Can I treat promises I fear as void and non-binding?

Question:

Hello again!

I've been wondering: since I suffer from OCD, then are all my promises, which I'm struggling to avoid, nullified the very moment I make them?

The problem is that I'm having trouble knowing when my OCD mind is playing games with me or when it's really me making these promises. I've read one article about OCD and making promises, and the author stated that if an OCD sufferer fears having made a promise, then he should treat the promise as void and not binding.

Am I freed from all these promises, since I can't really avoid making them?


Answer:

What I've noticed is that the definition of a promise is different with an OCD sufferer than for most people. For most people, a promise is a commitment you make to another person; thus, there are at least two who can witness that a promise was actually made and what the terms of those promises were. Those who suffer from OCD will count every stray thought or intention as if a promise was made. Often no actual promise was made, but rather the persons fears that he might have made a promise and the longer he dwells on it, the more certain he is that the promise actually exists. The major difference is that there are no witnesses to the promise, no one heard the terms, because only stray thoughts are being dealt with.

God doesn't need your promises. He wants you to simply be honest and do what He has command all people to do. If you are worried about a promise and it is something you told yourself in your head, then you can safely conclude that it wasn't a real promise, only one that you imagined making due to your OCD. If you think you made a promise to a friend, then ask the friend what he remembers and see if that matches your memory of the promise. If your friend can remember you making a promise to him, then you can put that also down as imagination.

See if that helps you sort out your concerns better.

Hello,

Thank you for the clarification. I know that thoughts don't count as promises because they lack witnesses (as you've said before), but still I seem to forget it every now and then and be anxious for nothing. Instead of being anxious, I should stop being too harsh on myself and trust, instead, that everything's going to end up just fine.