I am 55 years of age and I have suffered from obsessive, intrusive and racing thoughts since I was a young child. In my early years I had one single thought that used to stick in my brain like super glue and each time this happened it was a struggle to let it go as it’s claws gripped hard on my brain, but it did eventually loosen it’s grip only for another worrying thought to eagerly take it’s place.

So it went on until, at the age of 13 when I felt that my brain was made up of tiny nuts and bolts like tiny curlers that covered a head of hair and locked all clear thoughts out. Compulsive washing, cleaning and overeating took their place and for a time this offered me a reprieve from the constant intrusive thoughts that had dominated my brain for so long. But then these compulsions overtook my life and dominated my entire daily living, until in my 30’s, when I was given a ‘golden’ opportunity to overcome OCD.

I successfully found an abstinence with my washing, overeating, cleaning, ritualistic habits and checking, but the compulsive thoughts came back with a vengeance, and left me feeling like my brain was completely knotted up like a ball of string with knots every couple of inches and I was unable to interact with anyone on any level both emotionally and mentally.

During this time I had Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and worked with the 12 steps which were originally devised to help alcoholics. Over the course of time these two methods helped me to overcome depression, an addiction and these immobilising thoughts, and with this teaching, in time I realised that the way to overcome my obsessive, intrusive and racing thoughts was to strengthen my own character and personality like a parent with a new born baby that needed my attention, my thoughts and feelings had special needs just as some babies unfortunately do and I could no more look to them for the answer or ask them to calm down without using my character to take the lead and take care of their needs first. So I learnt how to do this and now view myself as being the guardian of my thoughts and feelings, I have learnt to communicate with them, I encourage and understand them and their problems and sometimes make allowances for their problems, and while I know that it can be difficult to overcome some strong and emotive thoughts and feelings that ordinary people also feel, I also know that OCD is not an illness, it is a disorder that cannot do me physical harm or create any other mental impairment, as long as I look to myself as a guardian to my thoughts and feelings my brain and emotions can live a happy, productive, constructive, untangled, freeing life that can enjoy the peace life can offer me.

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