reoccurring thoughts…

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    skye falls

    hi everyone 🙂

    I just joined tinybuddha and am looking for some suggestions for a struggle I have had for some time now. I have anxiety that stems into OCD. During the day it is pretty controllable. I don’t take any daily meds (weening off nighttime xanax now due to negative side effects) and I try to live a pretty “normal” life. So basically daytime me is hanging in there, but nighttime me is an absolute train wreck. I cannot fall sleep to save my life due to these constant reoccurring thoughts/daydreams that plague me. I obsesses about the same few situations, things that happened up to 10-20 yrs ago…and they won’t stop. (It can be anything from an argument I had with someone 7 years ago, to an ex-friend of mine who stole an expensive purse from me.) I cannot seem to get rid of them. Its like the fact that I have no closure from them plagues me. I replay these times in my life over and over and over again for hours at night, and nothing can stop them. Ive tried making lists, mantras, valerian root, but nothing can stop my crazy brain from shutting up. I know its probably half my OCD and half the fact that these situations have zero closure, but something has to give. The lack of sleep and the inability to stop my brain from obsessing over these scenarios is driving my crazy. Any suggestions about how to gain closure ro how to calm these thoughts would be greatly appreciated!


    Dear Skyfalls,

    Welcome to tinybuddha. I hope I would be able to help u out.

    The thoughts which u r talking about is quite common. Nearly every1 have these kind of thoughts at nights and find it difficult to remove it and sleep peacefully. the reason people have these thoughts is coz they don’t have any control over it. people r unable to remove past incidents from the mind. so it keeps coming back, no matter how hard u fight to prevent it.

    I would advice u to enroll for meditation and yoga. Its a slow medicine, but a promising one. U will need lots of patience. Meditation will help u keep control on ur thoughts and improve ur focus. Though u won’t be able to remove past incidents from ur mind, but u will b able to control the thoughts which comes out of them. U will have calm and peaceful demeanour. U won’t need any other meds to help u sleep. U will be able to sleep peacefully and ur nights won’t be train wrecks anymore, I promise u that.

    Best wishes


    Hi There,
    I know this may seem overly simple and not on par with what you’re experiencing… but it might help or give you another direction for some of those thoughts.
    Years ago when my now-grown & married daughter was a tiny baby, I lived in Indiana and was blessed with an amazing garden. I was planning to make a huge batch of tomato sauce to freeze for our family and was letting all the beautiful, huge tomatoes ripen on the vine for the best possible flavor. One day I was holding the baby inside; through the kitchen window I saw a woman reaching over our fence, picking our tomatoes and putting them into a bag so full it was about to break! I was so upset, I couldn’t get my daughter put down and my shoes on quickly enough, and ran out the back door just as she saw me and headed back to her car, ignoring my shouts, taking all the best tomatoes. Still today, all these years later I can remember how outraged I was that she stole my family’s food!!
    However, I can notice what an emotional reaction I had but I don’t have to descend down to those raw feelings because I was given some excellent advice a few weeks later.
    I was just beside myself over the theft of the tomatoes- I seriously couldn’t sleep, was questioning our other neighbors- who was that woman? Who was she visiting? On and on, relentlessly demanding justice in my head… but it was never going to arrive.
    So, after listening to me rant and rave over the tomatoes again and again, my dear friend Becky said, “You’d better GIVE her those tomatoes, or you’ll never get over it!” I was stumped, confused- not understanding… until Becky explained, “Visualize giving her those tomatoes- joyfully, freely and with the grace of God. She can’t steal anything from you- since you gave it to her freely.” That was such a paradigm shift for me and a relief! She couldn’t steal them from me- I GIVE them to her… every time it ever crosses my mind. I GIVE them to her, to nourish her and her family… and maybe somehow that’s what was supposed to happen. Maybe their family was in great need and those tomatoes helped. I don’t know. I do know I’m not the victim; I’m a generous tomato-giver!!
    I don’t know if that would help you with the purse, or other things… but it does give your brain a different direction to travel if you can give it a try. It worked for me…
    I’ll be sending good positive thoughts your way!!!

    skye falls

    smit, funny you mentioned meditation, I have been starting to looking into it…I think if I try to meditate in the morning it will start my day off with less anxiousness. I am also going to try writing and reciting a positive morning mantra so that will hopefully start my day off better! Its nice to hear you say everyone has these thoughts, I just assumed I was of the few awake at 3am thinking about things I cannot change. Thank you for your advice 🙂

    mcsynchronicity, your story is amazing and I TOTALLY understand how you felt! It is a very difficult thing to have something stolen from brings out such emotion. I feel anger, resentment, rejection, insecurity, etc. all from one girl who decided to be hateful that day. I just don’t understand why I can’t let it go. I am going to try your “giving” exercise and see if that helps. I am up for anything to help me move on and sleep a little. Rereading my post, I hope I’m not coming across shallow, worried about some expensive purse. There was a ton of sentimental value behind it, and I think that is why it stings more than it seems like it should. Anyway, I really appreciate you taking the time to share with me 🙂

    Tiny Butterfly

    Hi skyefalls,

    I’ve found CBT therapy to be helpful for feelings of anxiety and reoccurring thoughts, here’s an online resource for CBT that you may find useful

    Good luck 🙂


    mcsync’s advice is very good. I love that. Yeah, give her those tomatoes. Over and over, as many times as it takes. Lovely.

    Waiting or wishing for ‘closure’ can be a real mental trap. You have closure. Whatever happened, happened, and then some other stuff happened, and time passed, and now you’re here still holding that door open to the past. But it’s past. The past is closed, by defition.

    Next time you’re lying in bed listening to yourself tell the same old tired story about the purse or the argument or whatever, see if you can pay attention to the emotion behind the story. And not just name (I’m so upset!) and going back to the story, but really feeling what effect it has on your body, where in your body it lives, what texture it has, what colour or sound it makes you think of. And when your mind starts yapping away again (it will), just gently lead it back to the feeling: “OK, I know, I know about that. But let’s feel it. Let’s really feel it, without words.”

    Also meditate (this is a meditation technique, so using it in meditation will be useful).


    Hi skyefalls,
    I can SO relate to the obsessive thoughts at night. Usually during the day I’m okay but as soon as I sit with myself to rest, I start thinking of my soon to be X and all the things he is doing to try to harm me. Then I think of how I can combat the things. Over and over and over. Every scenario I can think of just so I am prepared. I know the reality is he is not trying to harm me, he is looking out for his self interests just as I am.

    And it’s not only him, I am so often the victim in many of my obsessive screenplays about past incidences. I get exhausted and feel so powerless of my mind and my ability to get some relief.

    This is new to me. I have a chance at a new life and want to change. I’m just so tired of struggling and don’t know how to. While I’m sorry to hear others struggle with these obsessive negative thoughts at night, I’m glad to hear it’s not only me. this forum seems great and just knowing there are people who want to help others is so uplifting. So it seems like meditation might be helpful. If anyone has any recommendations of what types of meditation works that would be great.

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