A common facet of OCD and anxiety is known as ‘magical thinking.’ This is when you believe that thinking or doing certain things will directly control elements of your life. This could be as innocuous as ‘if the next car pass is yellow it means I’ve won the lottery’ to the disturbing, ‘if I think unkind thoughts about some one they will die.’
Around Christmas time one of my annoying ‘magical thoughts’ comes into play. Because I like to write my Christmas cards early, I have this niggling worry that someone whose name I have written in a card will have died by Christmas and wouldn’t it be horrendous if they get a Christmas card from me? This might be an elderly relative who could die of old age or a friend’s young child who could be ill or killed in some terrible accident.
Logic tells me that writing a name in a card can’t possibly ‘tempt fate’ in this way and in the unlikely event that the worst did happen, the bereaved probably wouldn’t be spending much time opening and dwelling on their Christmas cards.
Anyway – the point of this post is I’ve found a solution. You may call it avoidance (a strict no-no apparently for us anxious types) but I prefer to think of it as a practical solution. I am not sending any Christmas cards this year. Instead I will donate the money to charity and take time to catch up with close family and friends by email or phone after Christmas. Hopefully those people stuck on my Christmas card list from years ago will breathe a sigh of relief and take me off of their list for next year without feeling guilty. On top of that I’ll be doing my bit for the environment.
Hopefully the only ‘magical thinking’ I’ll be doing this year is guessing what Santa will leave for me under the Christmas tree!