There is a light at the end of the tunnel
Posted by robbiepringle at June 12th, 2012
Heal yourself from disturbing intrusive thoughts and violent compulsions
Don’t be scared. I know you’re searching for answers. I know you’re searching, maybe even desperately, for someone or something to place your hopes on.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but I want you to know that a full and natural recovery from your condition is waiting for you. I want you to know…
If you are suffering the debilitating effects of the constant fear of violently harming yourself or your loved ones, you can be healed.
My Journey from Pain to Personal Power
My name is Robbie Pringle and a good few years ago through a combination of work-stress and partying hard – way too hard! – I experienced what I might now say to my friends was “burn out” or a case of “exhaustion”.
Although massively hiding the details of what I felt then, this is in some way descriptive of the “energy debt” at the heart of the matter…
… less so the vexing nature of Harm OCD, the troubling OCD subtype which more or less turned my world upside down and left me clutching at straws for answers and cures.
Here’s the Story Behind this:
Through my struggle it became painfully clear how little specific guidance there actually is for sufferers of this form of OCD.
Basically I sifted through a mass load of blanket information concerning a variety of anxiety disorders and found little or no congruence to positioning the patient (i.e. me) in a place of optimal healing – no clearly outlined guidance pertinent only to people who, one way or another, found themselves plagued by what we might call “a fear of oneself”.
I more or less had to find my way out, all by my lonesome.
Now, I cannot but wonder how it might have been different had I easy access to what I now know: help straight off, without having to digest and dissect a whole plethora of general advice on anxiety states – without having to deal with the twist of untangling the good but scant relevant information away from “the mass of confusion”.
The Burden of Proof – and why I know you can be cured
First off, I don’t want to upset you. I know what you’re going through. I know how sensitive you might be to the words of “blundering tongues” who cannot possibly fathom how you are feeling. And so it is with great consideration that I have written these words.
What I’m about to tell you should not disturb you; seen correctly, it should fill you with hope. I’m telling you these things to emphasize my belief that no matter how bad you think things are for you, no matter how much your thinking disturbs you, you can return to normal life and in fact progress to a much better place than where you were prior to your present condition.
Because once you get this, once you get better, you need neither look back with an ounce of regret nor hold a fear for the future. Life will be yours.
I know this having been once in your shoes.
Just relax, breath easy, and catch the truth of my story.
Where I was
You see, Harm OCD manifested itself for me in many strange and disturbing ways such as thinking I was going to jump off high buildings to driving my car into a crowd of innocent people to snatching babies and throwing them over a bridge. Horrible and terrifying, I know.
However, working as a butcher in the family business, where knives were ever present, they were by far the most oppressive specter haunting my life .
Now, if you’ve got Harm OCD I needn’t to go too much into detail about what thoughts I had concerning these particularly pointy utensils. But let me tell you that it bothered me to such an extent I could no longer stay where I was. I could no longer handle working with knives, and, in fact, I pretty much avoided sight of them – kitchens in particular were very uncomfortable places.
Indeed, knives bothered me so much there were times I couldn’t even stay home, I had to get out. I couldn’t stay with my loved ones for fear of what I thought I’d become, and what I thought I might do.
Remember, I’m not telling you these things to frighten you. This is where I was. At least for a while.
So, as far as coarse-changing-happenings go, this was a doozie. All of a sudden my place in the future of a thriving family business was no longer certain.
In fact it had dropped off the radar.
Where I am now
You see, the reason I know you can recover from the worst of Harm OCD is because I have myself: life has swung back full circle and I am presently back working in the family business (Robert Pringle Family Butcher), working with knives on a day to day basis. I no longer fear them. I haven’t held a fear of them for a very long time. I have no disquieting repetitive thoughts of any kind. And especially I no longer fear myself and what I might do.
In fact, I no longer dwell on that time anymore, or look on it less than a blessing that has made my life better.
Yes, a blessing. From where you are now I appreciate you might find that a strange thing to say. I know. There was a time when I too, finding myself lost on that very dark pass, was sure I was stuck and would never be right, that it would never come to an end – far less thinking it might be a blessing!
But a blessing it is.
And I want you to know that once you are healed you can feel this yourself: connected again, born again, humble, knowing you’ve passed through the frightening times, having lost contact with yourself, feeling gratitude and compassion for yourself and others who are passing through this dark night of the soul, deep connection and wanting to help others with this.
So you no longer curse it.
I know, it’s hard to believe: a day coming when you’ll no longer wake with a fear for the hours ahead, anxious and praying that just for a day things might be better. But that day is coming.
So, what’s this about?
Well, now a long time recovered, fully fit and healthy, retrospectively I can see where I went right and where I went wrong (what to do and what to avoid), and I’m eager to share my knowledge with others who are perhaps treading with trepidation the dark pass themselves.
