As with any chronic mental health problem, there are bound to be ebbs and flows through life. What is particularly interesting to me though is the way that obsessions and compulsions can shift focus.
Lately, I've been worried a lot more about electrical fires.
I can't imagine why this specific fear would come alive now any more than at any other time, but here we are. When I'm leaving the house, I sometimes get major anxiety that some Final Destination style nightmare will occur while I'm gone... The thought process goes something like this:
If you left your lamp or computer plugged in, even if it's off, what if somehow it creates a spark that starts a fire? What if the fire spreads through the house? What if then nobody realizes the dogs are in their crates and nobody gets to them in time?
What if the computer is plugged in and was left on the couch? What if then it overheats and that starts a fire? What if the fire spreads through the house? What if then nobody realizes the dogs are in their crates and nobody gets to them in time?
I am aware that none of these worries make any statistical sense. Even if you can find articles on the internet where these unfortunate scenarios occurred, many people every day keep their electric devices plugged in and leave the house without burning down their homes.
Logically, I understand that these fears are overblown. Unfortunately, that won't stop me from worrying or checking, unplugging, and turning things off.
All these multi-step disaster scenarios stem from the same fear: something I do or neglect to do is going to kill my precious dogs. Even if there is only a .001% chance of some horrible event occurring, that event is so horrible to me that the compulsion to check to unplug or make sure an adapter is turned off often prevails over rational thinking.
Sometimes it is great love that leads otherwise rational people to do seemingly irrational things. I know I need to get a grip, but it helps to see and understand where the behavior is coming from.
My advice for today is to look at your compulsions or the compulsions of someone you care about from a different perspective. Rather than just seeing an OCD behavior as a brain glitch, try to consider the root of it. Even if the behavior seems "crazy" at first, often the root of it is very relatable. Understanding this can help you have better compassion for yourself and others.
Wherever you are with your OCD journey, trying to maintain compassion for yourself is key. One day at a time, y'all. We got this.