My first step in tackling any obsession: Identify the thought. What is my fear? What is my doubt? I make myself describe it in one sentence, or, if I can, in a few words. For example, when I was released from the hospital’s psych ward the first time, I was paranoid that my co-workers would find out that I’d been there. I obsessed about it and obsessed about it and obsessed some more. Finally, I named the fear: I am afraid that if my co-workers find out that I was hospitalized with severe depression that they won’t respect me anymore, and they won’t assign me any projects. There it is. There’s the beast. Phew. I named it, and by doing so, I can rob it of some of its power over me.
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