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Can’t cope with guilt

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Lori_2315

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
86
Location
Scotland
I found out recently that people with OCD can struggle with strong feelings of guilt. I’m finding it hard to cope with the guilt I feel - over even the most small things. Whenever I feel guilty, it’s like I can’t feel anything else. I can’t let myself be happy because I HAVE to feel this guilt (for whatever reason).

it’s really annoying. The other day was great. I had a really good laugh with my friends (actually in pain from all the laughter) and went home after our day out feeling amazing. At that moment I felt confident, a completely different person. And then one thought cause it all to go to shit.

I went home, had a nice meal with my family, laughing and joking again and then a few hours later a random thought popped into my head and I was hit with this horrible feeling of guilt that I couldn’t shake. It’s just as if I can’t get rid of it because I don’t deserve to be happy if I’ve got something to feel guilty about.

even if it’s just a tiny mistake that most people would brush off, I can’t. I don’t know what to do to stop it.

If anyone else has any experience with this, I’d like to hear how you managed to overcome it.
 
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LokiPokey75

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
513
Location
United States
Hi Lori_2315!

Wow, that's exactly what it's been like for me Lori!😮 You really nailed the feeling of that gnawing guilt that never goes away, particularly with one thing that throws off your whole day. Like you have to feel guilty even when you're perfectly fine.

I've had OCD since I was 13 and I've known the struggle of having a thought that ruins my day by demanding it stay on my mind. It's as though it's telling you "You need to resolve me before you can be happy." I feel for you, girl!

What I recommend is firstly, identifying exactly why the thought is bothering you. Be as specific as possible. You'll have better clarity if you pinpoint the exact source of your pain. Then separate the fear from the thought.

Remember this: the thought itself is neutral. It's the fear attached to it that makes it seems like it's a horrible thing. Your thoughts don't define you or your character.

Once you've done both of those things, allow yourself to be afraid of the outcome. The best way to fight the fear is not to avoid it, but to embrace it. And if you can become okay with whatever happens, whether that being going forward or backward in your journey, you can move through the fear.

I'm a fan of the comic book character Harley Quinn and there was a comic with her recently where she envisions her fear as a villain. After wondering how she is going to defeat it, she chooses to hug her fear instead and it becomes a part of her. She eventually releases her fear in a balloon and it drifts away into the sky. Harley had been carrying around that fear with her for years and it was the bane of her existence. Only when she accepts it could she finally let it go.

This is all really hard to do right now. It took me years before the process became like clockwork, where I knew what was bothering me, I detached the fear, and I moved through it with ease. Your brain has to change its chemistry before everything works in harmony. But it is possible.

This might be difficult to understand. If you have any questions Lori, please ask! You can get through this. I've seen it for myself. And if you need a helping hand, therapy is always a great option.

I wish you all the best. Stay safe!
 
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Lori_2315

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
86
Location
Scotland
Hi Lori_2315!

Wow, that's exactly what it's been like for me Lori!😮 You really nailed the feeling of that gnawing guilt that never goes away, particularly with one thing that throws off your whole day. Like you have to feel guilty even when you're perfectly fine.

I've had OCD since I was 13 and I've known the struggle of having a thought that ruins my day by demanding it stay on my mind. It's as though it's telling you "You need to resolve me before you can be happy." I feel for you, girl!

What I recommend is firstly, identifying exactly why the thought is bothering you. Be as specific as possible. You'll have better clarity if you pinpoint the exact source of your pain. Then separate the fear from the thought.


Remember this: the thought itself is neutral. It's the fear attached to it that makes it seems like it's a horrible thing. Your thoughts don't define you or your character.

Once you've done both of those things, allow yourself to be afraid of the outcome. The best way to fight the fear is not to avoid it, but to embrace it. And if you can become okay with whatever happens, whether that being going forward or backward in your journey, you can move through the fear.

I'm a fan of the comic book character Harley Quinn and there was a comic with her recently where she envisions her fear as a villain. After wondering how she is going to defeat it, she chooses to hug her fear instead and it becomes a part of her. She eventually releases her fear in a balloon and it drifts away into the sky. Harley had been carrying around that fear with her for years and it was the bane of her existence. Only when she accepts it could she finally let it go.

This is all really hard to do right now. It took me years before the process became like clockwork, where I knew what was bothering me, I detached the fear, and I moved through it with ease. Your brain has to change its chemistry before everything works in harmony. But it is possible.

This might be difficult to understand. If you have any questions Lori, please ask! You can get through this. I've seen it for myself. And if you need a helping hand, therapy is always a great option.

I wish you all the best. Stay safe!
Hi, thanks for your reply. It’s good to hear others go through this too. I go to therapy but at the moment I don’t feel like it’s doing much, but hopefully it will soon. I tried doing what you said today and it did make a difference, so thank you. I actually managed to enjoy the rest of my day, so hopefully tomorrow will be good as well.
 
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LokiPokey75

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
513
Location
United States
Hi, thanks for your reply. It’s good to hear others go through this too. I go to therapy but at the moment I don’t feel like it’s doing much, but hopefully it will soon. I tried doing what you said today and it did make a difference, so thank you. I actually managed to enjoy the rest of my day, so hopefully tomorrow will be good as well.
I'm glad to hear that, Lori! I really believe that you can overcome your struggles with practice. And therapy may not seem like it's working but sometimes it's just nice to have someone to talk to about your problems.

Keep working on it and I know you'll finally move through this cycle of negative thoughts. You deserve it!
 
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Purpleplum

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
976
Location
nowhere
Guilt is hard and it keeps coming back, tapping you on the shoulder saying: "I'm not going away".
It's best to move forward. You can't do anything with the past.... you can only change the future. Just go forward vowing to do it differently next time you're in that situation.
 
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dhs94

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Los Angeles, CA
You are not alone, guilt is and has always been incredibly hard on me. Even way before I was showing other symptoms and diagnosed. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, it should've been my giveaway. It's a classic feeling, but a very very hard one.

If you are with a therapist that you don't feel like is the right fit for you, don't be afraid to consider switching. Make sure that whoever you are seeing has at least some specialty experience in OCD and intrusive thoughts. Don't be afraid to have the medication conversation with your parents if you feel you need to see a doctor.

As far as managing on a day to day, there's a tactic I've tried that my therapist calls "worry time." It's when you try really hard to fill your days with friends, family, work, school. Then when you're alone, set a timer for about 20 minutes or so, and give yourself permission to feel those feelings, recognize them. When the time is up you decompress yourself with your favorite show, favorite book, going for a walk with your dog, etc. I would talk to your therapist first about this though, and see if they think it's the right fit for you before you try it.

Just remember, this takes time, but it's going to be okay. Don't be afraid to distract yourself however you need to in the meantime. Talk to your family about how you feel if you feel safe to do so, sometimes it helps to just have someone listen to you and reassure you that you don't need to carry around this guilt.

Good luck!
 
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