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Saz

Feeling very anxious again (don't think it ever really stops)

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17 hours ago, Saz said:

I just need to take that leap of faith and really commit like you say - it just has to be done and I need to be firm! X

You do....but I still have concerns for you.  Concerns that you'll go away and try harder......but that will mean trying harder to endure the anxiety rather than tackling it at its root.  This is where you need to make that plan.  To identify what happens, what you do when this doubt/memory hits you (= the intrusive thought)  You have to identify what you do (mostly rumination to work it out, hours and hours of thinking and internal debate) and have a plan to deal with it.  Firstly, catch that first thought of the day  when it happens and recognise it as what others tell you is OCD (even if you yourself don't believe it, yet).  Watch how your mind almost automatically pulls you into "work it out, think it through" mode and refuse to engage in that conversation.  Remind yourself that you're going to do this differently and stop the conversation (which you can) and concentrate on the moment.  Likely, your brain will very quickly want to think it through again.....it's what it's been used to doing, it's what it's been trained to do....but you stop and you pull back into the moment.....and you keep doing that.  The thoughts, the urge to go over it will come many times.....you keep up that refusal to debate with it and engage with it.  It will take a lot of hard work, especially at first......there will be anxiety, panic, doubt and an overwhelming urge to think it through.  It's time to stop and take charge Saz.  You have to do this, start tomorrow......you won't win the battle tomorrow but you might win an odd bout.  

Give it a go, practise....and then do it again and again.

It's time to take your life back for you and yours.  Come on Lady, you're worth fighting for :boxing:

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Really appreciate your kind words there caramoole - especially the end bit - really feel like you won't give up on me and that spurs me on to try and get better and makes me feel cared about in this community. I feel the same towards all of you guys. 

I have an example straight away of a thought that is trying to catch me out, I'll tell you what it is but I am after NO reassurance.  It the bit in binxy's post about living a good life until the bad thought catches up with us (if it's real). By the way binx I am not saying anything bad about that post, it was a great post, you know what I'm like for zooming in on the 'negatives' lol. So anyway that sentence keeps trying to make me over think and stress me but I've not entertained it. I've not let it scratch the surface. I have felt slightly anxious but have just got on with something else. Of course I still feel like I want to think about this but I'm not. I hope I'm doing this right because I know I'm supposed to feel anxious (which I do) but I also hope I'm supposed to focus on something else. 

Please tell me if I have the wrong idea x

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2 hours ago, Saz said:

So anyway that sentence keeps trying to make me over think and stress me but I've not entertained it. I've not let it scratch the surface

That's exactly what you need to do Saz :)  But be prepared, because this urge, this thought, this doubt is going to keep coming right back at you.....and then some.  Especially at first.  You mentally note it....STOP and don't start the conversation.  You will be challenged with the urge many times, keep quietly flipping back into the moment without getting into the dialogue.  Expect to feel anxious, you will.....but it will start to lessen.  Accept the anxiety as par for the course, don't buy into the physical symptoms which can oh so easily draw you right back in.  Let your stomach feel in a painful knot, your neck and shoulders ache, your muscles cramp, whatever......we have to try and treat the physical symptoms a bit like an intrusion as well......accept them for now as part of he condition.  Watch out for the internal conversation again, things like "Please make it stop......I can't stand feeling like this".  Accept them for what they are and don't get into an internal debate about them.  Your body is actually working as it was designed to, it's responding to fear.

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Will honestly try my very best caramoole.  I'm sure this isn't going to be easy at all but I have taken on board everything you have said. I'm already anxious ? but I know, like you all say, that is to be expected. I thought I had been doing my best all this time. I  thought I had been trying to work through the anxiety and worry by getting on with things but it didn't leave me - ever. That's the only bit that worries me now is im afraid the feeling won't leave x

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26 minutes ago, Saz said:

. That's the only bit that worries me now is im afraid the feeling won't leave x

This is very common across the boards here Saz. Take the sting out of it by treating that as just another negative intrusive thought.

