Intrusive, obsessive thoughts are sheer mental torture. The mind of a mentally ill person, an addict or a trauma survivor provides a fertile environment for these horrific thought patterns to emerge and take root.
And my experience has been that these ruminations are never fuel for joy or happiness. They almost always involve something painful and provoke anxiety, shame, guilt, fear, and/or feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt or self-hatred.
Once a particular rumination that focuses on a particular theme takes hold, it replays over and over. Like a broken jukebox that keeps serving up the same depressing country song. Only it’s in your head.
And it replaces positive, productive thoughts with painful, useless, repetitive ones. It paralyzes and cripples, leaving a person psychologically enslaved to the ruminations AND to those around them, as our brain is trying to function”normally” while attending to the abomination attacking us. Like a football player playing on one leg. Not much chance of success.
I know. I have been there and done that. And could be there again if I don’t do what I need to do. Thank God for CBT, medication, prayer, AA, therapy, gratitude, acceptance, exercise, a great support network, and breaking the shame barrier by talking to others.