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Our Brains Are Computers

In researching my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I learned that the brain is a computer, full of electrical impulses and chemical reactions; in other words, it is no different than the other physical processes of your body, such as digestion. Each has a job to do and each can become damaged or not perform in the way it should. Thoughts are like the wind, they come and go, one does not have full control over them. There can be a deep fear that you will lose control of your actions because of your thoughts or impulses. People have thoughts rushing like the wind, but they can choose to dismiss these thoughts if they are bad, or demand a bad action. There is no reason to fear losing control. Let them pass like the wind. It is not your fault that you have such thoughts, even those that your brain locks onto so you can almost think about nothing else. Do not resist or try in a desperate way not to have such thoughts. Think of a leaf from a tree that falls into a stream and gently floats away. If you do not resist your thoughts, they will slowly pass like the leaf or the wind does. You can tell yourself "that's just my OCD" and let it go.

Slowly, over a period of a year or two, my anger gradually went away. I slowly realized I was not guilty for having a brain that was not working perfectly.

It is a great relief to me to know that my obsessive-compulsiveness is not my fault. Slowly, over a period of a year or two, my anger gradually went away. I slowly realized I was not guilty for having a brain that was not working perfectly. Other people have similar problems at different levels of seriousness. Praise God, I was able to rise above my depression and OCD. Help came from many different places: counselors, movies, and kindness from individuals in the churches I attended. I was always very actively pursuing something that would help me. I did not give up on prayer and the concept that God was there to help me.

In the movie The Aviator, Howard Hughes, who also suffered from OCD, taught me to change the channel, to put something else in my brain. He did it by watching movies and comedians. Using those tools, he could think beyond his mental illness. So, television and movies became a great pastime for me. Also, the book Feeling Good by David Burns challenged me to incorporate his helpful concepts of how to process information. The first one on his list was "black and white, all or nothing" thinking. To me this once meant that I should become totally perfect as a Christian, and that I had to be 100% perfect or God would reject me. I finally gave up this concept and worked on the idea that I didn't have to be perfect. One counselor asked me to start swearing. This actually felt so good! I didn't have to be perfect to be accepted by God. I slowly climbed out of my dilemma and eventually became successful in my business.

- Excerpt from "Is It All Right to be Human?" by Chuck Burroughs.

In my book, Is it All Right to be Human? I outline 34 ways I helped myself overcome my OCD and other disabilities I faced. You can order a copy here by clicking the link which will take you to Nolan Kerr Press.

Thank you. - Chuck

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