It's hard because the thought is telling you different - but your previous experience was a wrong approach, and the failure of that has fed in to this awfulising intrusion. 

You are on the right path now and remember plenty of others have followed that path and done really well. 

 

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1 hour ago, Saz said:

Will honestly try my very best caramoole.  I'm sure this isn't going to be easy at all but I have taken on board everything you have said. I'm already anxious ? but I know, like you all say, that is to be expected. I thought I had been doing my best all this time. I  thought I had been trying to work through the anxiety and worry by getting on with things but it didn't leave me - ever. That's the only bit that worries me now is im afraid the feeling won't leave x

Like I've mentioned, you've been trying, stoically plodding on trying to do your best and enduring the anxiety but all the while still carrying on the the compulsions (the need to go over it, to work it out)

You absolutely must start to work on this aspect.  Even if you don't feel convinced, even though you doubt everything.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Conversely, trying to find an answer, to work things out ensures you have everything to lose and will gain nothing.

Don't make the mistake of expecting it to disappear straight away.  These doubts will recurr just as strongly but you keep flipping it back, refusing to debate with them.  

This is a new starting point for you Saz......the week you've decided to start the journey to claiming your life back.  Don't disappear off and carry on with that endurance, being forced back some weeks on to say "Help" and look for reassurance.  Use the thread to work on your plan, to hone your skills, to get tips from others when the going gets tough.  Be excited and think "I am re-training my brain, I'm going to do this differently this time and I'm going to win"

Wishing you strength......and remember, I'm going to be here with my :fish: ready to thwack your OCD brain when it comes back and says "Yes....but".....  and it will.  Be ready for it

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Thanks Roy  x

caramoole thank you too x I don't mean to drag this out as I really want to make a start on my road to recovery but I honestly feel a bit like I haven't been ruminating or thinking over that night hardly at all in recent months so I'm confused as to why I have just been feeling constantly anxious over the past...well forever really. Certainly the last few months lve really just been trying to live my life but the feeling and worry never lessened. I'm scared it's going to be the same again and I won't believe in myslef. I'm not sure what the difference will be now with how I deal with the thoughts etc. I want to get this right once and for all. Sorry if I seem like I'm being difficult, I promise I don't mean to be xxx

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If you're feeling anxious all of the time there is a reason for it.  You say you haven't been ruminating and yet this thread worrying about an aspect of it was only started 10 days ago.  It's important to be brutally honest with yourself in trying to identify what exactly you're doing, and I bet my bottom dollar there is still a lot of "thinking" going on there.  Even they're not OCD thoughts there are probably a fair few worrying about anxiety itself, about how you feel, about the possibility of always feeling this way.  You become afraid of feeling afraid and your body responds with all sorts....muscle tension, fatigue, knot in the stomach, headaches, palpitations etc etc.....it's a wretched way to feel, you come to fear it and it becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy.  

You have to catch those negative thoughts and identify (honestly) them in order to know what you're doing.  It is likely that there's a fairly constant internal dialogue going on.  You probably check how you feel from the second you wake and are constantly running scared or trying to push it away. OCD/anxiety/OCD all interlink. If someone else spent every waking moment scaring you by bombarding you with negative and scary onslaughts , you'd accept why you felt scared.....as anxiety sufferers we inadvertently do this to ourselves much of the time.

Honesty with yourself Saz, spend the next few days observing the type of thoughts you're having (not necessarily OCD ones) but the general, internal dialogue

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Saz I used to wonder for ages why I was still very anxious even though I thought I wasn't doing any compulsions, so I had a good long think about it and I realised I was still doing some very subtle compulsions such as avoidance of very minor things, so minor in fact I hardly realised I was avoiding them, as well as ruminating to a certain degree as well. Other compulsions were things like asking my boyfriend to come and sit in the bathroom with me for a chat while I was getting a shower - I realised I was doing this because I didn't want to be alone with my thoughts, so this was another type of avoidance and reassurance seeking.

