I know a beautiful person who has the misfortune of something called O.C.D. or obsessive compulsive disorder; which by now if you are not familiar with means her brain will take one thought and make a day or 2 or a week of it. A simple notion of “ I wonder if my brakes are going bad?”, becomes a day of hell if she is driving. From that thought forward her brain will look for confirmation of the brakes going bad. There is no switch to turn it off. She is unable to see the thoughts and what they are doing and just stop them. They become a freight train without a engineer.
Thoughts for her are like a malignant tumor in our bodies growing and taking over other organs. As her thoughts continue down this dark path her body then begins to travel with them by producing chemicals of fight or flight and increasing her heart rate, blood pressure, respiration’s and stomach irritation. Her body is in a continual motion of ready to flee.
People with O.C.D. do not have the same control we do over shutting our thoughts down or in the least subsiding them for a few minutes. Every thought for them has the potential to become the runaway train. When bad things happen to them it may not end for days or weeks. Their brains can’t search out for any good even if you point it out. Because their brains are so powerful for them and their bodies have become tuned to run with the mind, they actually can stay in this perpetual state for months even though having moments of calm or even peacefulness.
The people with O.C.D. know they have active minds but never know how to stop it. They are very aware when being told something, going to a doctor, watching the news that in any moment their peace can be shattered and taken over by panic. Can you imagine this? Can you begin to find compassion for someone who actually lives in a state of panic? When their thoughts have them captive, you can not as a reasonable, mature person hold them accountable for what they say. Trust me, when it is over and normal thought processes have started they are sorry for what they may have said or done. This too creates more horrible thoughts of possibly hurting another feelings or causing someone pain. It is a endless nightmare.
Be kind and patient when someone’s mind has taken control over them. Be reassuring and help them to find logic where it does not exist at the time. Help them to find the one piece of logic they can grasp on to for dear sake. Love them because in those moments they do not feel loved by anyone or the universe. They feel so alone. They are trapped in the fear of what these thoughts are showing them. It may take many days for you to finally show them a piece of hope but stick with it. They are worth it.
I am trying to get this friend to learn to meditate which science has proven to be the most effective treatment for this disorder in fact a complete cure in many cases. Meditation will teach her about her thoughts and train her brain to listen to her when she goes into breathing awareness and quiet down. It can put a engineer back into her freight train to help navigate the train when it starts down the tracks.
If you have this disorder I can not stress enough to you that meditation is the only pill you will ever need. It is not a quick fix but with time it is a permanent fix. Your thoughts are not you. Almost every thought you have is meaningless. Your brain is like a monkey after a banana it can’t reach. Your peace and solitude lays literally in your breath. INHALE…………EXHALE.
Be kind to others and love to you my friend.