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Everything posted by gingerbreadgirl

  1. If there's one word I think needs to be put in the bin, it's narcissist. It is such a stigmatised, toxic label and you see it widely overused to mean basically any kind of self-centred, vain or attention-seeking behaviour (which basically means all humans, then). I don't believe anybody can be given a label like this - or really any label which puts their entire personality in a box. People are massively massively complex. People engage in all kinds of behaviours for a gigantic number of reasons but essentially people do things which make sense to them given their experiences up to that point. That's it. Their behaviour on one day might be less than desirable; maybe they can learn from that; maybe they can't. People have flaws, make mistakes, hurt others - maybe they can learn from it, maybe they won't. But all of this is normal. What you describe in your first post is normal human behaviour with a massive wallop of OCD rumination. If you've been reading about this you'll also have read that narcissism is seen as a spectrum, and pretty much everyone is on it. If somebody had no narcissistic traits, they would either be suppressing themselves or would be some kind of saint (or robot) and would probably be a bit strange. I think it's important that you stop analysing yourself so much in this way, I think it has become compulsive for you. You need to take a "so what" approach. if you have narcissistic traits - so what? All any of us can do is our best, which varies from one day to the next. If you don't like your behaviour on one day you can change it. But labels like this help no one and should be put in the bin, in my opinion.
  2. Hi Avo I guess just take it easy at work with your shoulder? - it's possible it might be healing and you don't want to rupture it or set it off again. Not ruminating sounds like a good plan - look after yourself and try not to take on too much. We all know how general stress can just pile on and turn into a spiral. Take it easy won't you Yeah I think I can relate with a lot of your OCD. You seem to have some similar themes to me, focused round our partners. You have definitely helped me a lot so thanks x
  3. Thanks Roy, this is all really good advice - and yes my OH definitely wants me to get better! - It's hard though to convey exactly how much this kind of thing bothers her. It is not just a preference, she finds the concept of spreading contamination really unbearable. It's always driven me mad but only recently has it affected my OCD. It is a tricky situation cos we are now basically feeding off each other.
  4. Hi Avo I'm sorry to hear the car situation is dragging on, it must be really stressful and annoying. How is your shoulder doing? Hopefully this whole situation will be behind you before too long and you can put it behind you. I know what you're saying about the memory thing. I am never very confident of my memory. Probably not helped growing up in a household where my version of events was regularly rubbished and overruled. I do beat myself up too much, I know. I feel like if I don't, I will just go crazy and be really irresponsible etc. This is wrong though I know. It must be v annoying hearing me constantly banging the same drum (I annoy myself, too) - you and Gemma and Roy and others have helped me so much and I know it seems like I don't take it in but I really do, or I try to at least! Thanks GBG x
  5. yeh that's probably right. I don't want to feel like I'm a bad person basically. Cos if I'm bad then what? and it's like i'm just always on a precipice waiting to be found out. Like I am constantly hiding behind a facade of goodness when really I'm not. And i guess if my partner, who knows me better than anyone, thinks I'm good, then that's OK, but if she doesn't, it must mean I'm really bad. And to me that's worse than anything I can imagine. it's like if I'm bad it's like, I dunno, I don't deserve to be here or even that my presence here is actively harmful to those around me. Anyway I am rambling - again!! Thank you, and hope you're OK xx
  6. I guess I don't really know why it would be so bad. I guess it feels like I'm lying if I say I forgot if I would be able to remember if I tried really hard. Which sounds stupid I know. I don't really know, I just have this feeling of guilt about so many things and it's almost like I need to find a reason for the guilt or something. anyway I have strayed far off topic and am building up a giant thread again so i'll stop. I have definitely taken on board what you've said though, thank you x
  7. You're not going to like this but just being honest... but i guess because sometimes i forget things that i wouldn't forget if I thought about them more carefully. I'm like this about a lot of things, scatty I guess. So sometimes I think I've forgotten an agreement but I should be able to remember it, or I've forgotten it because I'm not very thoughtful or whatever. Or sometimes I kind of half remember us agreeing something but can't remember exactly what, so I'll go the opposite way as an exposure, but then feel terrible. etc. etc. Maybe I do need a therapist, but I worry that the therapist would push me to do something that my OH would be really unhappy with. And I just can't do that, I really can't. I'm so fed up. Sorry to be wallowing I know that many have it much worse than me. But I am really really fed up of this.