Another thing I did which I think you are doing as well, is questioning why I was still getting the thoughts in the first place, and trying to work out what might be wrong - this is also a compulsion.

It is difficult to identify what these subtle compulsions are and its something I've asked about myself on this forum before, and Ashley has said next time there is an OCD-UK conference/meeting (I'm not sure which) with OCD experts he is going to ask this question. For now though what helped for me is trying to be more mindful of my day-to-day activity, and whenever I noticed I felt anxious I would then think about the last few things I did, and realise that I was doing subtle compulsions. I also made it a habit to jot down on my phone a list of all the compulsions I was doing and add to it whenever I noticed I was doing another one. This made it easier for me to identify when I was doing them the next time so it was easier for me to stop them.

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Thank you lynz and caramoole and I suspect your both right. I guess by questioning why I feel anxious and worried all the time is infact a compulsion in itself. I do wonder why I feel this way and think it must be down to the 'false memory' being true but by thinking that way I guess that's what's keeping me stuck - rather than the actual false memory itself. Maybe I'll keep a note of the subtle compulsions I'm doing then I can make a real effort to knock them on the head asap. It is horrible that lingering anxious feeling, it's been so long since I've been truly free of feeling anxiety free for the majority of my day. 

Thank you once again xxx

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It's hard work but it can be done. I've been in therapy since December last year, I've done so much work and only now am I starting to see some results. This is because I've had OCD my whole life and I'm literally having to retrain my brain and re-wire my thinking. So much of my life accommodates my OCD and I feel like I've only scratched the surface, but I know that I'm on the path to recovery now, and by keeping on working at it it does diminish less and less.

You can do it too, Saz. I feel like you've already made some real changes just based on this thread alone which is great :)

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24 minutes ago, Lynz said:

It's hard work but it can be done. I've been in therapy since December last year, I've done so much work and only now am I starting to see some results. This is because I've had OCD my whole life and I'm literally having to retrain my brain and re-wire my thinking.

The learned responses and rules we pick up take over in OCD,  but as you say Lynz we can rewrite the "script", change our responses and behaviours. 

A negative neural pathway leading to an unwanted emotional response will die down if we don't respond to it, and stop giving it meaning by compulsing around it; and new positive neural pathways can be built and used instead. :)

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Keep fighting Saz- zero tolerance on those compulsions.  Hang in there my friend. x

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Am having my own little battle at the moment - but in my corner I have Caramoole encouraging me away from compulsing , and snowbear helping me on the spiritual side. And both have been reminding me on the cognitive side. 

The disorder is the pits however it manifests itself, so keep on the right path now Saz and don't slip sideways or back - we can all actually be stronger than we think. :group:

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Hope your ok Roy. Glad you have the support you need ?

Thank you Lynz and also glad you are seeing some results. Did you always know yiu had ocd?

Binx, as always thanks for the encouragement 

x

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Justhad a bit of a melt down in bed. Feeling absolutely anxiety ridden. I couldn't stop crying. My partner was really good, although he doesn't know what it was mostly to do with. Sorry for posting. Maybe that is another compulsion I need to stop. Just feel too consumed by it. 

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Just keep refusing to do compulsions. You will have bad moments. Maybe a lot of them. But keep going. It took four years for you to sink to this level. It's going to take time to claw your way out.

 

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Anxiety is awful Saz.....but this is you standing on the brink of change, of doing things differently.....I hope :)

The anxiety is not going to just stop......but you're on the brink of a new journey.  You're anxious anyway.......accept the anxiety for now but knowing that you're going to make changes in how you're going to deal with this.

