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  1. Hi Bruces, I'm sorry you're suffering. I would give you all the encouragement in the world to listen to what Taurean says in both of his posts. All of us know how indescribably dreadful this condition is. There really are no words. But if there is one good thing about all the pain, it is that it can light a fire under our backsides to LIVE IN THE SOLUTION NOT THE PROBLEM. I have had a very bad episode recently but I am now feeling so much better because the pain forced me to pick up the tools at my disposal. Currently, I am using and re-using the "4 Steps". Do you know about them? They go like this AND THEY WORK 1) Relabel: This is an obsessive thought. 2) Reattribute: The source of this obsessive thought is not me, but my OCD which is a medical condition. 3) Refocus: I refuse to ruminate about this obsession. I am going to focus on / do something else (preferrably something enjoyable) for at least 15 minutes. 4) Revalue: You see? The thought is not significant. Rather than concentrating on hell, let's concentrate on helping each other out of hell! You can do this, Bruces! Sending you love and light, dear man, and always here to support you, Gx
  2. Dear Avo and Taurean, Thank you so, so much for taking time out to support me. I feel so much better. You are both angels. I hope I get the chance to help both of you in the way you have helped me at some point. Love and light, Gx
  3. You nailed it, dear man. From where I'm standing, and from my personal experience of OCD, you are absolutely on the money. Love and thanks, Gx
  4. HI Taurean, I thought your post was magnificent. Thank you. Love, Gx
  5. Hsve gone back to basics with the 4 Steps and already am feeling a little better. I must be more proactive, take the fight TO the OCD rather than just be passive or reactive. Love to you all, Gx
  6. Hello to you all my fellow OCD sufferers, I hope this finds all of you doing well and, at least, not in too much pain. I am back again after a long period of not posting. I have been trying to deal with my OCD using the tools you've all passed my way and, largely succeeding. The main tool I use is just refusing to ruminate, which is my major compulsion. I didn't even realise that rumination was a compulsion until you all taught me that, and I am so, so grateful that you did. For the last 7 years my OCD has centred on obsessions about my wife, giving me intrusive thoughts like "Do I still love her?". It makes me imagine starting conversations with her like "Darling, I want to talk about us", breaking up with her and devastating her. Self-reassurance and reassurance-seeking from others are also compulsions of mine so I try my very, very best not to indulge them. Therefore, all I'll say is that these intrusive thoughts are horrible and I hate them. I think, though, that even though I find posting on this forum for help and support so helpful and therapeutic, I frequently do not do so when I need to, because I find writing the posts so frightening. From reading others' posts I think this is a fairly common thing. But I've been suffering greatly for the last week or so and I've had enough of it, so I am reaching out now. The thoughts are just attacking and attacking me. I feel like a bleeding seal which has been ambushed by a Great White Shark. That shark keeps circling and circling and it will not go away. I must reach out to all of you to pull me out of the water. Even though I know the thoughts are not based in reality (and, of course, as I write that, the "What of the thoughts ARE based in reality?" intrusive thoughts start attacking), I do feel that when I try and cope on my own, just endlessly fending off this vile film in my head, the wounds the thoughts inflict are very real. The pain is terrible and I can get to place where I feel so weak and desperate that I can't find my way back to the sunlight. Thinking about it, the crux of the issue is the preciousness to me of my marriage and how vulnerable my wife is to me. She is such a lovely person, we have each other's hearts in our hands and I therefore have these terrible thoughts about hurting her awfully. The thoughts are always particularly severe when were stop work for the summer, I have less work issues to occupy my mind and we spend more time together. Moreover, because I do have these thoughts when my wife is around, I get to point where I turn the sight of her in to a trigger. It's hellish. Like I said, these posts are terrifying to write, but I must be honest about the nature of my OCD if I am to have any hope of getting back to the sunlight. Blah blah blah. I could go on and on, round in circles but it's pointless. I want to live in the solution, not the problem so please, if you would, throw your wisdom and support my way. Love and light to you all, Gerard x
  7. Here we are: http://www.ocduk.org/four-steps
  8. Hi Redrattle, Good to have you back on the forum though I am sorry you're suffering. Yes, indeed, people who do not have OCD cannot possibly understand what we go through so I think it would be a good idea not to discuss your OCD with your mother any more. The bottom line is that, though very, very distressing, the intrusive thoughts are meaningless and not grounded in any reality. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of who you are. When the thoughts come (and, I do know, they can seem incessant), do not fight them. Do not ruminate or question why you have the thoughts and what they're about. Try not to act out on your compulsions, but just focus on another activity for at least 15 minutes. The anxiety will get less and, even if it doesn't, you will have broken the obsession / compulsion cycle which is fantastic. I know this is difficult but I guess what I am getting at is the "4 Steps" principle. Are you familiar with it? You can find it on this website. I'll get back in a moment and post you the link. You are NOT alone - you have us on this website and we care. Sending love, light and angels and I'll post the link in moment or two, Gerard x
  9. Hi PAVLIS97, I'm sorry you're suffering. A rule: any "What if...?" thought is OCD and to be discarded as meaningless. All intrusive thoughts are meaningless, have no basis in reality and are to be thrown in the OCD bin! Enjoy your day. With love and support, Gerard
