Slaying the Dragon (partner's past).pdf

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Train myself to say, "I don't feel the need to quiz my wife about her past or try to solve it and
label her one way or another, I'm having an compulsive urge to act on my obsession with my
wife’s past"
Realize that your responses to the thoughts and urges are within your control, no matter how
strong and bothersome they may be. The goal is to control your responses to the thoughts and
urges, not to control the thoughts and urges themselves.
Step 2: Reattribute
Realize that the intensity and intrusiveness of the thought or urge is CAUSED BY OCD; it is
probably related to a biochemical imbalance in the brain.
"It's not me, it's my OCD" - Understanding why the thought is so strong will increase will power.
Learn to shift gears. The most effective thing you can do something that will help you change
your brain for the better in the long run--is to learn to put these thoughts and feelings aside
and go on to the next behavior This is what we mean by shifting gears: Do another behavior
Trying to make them go away will only pile stress on stress--and stress just makes OCD thoughts
and urges worse.
Using the Reattribute step will also help you to avoid performing rituals in a vain attempt to
"get the right feeling" (for example, a sense of "evenness" or a sense of completion). Knowing
that the urge to get that "right feeling" is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain, you
can learn to ignore the urge and move on. Remember, "It's not me--it's my OCD." By refusing to
listen to the urge or to act on it, you will actually change your brain and make the feeling
lessen. If you take the urge at face value and act on it, you may get momentary relief but within
a very short time the urge will just get more intense. This is perhaps the most important lesson
that people with OCD must learn. It will help you avoid being the "sucker" and taking the false
bait of OCD every time.
Step 3: Refocus
Work around the OCD thoughts by focusing your attention on something else, at least for a few
In Refocusing, you have work to do: You must shift the gears yourself.
When the thought comes, you first Relabel it as an obsessive thought or a compulsive urge and
then Reattribute it to the fact that you have OCD - a medical problem. Then Refocus your
attention to this other behavior that you have chosen. Start the process of Refocusing by