Religious OCD

Learning in recovery from OCD

You may feel like your life will never go back to normal & that you will be stuck like this forever, but there is hope even in the storm.

I have been struggling with OCD since I was 16. It started with a bad thought about the bible. I never had a thought like that before, and I was basically traumatized. It felt like the world was turned upside-down, & all I could think about was that bad thought I had. I always grew up in a Christian family. We didn’t always go to church, read the bible, & we are definitely not perfect, but my parents did the best they can to teach us about Jesus & to go to church, pray, & read the holy bible. I remember crying & praying to God for forgiveness in my room for hours. Even though I prayed & asked for forgiveness, I didn’t fell like I was forgiven. I began to obsess over the thought & the more I tried to avoid having the thoughts, the worse they became. I started to think that I was this bad person & I continually ask god for forgiveness. It only grew worse from there. I began to avoid cursing (in music & language), and going to church triggered the bad thoughts.

I’ve talked to my parents & my pastor about it, but I wasn’t completely honest with them about the nature of my thoughts. I was afraid that I would be judged, especially by my parents. I thought I was alone & I felt like as a Christian I wasn’t suppose to have bad thoughts about God & Jesus. I quickly became depressed, & it felt like everyday was constantly not trying to think those thoughts again. I started having thoughts about harming babies, & just thinking bad things towards family, friends, & even strangers. I was always the person who wanted to make people happy, & do good things to make this world a better place.

I told my parents that I wanted to get help. While my mom was okay with it, my dad was skeptical. My dad does not believe in going to therapy. He would always respond with “Everyone has bad thoughts, you just have to pray & trust in God”. I know my dad has good intentions & I know that he loves me, even though he has his demons. I felt like he didn’t understand what I was going through. I began google searching about having bad thoughts about God, & I learned that I wasn’t alone, & that it could be OCD. I felt relieved that I wasn’t the only person in the world going through this. I remember reading about blasphemy in the bible about being the unforgivable sin, & I felt horrified & I thought I was going to hell. Then I began to avoid numbers that I thought was bad luck (13,666, even if one of the 6 was a 9), I would have a hard time choosing what to wear due to fear of causing something bad to happen, keep checking things, etc that caused a lot of anxiety. I would have bad thoughts while praying, or reading scripture. OCD even had me control what I say & do. OCD told me that I was in control, & that I made things happen. It only gave me temporary relief. I began hoarding old shopping bags, receipts, money, paper, & soda bottles. OCD made me re-learn a lot about my faith. I thought that I had to act a certain way to please God, & do certain things to reassure myself that I’m not this bad person.

You may feel like your life will never go back to normal & that you will be stuck like this forever, but there is hope even in the storm. There were times when I wanted to give up on everything. I felt guilty for a lot of things. I thought my life would never be the same, & there are times when I’m tempted by my OCD. You deserve happiness, we all do. My OCD seemed at first like a pest, but it taught me a lot about myself, & I’m still learning.

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