Why is it so hard for some people to have a clear thought without it forking out towards undesired territories?
I’m used to meticulously thinking things through because of OCD, and this has been the way since I was a kid; I ruminate a lot as per the compulsion. Unfortunately, this means that I struggle a lot to just have a straight-up thought that doesn’t lead to something depressing, distressing, and/or aggravating.
“Stop worrying so much” – if only it were that simple.
Association. We might think of red and then be led to danger or passion. I think most of our thoughts work like this, as our brains are often assessing and problem-solving, but some of us, like me, can’t help but to get carried away. I give things meaning that I shouldn’t, and pursue thoughts best left well alone.
Think of OCD-style over-thinking like the Internet: there are links littered everywhere, but most people simply click those that apply to them at that given moment. Myself, however, I like to click every link I come across, being led to all sorts of bleak places until my browser history makes even the most morbidly curious person blush.
Genital enlargement? Sure, I’ll click that. Disturbing videos? Right on, bring it. Articles about death, disease, and misery? Yes please! Strange analgoy, but welcome to my brain; it’s volatile.
One such example, is when I’ve been in relationships in which I would have an obsession with the question of whether I really loved her. This lead to my ruminating over the question, ultimately leading to the what if, which in this case, is what if I didn’t?
There are a great many what ifs I’ve asked myself over the years.
What if I’m [thing]?
What if I did [thing]?
What if I didn’t do [thing]?
What if I were capable of doing [thing]?
What if they [thing]?
It’s a muddled bundle of gibberish I know I shouldn’t entertain, but they’re at the forefront of my mind and it takes so much energy to get them to fuck right off. There’s the thing: you shouldn’t fight these thoughts. I’m told I should accept them and move on, and I know that makes sense—giving the thoughts so much attention serves to perpetuate the obsession—but it’s something that takes a lot of work.
Although over-thinking can be a perfectly normal-person thing to experience, it’s something people with certain forms of OCD might experience very, very frequently. Intrusive thoughts come to mind—excuse the pun.
It’s frustrating, though. When you’re close to someone, then you’re suddenly hit with a thought, however ridiculous or unlikely, it stresses you out. What if you’re so close to the person that you’re used to being honest and open, then they query you; do you tell them what you’re thinking when they enquire as to why you’re so anxious or distracted?
What if your thoughts could be a catalyst for your partner’s insecurities? Is your purposefully holding back information from him or her an immoral, deceptive act? Are you lying to them? Maybe you’re lying to yourself.
So many questions and no answers, so you ponder some more; still left fumbling in the dark without a nice bright solution.
Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.