OCD takes a high mental toll on you and when you aren’t crippled with anxiety you may experience the other side of the coin, which is a feeling of depression and emptiness. I am going to explain to you why this happens and how to handle it.
In the beginning stage there is always hehe anxiety but as you progress through your recovery you will see it go down and be replaced with feelings and sensations that are different than what you’re used to.
Feelings of emptiness
As OCD used to be your focus all day, as it goes down it may leave you feeling empty, as you are not used to not having your thoughts and compulsions NOT take away most of your time and energy. What is there left for you to do now? You would think you’ll feel so happy and free when you stop compulsions but there is a time frame of adjusting and taking on New activities. Here is the key of getting over the feelings of emptiness: filling your time.
The activities you should choose are the ones in which you are actively involved and preferably contribute to raising your self-esteem. Something where you work with your hands, create something – like writing a book (you don’t have to become a writer, just if you enjoy writing), crafting items, painting, taking classes or trying to get in better physical shape. These kinds of activities raise self esteem and help you fill up your time.
Watching movies or youtube videos is not bad, but these activities are static and may not contribute to your personal growth, that’s why I suggest something where you actively, physically get involved.
The feeling of emptiness will dissipate, do not worry about it, as you have just been through a storm and must rebuild parts of your foundation. As you start filling up your time with things make sure those things do you evoke stress and do not trigger old obsessions – very important to keep in mind.
Feelings of being lost, not having a direction, depersonalization
Realizing you reacted the wrong way to simple, harmless thoughts that took away most of your life essence can leave you in a state of dissociation. You may ask yourself “Who am I actually?”, “What direction is my life suppose to take right now?”, “How was I stuck in such a horrible place for so long, how was I so foolish?”
These questions are usual after OCD recovery and when you find yourself in a better place it’s important to not beat yourself down again. Many OCD sufferers have a self-destructive nature they must keep in check. Many OCD sufferers also have high expectations of themselves and being directionless is a horrible state to an ex-OCD sufferer. What I am here to tell you is that you are not directionless, stop reacting to thoughts of these nature. These feelings can easily become obsessions on their own and may start the OCD cycle once again if you let them.
You are not directionless, you just made an amazing accomplishment (or you are fighting for it) and that is recovering from OCD. There are many people out there with many mental illnesses that may never recover, you are on the right path. That direction will come to you, just go with the flow and stop trying to control everything, as this got you into OCD in the first place.
Easy does it. No reaction to these feelings.
Feelings of depression, self-hatred
The true drama of OCD is that it does take away a lot of your time and life force. And you let i do so for very long. Of course you are not happy about it and you may feel this depression-like state, mixed with guilt and self-hatred.
Again. Other feelings which are totally normal and which should not stir a reaction in you. They will pass as long as you don’t give them power.
These feelings are just signs you are doing great in recovering from OCD, as they are just fragments of dust that remain after you withstood the storm. Congrats. Now don’t give into them ever again. You are a strong, strong individual for being on the road to full recovery because not many people are and because this is a very hard task, mentally.
Ignore the feelings and take your life back fully. You can do it!