So I’m back here in my usual retreat – the Starbucks on Riverwalk and as always, I’ve got a decent 30 minutes on the clock of free wifi so here my fingers are tipping and tapping away in their dance across the keys. It’s been a while since I’ve been back on here. I assure you I’m alright. That things haven’t taken a turn for the worse and I’ve completely withdrawn into a cave never to return. Quite the contrary actually. Things have dramatically improved. Now to be clear, my symptoms haven’t completely disappeared. I still struggle. I still have spikes. But I do manage it better. I have more courage. I was watching another of Steven Furtick’s inspiring sermons on YT again. He really has a great power to communicate the spirit and message of Christ. Very admirable. Anyway, this particular video was titled A Haunted Heart. I won’t spoil the entire sermon for you (though advance apologies if that happens anyway – it’s unintentional) since I do recommend that you check it out. I just wanted to share a bit of it which I resonated with. See, Steven emphasized some of the things that might lurk in the shadows within us and haunted our hearts – be it guilt, sorrow, helplessness, offences, or a threat (our perceived fear of what MIGHT occur),..and put it in such a simple yet profound way when he explained just why it was we were so weighed down by these things. Because we avoid it. Or we try to chase it. We resist it. And as I have continuously reiterated if not on here, then in my head – that whatever we resist, persists. Instead of acknowledging or sitting with these uncomfortable feelings, we do everything in our power to lock it up somewhere, maybe in a cupboard or sweep it under the rug…we do whatever we can to get rid of it, to not deal with it. And here’s where we lose. Because as Steven demonstrated by surprising his family behind a door in an attempt to scare them, the only reason we have this reaction is because we’re not prepared…so what if we were? “Be prepared to be scared” Steven quoted one of the haunted houses that he passed by. If we were to apply this same principle…to be aware of our fears, look them in the eye, understand them, and prepare for them…what power can they have over us? I can truly relate this with my own encounters with the demons I face in my pure O. Initially, I resisted. Tried to push away the thoughts. Tried to overflow myself with the thoughts, hoping they would eventually wither away. I did all in my power to run, to hide, and I screamed in pain. I screamed in agony. I screamed in despair. And I screamed in fear. I wanted to die. Fear paralyzed me. Until CBT came in, the king of therapies (IMO – subjective reasoning of course), which taught me to see the thoughts for just that. Not to hide but to hey, just look at them…see that’s all they are. A thought. An urge. But not you. It’s there. And it’s within you so you can’t run from it. All you can do is see it for what it is and prepare. Prepare yourself to deal with it. And so with my spikes, which still put me in a spot of discomfort in which I have to fight within myself to not loosen my grip on reality and keep myself held together, I at least know what it is I’m up against. I know that I have to label it for what it is. To see it. To know that it’s my OCD, not me, To breathe. Be mindful. And eventually refocus and do as I can not to devote too much attention to it so as not to fuel the fear and have it overpower me. I’m still learning. But I am getting better. I have much to say about the last few weeks I’ve been AWOL. But seeing as I intend to stick to a strict schedule of getting out of here within 10 minutes, then off to the pool for an hour’s swim session and then to study for my upcoming exam on Tuesday…that will have to wait. Here’s my bit of free writing for the day.