  8. Hi Avo Yeah you're right it is all about getting her approval. I seem to have many many themes but really they are just variations on one and it is essentially this. I've become obsessive about needing to know I'm good, and my OCD has made my partner in charge of this issue. (She really really doesn't want this in any way!) We do have a really good and loving relationship, we have always been really happy and I think that's why OCD has come along and decided to sabotage it. It has put a strain on things this last year or so. I wish so much I could go back to before then. Things were much better then - I know I've been really difficult to live with this past year. But I've also realised that I've essentially ploughed almost all my happiness into my marriage and it is everything to me - which is not a healthy way to be. A relationship is an important part of life but it should only be a part. So how do I address this? How do I get to a more healthy place of seeing myself as equal to my partner and not handing over all my power like this? (I'm not asking you to answer - This is just what I keep pondering). My OH hates me feeling like this, she doesn't want me to put her on a pedestal like this. My worry about not telling her is that I will break some agreement that I agreed to at one point, maybe years ago, and then forgot. My OH has a superhuman ability to remember everything we've ever decided about cleanliness (cos it is high on her radar). I worry that I will have forgotten something, or I half remember something and then start to worry I am deliberately going against something we agreed to and she would be upset by this. And even as I'm saying this I'm aware how it all sounds. I even feel guilty for saying all this here. So I'm going to stop. I'm driving myself mad, let alone you guys! Thanks Avo - and hope you're doing OK? x
  9. hi Gemma Yeah you're totally right. it's like everyone with OCD thinking "but mine is different!!!! because *insert longwinded explanation* - I know it is the same, and my OCD has its own angle just as everyone's does. My partner's problems do complicate things somewhat though. I said recently I feel a bit like a drug addict trying to get clean, but I live with another drug addict who keeps pushing drugs on me! She is trying really hard. But she is stuck, too. And what I alluded too before about the checking ERP being easier - what I meant was it was easier because I had my partner's full support. She drove me to go to the extreme lengths of possible ERP scenarios. But she is hesitant with this - she's conflicted. Of course she doesn't want me to have OCD, she wants me to get better - but she is conflicted when it comes to specific examples. What I really need to do is just not tell her, or even talk to her about it at all. Because every time I do, I want her to keep reassuring me she wants me to do exposure etc. And you're right - if my fears around this evaporated they would just latch onto something else. It seems a never-ending merry-go-round.
  10. OK this makes sense I think. I have been able to apply this to other themes before, so I can do it with this, surely! The thing is, it's not the contamination per se that I fear - it's doing something "dirty" and thus feeling "bad", and this pre-emptive guilt basically overwhelms me in the moment. As you know my OH has similar worries and I totally absorb those fears. If my OH woke up one day and decided contamination wasn't a problem, then my worries about it would evaporate instantly. So really when it comes to exposure, what makes me really uncertain is not being sure whether my OH would support or understand what I'm doing, and therefore whether I am keeping something hidden and secret and being dishonest. Stupid stupid stupid. AARGH. The thing is I am! Not with this theme but I have done exposure galore with all kinds of things. I remember doing a really intensive period of exposure for my checking OCD back in 2015ish and I really really went at it, over and over, and it worked wonders, it was miraculous. So why is this different? Actually I know the answer to that although I'd rather not say here. good for you doing this, I can imagine how hard this was - and sounds like you have come on leaps and bounds since then.
  11. Hi Gemma, Thanks, great advice as usual I totally get what you're saying - but the thing is, I always always think "but this is different", I find it hard to flag it as being the same as other times. I always think, in the moment, that this isn't like all the others, or I find some way of rationalising it in my head like "if I do this then I'll find exposure easier later" or whatever. I really find it impossible to cling onto the idea that I should behave differently. And then I feel regret afterwards, I berate myself, which doesn't lead to a good state of mind. I don't know how to cling onto that shred of foresight, of seeing the long game rather than instant relief. The thing is I can do this with some compulsions, and have done many times, but the cleaning thing feels different, it feels like its got its hooks in deeper to my common sense, if you see what I mean. Because honestly I don't see contamination as a threat, at all, not even deep down - I don't know why I am so afraid of it. Like this for example: This fills me with absolute fear - but why? I don't know. I just know that right now I can't even contemplate doing this. If I did I would end up doing a bazillion other compulsions to try and counteract it in some way. I've tried to do proper exposure like this a few times and it has often backfired. I don't know if this is just a lack of courage. Could be. I know basically I need to just try much much harder. Thanks again for your time and advice, it's always much appreciated
  12. This is great advice Malina. I especially like what you say about finding ways to make it less serious. I think that's a really good way of breaking the stranglehold it has on you in that moment. Like I know the cleaning stuff (in particular) is totally irrational and not based in reality - so making it less serious in the moment would remind me of that. Thank you
  13. Hi guys I wondered if I could ask your advice. I've been terrible in doing lots of compulsions of late and oh-so-predictably have been sucked into a relapse. It's not exactly a mystery why things are bad right now. This morning I found myself cleaning the carpet with an antibacterial wipe (?!!) - and while doing it it felt like a perfectly logical thing to do. (I won't bore you with my reasons for doing this, cos they are ridiculous). So my problem is that although I know all this stuff, I can give advice, I just can't seem to follow it myself. I know compulsions are bad, they never work, they make OCD worse. And I've realised that although I know that, when I am tempted by a compulsion I totally lose all insight into why I shouldn't do it. It's like I become a totally different person and I have to do that compulsion. Which is ridiculous and we all know it isn't true but in that moment, I genuinely can't see otherwise. I am driven blindly to do the compulsion. And even when doing it I think "this is the last compulsion, I will tackle my OCD properly after this." So how do you guys tackle this? How do you keep hold of that knowledge when in that fight-or-flight state? I know it's possible because I have done it before and I know plenty of people on here do it all the time. I just can't seem to grasp it this time no matter how hard I try, because when in that state it's almost like it's not me but somebody else entirely, somebody totally irrational. How do I get rid of that irrational idiot and put me in the driving seat instead?! Thank you and hope everyone is OK xx
  14. I have to say I agree with avo I think drinking like this does enormous damage to your mental health. I know because I used to regularly drink like this as a student. I hit rock bottom and gave up for a long time and that had a profoundly positive effect on my mental health and my life in general. In fact my whole life changed for the better as a result of doing that. I don't want to be preachy or anything only you can decide what's best. But I think adding an addictive depressant to mental illness, especially in large quantities, can be a recipe for disaster.