I’ve developed this website (still in development) mindful of my encounters with those I turned to for understanding, reassurance, and, most of all, guidance, who’s help – although desperately welcome at the time – now seems unfortunately secondhand and deficient compared to what I derived for myself through and beyond my own restoration.
Indeed, I’ve written this material mindful of the fact my complete and abiding recovery was neither dependent upon expert advice nor a taxing and encyclopedic exploration of anxiety states.
Rather, my recovery began to take root by rendering more palatable a small but hard to take piece of advice given to me by a well-meaning, but somewhat tactless, fellow sufferer of Harm OCD.
This advice, shaped to my own understanding and acted upon, in conjunction with other habits and aids, slowly but surely helped me unravel the mess I had found myself in.
It is my earnest belief it will do likewise for you – that once you “get it”, or a sense of “it”, you will be on your way to a…
…complete and abiding return to rude health
Note, however, this is no half-baked thesis based purely around a simple idea. But neither is it full of extraneous buff that you don’t need to know.
Rather it’s the work of someone who groped with faltering fingers for answers and cures, spattered beneath the “mental health” umbrella, who came up short – but coming up short found through hard earned experience a level of understanding and insight no doctor, without firsthand knowledge of Harm OCD, could ever hope to convey.
In other words: you can write about it in your psychology degree dissertation if you like – but please don’t tell me you know how it feels.
You may already have found, as I did through the days of my struggle, that quite often where there is help – empathy’s lacking.
Worse: bad advice that merely adds to your fears.
The Truth is…
…most medicos, friends, family members, cannot effectively associate with the feelings or state of mind of a person suffering from Harm OCD. No matter how well-intentioned their advice, more often than not your would be healers are oblivious to the effect their words can have on you.
While there are many who would appear to “show you the way”, the fact of the matter is that wisdom, being the ability or the result of the ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight, is something you will earn for yourself as you lift yourself up.
In other words, this is a journey of discovery. A journey from pain to personal power. And it’s not always easy. I’m not going to say that it is. Nonetheless, it will get easier, because it is my promise to you, that through improving your knowledge of self through your own personal understanding of Harm OCD, you are not forever going to need to seek succor from another.
Indeed, by traversing your way out of the dark tunnel and into the light a new and remodeled “you” will begin to appear, wiser and grounded for your sojourn in a place that, admittedly, you didn’t much like. Only then may you more fully appreciate how the torch of your learning has always been with you – it was just, for a while, you forgot this was so.
In the meantime, however, let us at least acknowledge that you are needing some aids to help you along – elsewise you wouldn’t be here.
Life is good – and you will know this again.
Interspersed throughout this website will be ideas of life far and above where you are now as a bearer of Harm OCD – a life full and wonderful in ways you may never have been fully able to appreciate in your prior existence. Because it is important to know this: all will be well.
Believe me. Harm OCD hasn’t scarred me in anyway: there’s no residue of pain, no haunting memories, no hurt, no regret, no shame, no ruined life to lament, and most certainly no fear of “it” ever returning. Life is good.
Because when you get the right information, the dust will settle…slowly but surely. Patience is needed. Relaxation. We will divulge the”why” here.
Final note on this website:
HarmOCD.com aims to give you the right information that will help you begin to understand why you feel like you do, as well as what it takes to recover, based on my own understanding and experience with Harm OCD.
Let’s note, however, that you have come to HarmOCD.com early in its development – it is a work in progress – as are you!
In this regard it is not the purpose of this work to define a shared definition of Harm OCD we all can agree on. While symptoms are common, Harm OCD manifests itself for different people in manifold ways, and your experience of it, while in many ways similar to others, may be especial to you. As individuals we see life through our own lens and thus it’s quite simply beyond the bounds of possibility to mirror all experience here.
Nor is it for me to give advice on medication. I am no doctor and my views are my own. Should you feel the need for medication then by all means consult with your doctor.
However, again, as it is most certainly my wish for you to gain full self-empowerment from your recovery from Harm OCD without the need for medical aid, I would at the very least open you to the aim of becoming “your own best friend”, in due course dependent on nothing and no-one.
In the meantime I would have you see HarmOCD.com as a good base of information to set you right on your journey – a useful crutch to help you regain your legs. A torch to light your way through the stumbling stones you have found yourself in. A ladder to climb out of the pit and into a happier future.
However you see it, take from here what is useful to you, and visit as frequently as you can to gain through osmosis what cannot be gained in an instant – as well as benefit from anything new added to this site, as this site will be ever updated, ever improving, and hopefully ever a place of amelioration where those who have stumbled on Harm OCD can dust themselves down and lift themselves up and move through their days far lighter of heart.
Remember, the journey out of Harm OCD is like any other journey: we can stumble and fall, get waylaid or lost. This doesn’t mean we should ever forget where we are wanting to go. Or think that there isn’t a way. There is a way. I found the way – you can too!