#ShouldersBack #StrongerThanOCD

My OCD has been extra riled up lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so much so that I decided I needed to reestablish my authority over it. After writing my OCD a letter and reading it out loud, I felt empowered, and my OCD has been much quieter as a result.

So I wanted to share my letter with you. I encourage you to write your own letters to OCD. Please feel free to use exactly what I wrote below, customize it, or write an entirely new letter to tell your OCD that it doesn’t get to be in charge. You can even post and tag them on social media with the hashtags #ShouldersBack and #StrongerThanOCD.

Never forget that you are stronger than your OCD. Even now.

Dear OCD,

You and I need to talk.

I get that you’re scared. I know that’s how you feel because you’re a lot more talkative lately.

I also understand that you’re also feeling pretty smug about this whole situation because the world seems just as dangerous and contaminated as you’ve always feared.

But here’s the thing. You are not going to win.

Yes, I admit you’re going to have some victories because I’m stressed, and you always try to take advantage of me when I’m not at my best.

But still, you’re not going to win because I’m a helluva lot stronger and braver than you are, OCD, as evidenced by the fact that even now I can put my Shoulders Back and act like what you’re saying is irrelevant.

No, you say? I can’t do that because then I’m putting us in danger? You misunderstand me, OCD. I can put my Shoulders Back and follow CDC and WHO recommendations and still act like you’re irrelevant. Even if what you’re saying doesn’t feel irrelevant when you throw a tantrum because you think I just washed my hands for 19 instead of 20 seconds. You’re not an authority on coronavirus or COVID-19, OCD, and I’m not going to act like you are.

Mark my words. You may be winning some now, but as soon as this pandemic and all its guidelines and restrictions are over, you’re going down. You recall all the things I did to you with my exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy? No, you’re having a bit of trouble remembering? Well, just pick up a copy of that book I wrote about my life with you (Is Fred in the Refrigerator? Taming OCD and Reclaiming My Life) and flip to chapter 12, where I do believe at one point I tortured you so badly with ERP that you passed out, right onto the floor. Does that jog your memory?

I refuse to take on your twisted worldview, OCD, that the world is a horrible, bad place. Even though I’m following recommended guidelines that give you the mistaken belief that your perspective is correct, I’m making the conscious choice to believe that the universe is friendly. I will not act as though the world’s out to get me, like I have a target on my back.

Sometimes I’m going to be aggressive with you, sometimes I’ll ignore you, and sometimes I’ll have compassion for you and your cause. But hear me on this, OCD because you’ve made a big mistake in where you’re putting your focus right now.

What you really need to be scared of, OCD, is me. Because I’m stronger than you know, and in the battle with you for my life, I’m going to remain the winner.


P.S. OCD, I’m giving people permission to customize this letter and read it to their own OCD, because I have a feeling that you’re not the only one who needs a talking to right now.

For more on managing OCD during the COVID-19 pandemic see COVID-19 / Coronavirus and OCD News & Resources.

To learn more about how to make OCD pass out, see pages 172-175 of Fred. To learn more about choosing to believe the universe is friendly, see chapter 15 of Fred.

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FredTalks are not a replacement for therapy, and I encourage all readers who have obsessive compulsive disorder to find a competent ERP therapist. See the IOCDF treatment provider database for a provider near you. And never give up hope, because you can tame OCD and reclaim your life!