in a loving way. I made these changes, simple day-to-day living changes, being consistent with them as much as possible and my life has transformed as a result.
I have so much to appreciate; my choice to say yes to making these changes, and for Serge Benhayon for the immense wisdom he presents, lives and offers for us All.