Hope & Recovery Blog

The Hope Blog

Always a Solution

Always a Solution

by James Callner, MA, AFOCD President. James Callner is an award winning writer, filmmaker and speaker on mental illness. I was desperate for solutions in 1982. That was the year my OCD symptoms hit their peak. I was 29 years old, teaching at a local college,...

read more

LIKE our FB Page

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

So, here’s how it mostly works for me these days when I do exposure. Yesterday, my wife and I were at the grocery store, Whole Foods, and I was getting several Koia drinks (excellent kind of health shake that has very low sugar). As I’m pulling the containers out of the store refrigerator, one of them fell on the ground. I quickly snatched it up, put it back in the refrigerator and then immediately put some hand sanitizer on. You all know, the germ thing. But, then I thought: “wait a minute what the hell am I doing, this is in helping me“. So I opened up the refrigerator again and retrieved the bottle that had hit the floor and just put it in my bag. ERP is a daily thing for me no matter what the fear is...and as tough as it is, it still works to some degree. But this time, at the store, the real benefit was a feeling of freedom and empowerment that waved over me. I went to the check out and a guy was struggling with change to reach the amount of money that he owed for his items. I leaned over and said: “do you need some help”? He looked at me and timidly said yes. Now my wife and I are not rich but we certainly have enough to help other people from time to time. And in these times, especially these times in our world, kindness is more important than money. So I just paid for the guys stuff, which was not a lot. He looked shocked and thanked me - more than he needed to and I felt good. Now, I’m not saying that ERP suddenly gives you the feeling that you should start paying for amyones food - but, when you face your fears it does empower you to the present moment and humbles you to other peoples problems no matter how big or small. It takes courage to do ERP, but it does bring you back home. JC 💙 I took picture yesterday from our street. The trees are in focus in the foreground and the ocean is out of focus in the background. It represents something I was told by my very wise mentor, years ago. To paraphrase, he said, “Jim when you’re anxious or fearful, just do and focus on - what’s in front of you and you’ll be ok.” ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

So, here’s how it mostly works for me these days when I do exposure. Yesterday, my wife and I were at the grocery store, Whole Foods, and I was getting several Koia drinks (excellent kind of health shake that has very low sugar). As I’m pulling the containers out of the store refrigerator, one of them fell on the ground. I quickly snatched it up, put it back in the refrigerator and then immediately put some hand sanitizer on. You all know, the germ thing. But, then I thought: “wait a minute what the hell am I doing, this is in helping me“. So I opened up the refrigerator again and retrieved the bottle that had hit the floor and just put it in my bag. ERP is a daily thing for me no matter what the fear is...and as tough as it is, it still works to some degree. But this time, at the store, the real benefit was a feeling of freedom and empowerment that waved over me. I went to the check out and a guy was struggling with change to reach the amount of money that he owed for his items. I leaned over and said: “do you need some help”? He looked at me and timidly said yes. Now my wife and I are not rich but we certainly have enough to help other people from time to time. And in these times, especially these times in our world, kindness is more important than money. So I just paid for the guys stuff, which was not a lot. He looked shocked and thanked me - more than he needed to and I felt good. Now, I’m not saying that ERP suddenly gives you the feeling that you should start paying for amyones food - but, when you face your fears it does empower you to the present moment and humbles you to other peoples problems no matter how big or small. It takes courage to do ERP, but it does bring you back home. JC 💙 I took picture yesterday from our street. The trees are in focus in the foreground and the ocean is out of focus in the background. It represents something I was told by my very wise mentor, years ago. To paraphrase, he said, “Jim when you’re anxious or fearful, just do and focus on - what’s in front of you and you’ll be ok.”

Bring light to the darkness. That’s something my mentor and psychiatrist of 27 years told me before he retired. So what does that mean for us that can suffer so much? For me, it means not taking myself so seriously in times of high anxiety. It means, finding humor when you think nothing is funny. It means, even though you’re suffering try to help someone that suffering more than you. It means, literally, turning on a light or going out into the sunlight – light can change depression and anxiety into something tolerable. It means to me personally, if I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed with anxiety, I need to take out my camera and take a picture, even in the darkness, like the one you’re seeing below. Creativity heals me quickly. It means, the simplest act of kindness toward yourself or anyone will not only heal them, but yourself. Bring light to the darkness… What does it mean to you? JC 💙 ... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago

Bring light to the darkness. That’s something my mentor and psychiatrist of 27 years told me before he retired. So what does that mean for us that can suffer so much? For me, it means not taking myself so seriously in times of high anxiety. It means, finding humor when you think nothing is funny. It means, even though you’re suffering try to help someone that suffering more than you. It means, literally, turning on a light or going out into the sunlight – light can change depression and anxiety into something tolerable. It means to me personally, if I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed with anxiety, I need to take out my camera and take a picture, even in the darkness, like the one you’re seeing below. Creativity heals me quickly. It means, the simplest act of kindness toward yourself or anyone will not only heal them, but yourself. Bring light to the darkness… What does it mean to you? JC 💙
Load more

Disclaimer

OCD Coaching Videos are not designed to replace professional OCD Therapy. They are intended to help in the education and coaching for those suffering with OCD. James Callner is an OCD Educator and Coach, teaching from over 35 years of his own recovery experience. The Coaching Videos, Blog Posts and other information on this website are not a replacement for a professional therapist. Mr. Callner contributes his videos to the OCD Treatment Centre in Taunton England. OCD Treatment Centre therapists approve all OCD Coaching Videos. .