Does full recovery mean you never have the intrusive thoughts?

I can’t imagine what the presence or absence of thoughts has to do with recovery. I wouldn’t see that as relevant at all. It’s like asking if the presence or absence of clouds in the sky means you’re recovered. It’s helped me to recognize that thoughts are things I experience. So they’re like any experience. If I experience rain falling on me, that doesn’t mean I’m sick. If somebody yells at me in the street, that doesn’t mean I’m relapsing. Those are just experiences, like tasting something, smelling something, being aware of a thought, or a sound, a feeling, or something you see. The weather you experience has nothing to do with measuring your health.

Your skills and abilities to handle experiences does have a direct relation to your health, like if you don’t have the skills and knowledge to help you stay warm in cold weather (you get hypothermia and turn into a popsicle). If you’re pursuing recovery because you want to avoid thoughts or feelings, then I’d see that as a warning sign. OCD is fuelled by trying to avoid or control thoughts and feelings. If that’s your goal, I’d expect things to get worse, not better. If you’re focused on avoiding experiences, it’s unlikely you’re learning the skills to handle those experiences, so when you do experience them, it’ll likely be very distressful. But that’s not a result of the presence or absence of those experiences, that would be a result of you not having the skills to handle them. Get learning those skills so you can live your life in any weather, inside or outside of your head.

Enjoy singing in the rain!

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