The old way is futile Saz.....it won't work.  Attempting change will really challenge you, it isn't going to happen without blips.  Be ready for them.....keep your focus.  It won't resolve in a matter of days.....keep flipping it back because it will challenge you, it will cause massive doubt and discomfort.  We're here to help with that discomfort.....let's keep moving forward :)

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Thanks polarbear x

Thanks caramoole. x

what an awful night and have woke up feeling quite down  (and with puffy crying eyes to match). It just all seemed too much last night and the doubt surrounding it all was immense. 

Thank you for your encouragement x

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1 hour ago, Saz said:

the doubt surrounding it all was immense. 

You rode it out though. Sure you had a big emotional reaction but you sat it out - well done.

Leave that doubt be don't buy into it don't connect with it. The urge to do so will be massive but this is what you need to resist. 

:)

Edited by taurean
typo

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Wash your face, put your make-up on and see this as a new (sunny) day.  When those urges attack you, remember, you know what this is, you know the urges & doubts will come, recognise what's going on. Think, "I know what this is but I'm doing this differently, I'm re-training my brain" Not as a mantra btw, simply an acknowledgement of what's going on.

Imagine if one of your children was being bullied at school.  Some child approached them at every opportunity and said "You're fat and ugly, nobody likes you and you steal everyone's toys" ........and this happened 20 times a day, every day.  What would you tell them, how would you deal with this?  Would you tell them they must be fat and ugly because somebody told them so?  Would you call them a meany & a thief and march them off to the Head Mistress?  I don't think so.  You'd see the reality and deal with it.  In your case you are the child, OCD is your bully.

Let's take those punches (thoughts/doubts) on the chin today, feel the blow but brush yourself down and carry on.  Don't investigate, don't ruminate......take that blow and carry on :boxing:  Get yourself back here this evening and tell us about two instances where you did it and managed :)

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I like that comparison to the school bully, it really is the same for me. I just need to realise that I actually am being bullied. Ocd is that much of a bully that it's convincing me that it's all my fault and I've brought it on myslef!

Im too sure how well I done but one instance of were I have mostly just brushed the thought off was when my little boy came to me upset (he had been told off) but I just looked at his face and was almost starting to think that his little face would look like that if he got took off me! It kills me when I get those thoughts but I am pretty sure I stopped that thought in its tracks and carried on with what i was doing. It was very tough and very anxiety provoking. Im trying to think of another one....that's been the worse one today....oh this morning driving to work I had a similar thought and was so worried that my little boy wouldn't be allowed to play football anymore because of me. Again I just carried in driving to work. I have had a very awful thought now I'm thinking about it and I don't know what I done to move on from it but I must have done something because even thought the thought is awful I dont remember dwelling on it for too long. The thought was one of those worst case scenarios, awfulising, catastrophic ones....all by the way linked to this 'false memory'.

I've tried though. I just hope I'm doing it right because this is what I had been doing of late and that feeling of dread never went. I'll think positive though. X

Roy thanks for the encouragement x

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Well Done Saz :)

Just remember you're not going to do this perfectly straight off, you've been used to the other way for a long time and it almost becomes an automatic response.  It sounds as though you have done well with those two examples and noticed what the thought was and resisted getting dragged into the next step....that's what we want you to do.  Just remember, it hurts, it isn't easy but it is do-able and will get easier as long as you stay truly on guard for those sneaky compulsions.

Let's keep this list of success's going, it also helps you to recognise examples of the thoughts that you normally then follow with compulsions.

Now sleep :yawn:

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8 hours ago, Saz said:

The thought was one of those worst case scenarios, awfulising, catastrophic ones....all by the way linked to this 'false memory'.

I've tried though. I just hope I'm doing it right because this is what I had been doing of late and that feeling of dread never went. I'll think positive though. X

Roy thanks for the encouragement x

But you have before been carrying out compulsions. Trying to think it through, etc. Compulsions give power and meaning. 

Plus "all by the way linked to this 'false memory'". I told you ages ago that this would happen - I get this kind of "negative neural connection" too. There isn't a real connection - so we must not give belief or meaning to it.

So, now you can see the difference :)

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