It took me a while to think of an appropriate title. I wanted it to say so much more.. to add something like ‘obsessing is making me unhappy’ or ‘my obsessive thoughts are self-destructive’ but the title would have been too wordy. (Aesthetics, right?) Ultimately, I want people to know that obsessing is common and that it can be managed. Maybe it will never stop or go away, but I’ve shared a few of my tips you can use that may help when you feel like you’re about to go off the deep end.
But first! What is it like to be BPD and deal with obsessive thoughts…? Great question, let me elaborate:
I’d always known that my brain (and emotions) worked a little different than many of the people I know. But I didn’t really know why or how until recently.
After about a decade of therapy for my depression, a psychiatrist I had recently been transferred to took the time to ask me a lot of questions. Come to find out I am also BPD. When I started learning about it, it was like a light went on in my head. I finally understood why some things were SO damn hard! Mainly why controlling my emotions and obsessive thoughts felt near-impossible some days. (I’m fairly confident I could teach a hamster to ride a bike before I could learn how to regulate my obsessive thoughts and emotions.)
In all seriousness, I am making myself miserable with my obsessing. It usually starts with some little thing that bothers me… I try to push it aside so as not to make a big deal out of it, but it keeps creeping back into my mind. Later I’ll find myself thinking about it again, realize I’m doing this, and push it aside (again). And each time this (what started out as) little issue builds up more and more so that after a few days it’s a full blown crisis. I’m talking ‘if I don’t resolve this thing I’ll never be happy and my life is over’ kind of crisis.
The worst part is that I know I’m obsessing but I can’t seem to stop. It’s like when you’re watching a horror movie and the music is making it blatantly clear that something awful is going to happen but you just can’t look away. You know it’s coming. You know you don’t really want to see it. But you can’t stop yourself from watching.
While I am no expert, I can share with you a few tricks I use to stop myself when I start to obsess.
Here are my Tips To Stop Obsessing:
- Realize that I am obsessing.
- Try and put the situation in a “bigger picture” setting by asking myself if this is something that would bother me in 5 days, or 5 weeks, or even 5 years. Most of the time I can confidently say that I probably will NOT remember what I was obsessing about 5 days or weeks ago.
- Remind myself that obsessing is a part of my life and may never go away. And that it’s counterproductive to be upset with myself about it.
- I then force myself to do something else! Read a book, watch a movie, play guitar… Remember to try and choose something that will keep your brain occupied.
- At a later time I come back to the issue and try to figure out how my perception of the situation could have been distorted and then I do my best to devise a plan to deal with it differently in the future.
I hope these tips can be of some help. 🙂
I would love to hear some of your stories or tips about obsessing. Please drop me a line!