As salamu alaikum dear sister,
Shokran for writing to our live session. Sister, please know that nothing is too small or silly to ask about. The fact that this situation is bothering you is reason enough to seek advice. I can understand not wanting to rewrite the whole story again as it can be stressful, confusing, as well as encourage more thoughts over the situation. In fact, depending on the situation, you need not ever worry about talking about it again insha’Allah.
Past Situation that may be Traumatizing
Sister the situation that occurred is done and over with it is in the past correct? You stated nothing illegal or haram happened. However, is still affecting you. If nothing illegal or wrong happened there should be nothing to repent for or worry about. However, whatever happened, still has an effect on you in some way. It is almost like when we are crossing the street and we almost get hit by a car. We may think about it for long after. While we actually did not get hit by the car, it may still affect us because it may have been perceived as traumatic . You may want to determine if you feel traumatized by this past event. If you do, I would kindly suggest that you seek an assessment and ongoing counseling in your area insha’Allah.
Stopping thoughts that Intrude
I do not know what you experienced or what happened, or almost happened, however it has made an impression in your mind that will not leave. It needs to be addressed. This is not a silly situation sister, it is one that is causing you great grief and anxiety. It would be nice if we could just forget about things right? But sometimes it’s not that easy. For some reason thoughts can come to our mind about things that almost happened or did happen and stay there. They can be difficult to get rid of. I kindly suggest sister that if you do begin to think about this incident, you just let it pass by and give it no more thought. Insha’Allah, if you do this enough over a period of time, the thoughts should diminish. Often thinking about something and trying to analyze it too much gives it more power, especially if they are intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts tend to be that way.
Another technique -which is kind of the opposite, is picturing a big red stop sign when you are having these thoughts about the incident. You can picture a big red stop sign in your mind. This may cause the thoughts to halt, especially if you quickly begin to think of something else. I kindly suggest that when you start thinking about this incident, that you immediately verbally or mentally say or think the word STOP with a big red sign and engage in something else. Pick up a book to read, go for a walk, or even do a mathematical problem :-). By replacing the unwanted thoughts with other thoughts, it can retrain your mind to stop thinking about the incident. If after about a month of letting these thoughts pass or if by trying to divert or stop these thoughts, they do not stop, please do be assessed by a therapist in your area for possible OCD/intrusive thoughts.
Possible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD is common. It is part of the anxiety disorder spectrum. Intrusive thoughts can be triggered by an experience that is either traumatic or fearful, or perceived to be. It can also appear for no apparent reason, but anxiety is underlying. Thus, the cycle of not being able to stop thoughts may occur. If this is the case dear sister it can be treated, and a therapist will be able to help you.
Sister, I am not sure what the situation was. I am not saying that you have OCD or are suffering from trauma. Insha’Allah, you are just worrying to much about something in your past that you need to let go of-and give to Allah-totally.
I do think that you will be able to overcome this issue if you assess what it is that is really bothering you about the situation (do you feel traumatized) and try the above tips. You stated you are worried about what others will think when you tell them about this. My question is-do you have to go telling others or can this remain a part of your past and be forgotten?
I am confident you will over-come this sister. While excessive worry is scary, it can be addressed and resolved. Just rule out any underlying anxiety issues that may be present (like OCD, intruding thoughts), or trauma. If at any time you feel that it is much deeper than surface anxiety or worry, then please do consult a therapist in your area.
Continue to make duaa to Allah to assist you in not recalling this event or putting such significance on it. You are in my prayers sister and we wish you the best.
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.