It’s a message that’s ingrained into us throughout the holiday season: making amends. Fixing things that haven’t worked out. Trying to rebuild burnt bridges. And it’s a great idea, but don’t let anyone guilt you into doing this. If there are people you’ve distanced yourself from for the good of your well-being, you are under no obligation to seek them out. Know yourself, and do only as much as you feel you can.
I have dealt with obsessive thoughts since I was a child. It would literally bring me to a point where I was beside myself with anxiety, and 9 times out of 10, it was actually over nothing. The feelings were made of razor blades and fabrications, a make-believe land where the cotton candy was actually fiberglass.
Even now, at the age of 30 and medicated, I still get crippled by it from time to time. So I want to share a few of the ways that I deal with popping the oil bubble in my brain.
- Acknowledge it. Don’t fight it. Let the thoughts pass unhindered, and pay them no more mind than you would a stranger walking past you in the grocery store.
- Find something else to do. Quickly. The sooner you can fill your mind with other thoughts, the faster the shitty ones will be crowded out.
- Talk to someone about it. This one is hard. Sometimes you are fairly certain that if you discuss your crazy thoughts with someone, they are going to call the Straitjacket Brigade to take you away. Find someone you trust and let them know that you’re going through a hard time. A real friend doesn’t mind that you need reassurance.
- Laugh. Find something funny and really let it go. I listen to Game Grumps when I’m feeling particularly obsessive.
- Tell yourself that this will pass. Take a nap. Eat something. Go about your day. Routine is your friend when the demons are at your back.