Tuesday, 26 November 2013 0 comments

Do not run faster than you have strength

OK maybe not quite like that. Read this......

Mosiah 4:27 - And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

This is a wonderful verse of scripture, and it contains so much. It’s like my head explodes with ideas and thoughts (good ones) whenever I read it.

It speaks of so many principles, which correctly understood, can transform our lives. Some of these being –


It is both universal and personal in its application.

It puts in perspective quite clearly what the expectation of us is in the sight of a loving Heavenly Father.

It suggests being patient and kind with ourselves, while at the same time not making excuses for our weaknesses. Not running faster than we have strength still suggests that we should be running/moving but just at a pace that is right for us and our current situation.

There will be times we can run harder, do more, withstand more, and there will be times that we can’t think of anything other than making it to the end of the day.

The nicest thing that comes from this is that we learn that it isn’t speed that wins the prize, but diligence. Keep going daily. Do what you can, Be honest about what you can and can’t do.

Of late I have been feeling good (does OCD ever really leave though?) and have wanted to take on so much more. I feel like this is a time that I have the capacity to run faster than usual, and I want to. Some are concerned about for me that I might be doing too much. Maybe they are right. I won’t argue. Last thing I want to do is burn out or go down in a blaze of glory when I don’t have to go ‘down’ at all.

There are some exciting things coming my way in the near future and I don’t want to be incapacitated with my OCD alter ego. I have a name for him. Pete.

Pete’s an idiot.

Lately he has had me doing some really bizarre things.

One of which was truly odd. I remember as a teenager I used to have some tics where I would involuntarily blink a lot or open my mouth wide. These all passed with time and I haven’t really got any tics these days.

However, one thing I can’t stop doing is running through events in my head. I relive conversations and situations. I really struggle to stop doing this once I start. This has sometimes led to me talking them out loud again while I am in the car by myself or anywhere by myself. I think the anxiety is that I came away looking silly or I made a mistake with something I said.

Anyway, I was coming home from work on the bus the other night and I started re-imagining a previous conversation I had with someone. While mentally revisiting it my thoughts took the conversation down a root that it never went down in reality. The next thing I knew I was opening my eyes to see myself waving my arms around, pulling a silly face and saying something out loud in front of the whole bus.
They must have thought I was insane, because I thought that about myself in that very instance.

It felt completely involuntary. So much so that I didn’t know I was doing it until I opened my eyes, which I also hadn’t even realised I had closed. I have never physically acted out my thoughts in such a way before. Not even in private. The most outward it’s been is in speaking it all again out loud.

I have been a bit panicky since then that I will do something involuntarily somewhere of more importance or significance to me in future. I don’t want to do something so seemingly crazy at work, church, at a meeting or in front of my family. It feels like the real definition of crazy to me.

There’s nothing like that to make you feel like you are completely insane. I guess that anyone who is really insane doesn’t think they are insane. The very fact you think you might be insane is generally a good sign that you aren’t. Well, that’s what I am telling myself anyway.

Have you ever experienced any involuntary movements, actions or tics that are OCD related?

Mine have all been internal until that point on the bus. Let’s hope I’m not evolving into having more outward compulsions. I’ve heard that can happen as OCD can change over time.

To get back on topic, I’m learning from this verse of scripture all the time and the lesson is relevant to the above situation. It’s all about pacing yourself and doing what you can. Stuff is going to happen in life, stuff you would never even have imagined. Let’s not panic at them, but accept them and be more concerned with doing what you can. Try to live in the moment using mindfulness principles rather than living in past events, conversations or situations.
Friday, 15 November 2013 0 comments

Reassurance pt 2

My last post on reassurance as a compulsion for OCD sufferers might have sounded like a lot of the things we need in life, like talking to friends, family, finding information and generally seeking feedback, need to be stopped.

However, this is not really what I was wanting to say. We all need reassurance from time to time whether we suffer OCD or not. We all need to talk things through and offload or seek a better understanding of things in order to be reasonable people.

I guess the real challenge with reassurance is deciding whether the need for reassurance is a natural human response in the circumstance, or whether it is a compulsion that you are using to scratch the OCD itch?

Knowing what type of things I seek reassurance on, due to OCD, I can see at least one or two places to stop seeking reassurance. I have stopped seeking reassurance on worthiness issues, which as we all know can be a big question for everyone in the LDS church. We discuss it a lot and we value the idea that we are ‘worthy’, however with any real thought you can quickly realise that none of us are really ‘worthy’, so it’s a bit of a nonsense worrying too much about it. We just need to do what we know to be right, and keep trying.

I simply made a decision that I would never go and discuss or seek to confess anything to a Bishop or a Stake President again. That thought might strike the fear into some members, and some may see that as an act of defiance or pride, but the context is very different in the instance of OCD.

An OCD sufferer who deals with scrupulosity or religiosity are generally not the type of people who go around doing stuff that needs confession to the Bishop. Normally sufferers are already so hyper-sensitive to doing anything wrong that they will be

1) confessing stuff they have already confessed
2) imagined wrongs which never happened, but because I’m thinking of them maybe they did
3) thinking a bad thought that you believe says something devastating about your character, and the list could go on.

This is not a normal thought process. This is the obsessive thought. The compulsion is to have a Bishop or someone in authority tell you it’s ok. Nothing else will do.

In these instances you have to refuse to confess to a priesthood leader. This is not pride, this is forcing yourself to see sense.

Of course, serious transgressions that may occur in the future need confession as part of the repentance process, but it’s just a part of the process, not the ultimate and most important detail.

I have learnt something about faith and forgiveness in this process. The faith comes from believing that the Saviour will forgive me for the small things I do as I recognise them and essentially move on trying to do better. He doesn’t need or want us to be so crippled with anxiety and guilt that we can’t manage to be better because we are so swallowed up in a sense of our own guilt. Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ that he will make right the wrongs that we can’t, and then we move on with life.

I have found the best form of ‘confession’ or ‘reassurance’ comes from writing down my thoughts and questions. The process of writing them down is getting them out just as effectively as telling someone. It also has the added benefit of ordering and structuring your thoughts. It also relieves anxiety as you are engaged in the process of writing, things become clearer.

Full blown anxiety is never a good state in which to make decisions, unless it’s RUN FOR YOUR LIFE A BIG GRIZZLY BEAR IS GOING TO EAT YOU!!!

While small amounts of anxiousness, stress or fear may help motivate us in certain circumstances, when it becomes sheer panic and debilitating we are no longer being rational.

So my advice, stop the reassurance from others, write it down instead. It keeps your stuff personal, but still creates the release and the opportunity to re-evaluate and reassure yourself.