Hit and Run OCD continues to be a little bit of a struggle for me. Just the other night, I was a passenger in my husband's car. I was turned sideways, talking to him, when we drove over a bump. I was very upset by this, even though he assured me it was a just a sewer cover. I wanted him to drive back to double check, but, being the helpful, non-enabling husband that he is, he said no. I had to remind myself that he was the driver and that it was his responsibility, not mine. We arrived home, and soon enough, I forgot all about it. Well, maybe I didn't totally forget about it, as I'm writing about it now! I did, however, lose the anxiety associated with it.
I know lots of other people struggle with this too, so I thought it might be helpful to share a few suggestions for fighting Hit and Run OCD.
It's really important to try to not give in to the compulsions that tend to accompany Hit and Run obsessions (the bad, scary thoughts). I'm not always successful with this, but every day is another chance to work on it. Probably the most important compulsion to fight is the urge to avoid driving altogether. Once I started avoiding driving, the obsessions about driving got worse.
If you have lots of trouble driving, it may be helpful to start out driving with someone in the passenger seat. After you get comfortable with that, you could proceed to driving on your own. You can also approach driving in stages. Perhaps you are afraid of driving on the highway. You could start driving on a really busy local street first. Once you get comfortable with that, you could get on the highway and then get off at the next exit. Once you've done that enough to be comfortable, you could then get on the highway and stay on for two exits, and so on. It might take you several days or even several weeks or longer to conquer all the different stages you have set up for battling a particular fear. That is ok. There is no time limit on getting better. You will even have some days that feel like you've gone backwards. That's ok too. Just keep trying to move forward.
You can be creative as to how you face your fears. My doctor was really helpful in giving me out-of-the-box ideas. She even suggested that if I had a troubling incident while driving, that I should pull over as soon as I safely could, and then fill out a Thought Record to help me fight my cognitive distortions. Perhaps you could talk about your obsessions with someone else and they could help you to come up with different, small ways to approach what you are afraid of. Just be sure to break it down into little pieces that are reasonable. Each time you are successful with a small piece, it will give you the encouragement and motivation you need to move on.
If you've had any victories, I would love to hear about them. It doesn't matter how small you think they are. Let's celebrate together. Last night, I had some struggles with driving, but I did not turn back around to check. I really wanted to, but my passenger convinced me to instead continue on to my destination. It didn't feel very good last night, but today, I'm really glad I did that.