  15. Happy new year ocdsufferer I agree, let's kick OCD in the bum!!
  16. I think magical thinking is normal, there are tons of superstitious people around. Where magical thinking becomes OCD is where it impacts detrimentally on your life, which in this case it is doing. I think you know the answer is you need to expose yourself to this fear - tell your wife, face the fear that this may jinx things. Oh and - well done!! What a MASSIVE achievement to have your story get sent onto the editor. So many thousands of wannabe short-story writers and only a teeny tiny handful get to where you've got so kudos!
  17. you will have anxiety when you don't do compulsions. Stopping compulsions is HARD. It's about the long game. if you stop your compulsions you will feel better eventually, not right now. So yes you have won if you don't do a compulsion - you just won't feel the benefit for a while yet.
  18. no it's not easy, it's difficult - nobody said it's easy no one is expecting you to you can't just reduce your compulsions for a day and then expect it to be better the next day. You have to work at reducing and stopping your compulsions day after day, maybe for weeks, maybe for months. it is not a sprint, it's a marathon, a flipping long marathon, and we all have to go through this. It's not about what happens one day to the next, but a general trend over a long time. You have to work at not doing compulsions over and over and over again before you see any improvement. it's been getting worse for months because you have been doing compulsions for months.
  19. I have quoted the above because you refer to at least 8 separate compulsions in only one post, and each post is like this across over 16 pages. You do compulsion after compulsion after compulsion and then wonder why you feel so bad. Phil - one thing you must get your head round is that every single compulsion you do is a choice you make. OCD does not make you. Anxiety does not make you. You make all your own choices. You choose to perform dozens and dozens of compulsions every day, probably some you don't even realise, and that alone is why you are in your current situation. Harsh, maybe, but true - and time to take responsibility. 2019 is a new year. Why not make it a better one.
  20. and a massive thank you to you as well Roy you help countless people on these forums (me included) and I'm sure you have the gratitude of many x
  21. yes - this is what you MUST do. Really commit to doing this no matter what your OCD slings at you, whatever doubt surface, leave this be, leave it unresolved, leave your anxiety alone. Don't go there, don't go down that path. Your anxiety right now will likely be worse because of the after effects of alcohol (that's what I find anyway) - don't do anything or try to solve this and you will feel better in time.
  22. So - maybe you wanted to cheat, maybe you didn't. You can never have certainty about that - it's done, gone, whatever happened happened and you need to leave it alone. What you have now are facts (or probabilities): - you didn't cheat. Everyone says you were fine and no trouble. - you drank more than you wanted to and can learn from that for next time. That's it. So where do you go from here? You have several options. You could tell your partner you wanted to cheat (even though you don't even know if that's true anyway.) This might make you feel better, it might make you feel worse, it might upset your partner, it might not. What you can be sure of though is that if you tell her, your OCD will get worse again. So tell me this: how does your partner benefit from that? Another option is to accept that the human brain is a complicated, messy thing and it sometimes does things we'd rather it didn't. Being faithful to another person does not mean you go blind and stop noticing other people or being attracted to them. So say you had thoughts about cheating on your partner? So? You didn't cheat, end of. Show me a person alive who claims they've never had attraction or thoughts about another person and I'll show you a liar. I've been attracted to other people in the 12 years I've been with my partner, and I know my partner has too - it's life! What matters is what you do with those thoughts and this case, you've done nothing. Don't go down the spiral of OCD. Don't go into that labyrinth because as you know, there's no exit, you just get stuck deeper and deeper. Chalk this up to experience, maybe try not to drink so much if it makes you feel anxious and regretful, leave it behind you and look forwards to a new year, a fresh start, putting OCD in the dustbin where it belongs.
  23. Nobody doubts your anxiety is very real, Phil. We all experience the same. We are all OCD sufferers, here. You really are no different. The key isn't to change your feelings. It's to change your behaviour in spite of your feelings. You say you can't take the information in - you can take it in if you choose to. At the moment I fear you are choosing not to. I think you just glance at posts and immediately think "I can't do that, I am too anxious about XYZ". At some point you need to decide enough is enough.
  24. I think you really need to stop and digest what PB is saying here.
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