  10. Hi Andiamo, Welcome to the forum. I am sorry you're suffering but all of us here know what you are going through and want to help. I really can't add much to the superb advice you've received from @St Mike and @PolarBear. Wonderful stuff I am currently using the 4 Steps tool at the moment. It is talked about by Dr Jeffrey Schwartz on this website. Are you familiar with it? It goes like this: Step 1) Relabel - this thought (eg that I am a bad person / have lost my relationship with God) is not grounded in truth, it is an obsession. I do not need to ask for forgiveness / see a priest / pray, I have a a compulsion to ask for forgiveness / see a priest / pray. Step 2) Reattribute - I have this obsession and compulsion because I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Step 3) Refocus - I am going to do something else and I am going to do this activity for at least 15 minutes before I practise the compulsion. Step 4) Revalue - (usually by this time the terrible feeling of unease / compulsive urge will have lessened even if only slightly) You see? Nothing bad happened. The obsession / compulsion in Step 1 did not need to be taken seriously. It was only like a car alarm going off - nothing to do with me and outside my control. A shorter version of it goes: Step 1) Relabel - it's not me. Step 2) Reattribute - it's my OCD. Step 3) Refocus - I'm going to do something else for at least 15 minutes. Step 4) Revalue - It was just the OCD car alarm going off - ignore it. Now this is hard at first, Andiamo and you have to be willing to put up with a some pain (by we're all very familair with pain, right?). But it works - I can vouch for that. Try it Let me now how you get on. Love, light and angels, Gerard
  11. Hello everyone, I hope this finds all of you coping and not in too much pain. If you are suffering, like I was last weekend, I am here for you as you have been there for me. I just want to report that I'm feeling a lot better. I'm getting aggressive with the OCD: (A) practising the 4 Steps, (B) exercising, (C) doing 15-20 minute daily Alexander Technique sessions (which I'm actually finding ties in with the 4 Steps in terms of inhibiting a habitual response and replacing it with a new and healthy one), (D) thanks to @HDC, started daily meditation sessions with the Headspace app and I'm loving it, and (E) I've also followed @Ashley's advice and ordered 3 books to help me. I know the above is a lot and I am trying not to fall in to the trap of doing too much and then getting demoralised when I miss something. Obviously having just come through a rough time I am still feeling a little shakey (even as I write this I'm a little scared that I'm riding for a fall and that I'll start feeling terrible again as soon as the post is put up - trying to disregard) but, genuinely, I'm feeling much, much better. My biggest compulsion is rumination and I am doing my very best to adhere to @PolarBear's advice and resist it. I shall always - ALWAYS - need reminding about that one. I pretty much always post when I am in despair, so I must also post when I take your advice and reap the benefits. This is a terrible condition. I am a recovered alcoholic as well (haven't had a drink in 24 years) but, by comparison with OCD, active alcoholism is a walk in the park. I always say to people that I don't believe in hell, but I do believe in OCD. I just want to thank you all. I shall always need your help, guidance and support and am committed to putting in shifts to support all of you as well. Love, light and angels, Gerard x
  12. I can well relate to your terrors, Lemon. Harm OCD was how my OCD started and it is terrible beyond terrible. But great news: you're not alone and they pass I'm using the following strategies to help me. Give them a go and see what you think: (A) The 4 Steps: 1) Relabel: This is thought has no basis in reality – it is an obsession. I don’t need to think about it – I have a compulsive urge to think about it. 2) Reattribute: I have this obsession and this compulsion not because they are grounded in truth but because I have OCD. 3) Refocus: I am not going to ruminate about this obsession. I am going to do another behaviour for at least 15 minutes. 4) Revalue: You see? The thought is not significant. This is not a normal thought, it is an obsession. Ruminating about it is a compulsion. I have this obsession and compulsion because I have OCD – no other reason. I’m now going to refocus on doing another activity for at least 15 minutes. I will then revalue the original thought and see that it is meaningless, empty, has no basis in reality and is nothing whatsoever to do with who I really am. (B) Exercise - I find this REALLY helpful. and (C) Meditation - I've just started this with the Headspace app. Everyone tells me how great it's been for their OCD so I'm going to persevere. You're not alone, dear lady. We can all relate to what you're going through. So sleep well and stay close. Love, G x
  13. Thanks, HDC - you helped me so much yesterday. Yes, indeed - it's the "What if...?" syndrome, isn't it? One of the great things the people on this website taught is the following rule: Every "What if...?" question is OCD! Love and thanks once again. I hope you're doing well and please allow me to support you if you're going through a hard time. G x
  14. Hi BoogieWoogie, Thank you for your post and I am dreadfully sorry you're suffering. I reckon everyone on this website can relate to being gripped by obsessions and my heart goes out to you. The main thing to remember is that you must not do battle with the thoughts or try to get rid of them. That will only make them worse. The thing to do is be mindful of the fact that the thoughts are meaningless. They have no grounding in reality. You only have them and carry out your compulsions because...you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Now, as a fellow sufferer, I am all too aware that all this is far easier said than done (I am going through a rough patch myself at the moment) but, with the guidance of the angels on this website, I have been practising the following self-help treatments and they are helping A LOT): A) The 4 Steps. Do you know about them? They go like this: 1) Relabel: This is thought has no basis in reality – it is an obsession. I don’t need to think about it – I have a compulsive urge to think about it. 2) Reattribute: I have this obsession and this compulsion not because they are grounded in truth but because I have OCD. 3) Refocus: I am not going to ruminate about this obsession. I am going to do another behaviour for at least 15 minutes. 4) Revalue: You see? The thought is not significant and has no basis in reality. B) Exercise - it forces you out of your mind and in to your body. Also it stimulates the secretion of endorphins (the body's own "happy chemical") and relaxed you. C) I've started mindfulness meditation with the Headspace app. It's early days but everyone tells me how much it's helped them with their OCD so I am going to persevere. I do hope this helps. Just remember you're not alone. We've all been where you are now and it will pass. Love and light, Gerard
  15. Thank you all so much once again. Horsey I'm sorry you've been suffering and am here to support you as you've supported me today. Love, G x
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