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In my Christmas message I spoke about change, and how if we want to recover, if we want a better life we have to choose to change and do something, do anything to start that change.

I think this image posted by one of our trustee's Nick this morning perfectly illustrates a problem that we are still seeing on the forum and across the charity services. That's not a criticism, we are all guilty at times, myself included, and we need to understand the difference in order we can change.

Change.jpg

 

The fact is we can talk about wanting change and wanting to get better for a better life, but nothing will change until we choose to implement change. The NHS, charity's like OCD-UK and the good people of this forum can help people change, but individuals have to first choose to make change happen by taking action and doing something, doing anything.

So who wants to change?

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I think this is a great post too.

I was only thinking today that I obviously need to change something, as I keep going backwards and forwards! 

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So many of us give meaning to, connect with OCD intrusions - and of course we then carry out compulsions, slip into anxiety cycles. Experience disorder. 

We need to ease ourselves away from this thinking, and away onto other thoughts and activities. 

Committing to doing this, and working hard to make this happen, can produce a huge difference. 

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2 hours ago, taurean said:

So many of us give meaning to, connect with OCD intrusions - and of course we then carry out compulsions, slip into anxiety cycles. Experience disorder. 

We need to ease ourselves away from this thinking, and away onto other thoughts and activities. 

Committing to doing this, and working hard to make this happen, can produce a huge difference. 

Sounds so simple when you put it like that! 👍🏼 we can do it!

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1 hour ago, HDC said:

Sounds so simple when you put it like that! 👍🏼 we can do it!

That's why I put it like that :)

But the illness is powerful, and we must stand up resist and challenge. 

We need no especial brain power - but we do need guts determination and the will to make these things happen. 

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I think it's time to bump Ashley's thought-provoking-thread for people to ponder and give consideration to their own circumstances.

Who want's to change? and perhaps more importantly Who's prepared to start making changes?

In the 14 years I've been a Moderator here I've seen thousands of threads, often raised mid-panic, in desperation, asking for advice about an obsession.....Careful thought is given to the problem and shared from the experience of others.  Challenges to behaviour are suggested.  Sometimes the advice is taken on board, sometimes the sufferer will work with other forum members to try and make the changes needed.  Sadly, the opposite is also true......the thread abruptly stops........until next time, days later, weeks later, months maybe but the sufferer is back with the same problem or a variation of.  We see little evidence sometimes of any plan, of any changes, of moving forward :(

We all understand how utterly debilitating OCD is, the desperation that's felt, the fear, the doubt....we've all worn those shoes at some time.  That aside, change is needed in order to find that life has changed for the better.  I know it's hard and it's scary guys but worth it.

Who wants to change?

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The best OCD therapist in the whole wide world cannot help if his patient doesn't commit to believing him, not the OCD, doesn't stop connecting with the intrusive thoughts, and doesn't change behaviours as specified. 

It takes commitment, belief, changed behaviours, patience and perseverance to recover. 

Put quite simply, those that do are going to progress, those that don't may well not do so. 

Let's change folks - let's make that commitment. 

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The simplest thing we can do is nothing. 

But we don't recover by doing nothing. 

And asking questions but not making use of the answers is, actually, doing nothing. 

So, let's determine to do something. Let's take the great suggestions we learn from therapy, books and learned friends here. Let's make sure we use them, believe them, and persevere with them. 

It's time to change. 

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Well you can wish. Or you can actually do. 

The choice is yours. It's our responsibility to make change: no-one else can do this for us. 

 

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When you are first starting out in CBT it can be very scary, after all your going against what you believe has been keeping you safe for months/ years. You have come to believe that all your compulsions/ avoidances etc is what has stopped something bad from occurring, so going against this isn’t going to be easy. If you believe that by doing or not doing something it’s going to stop something bad from happening, then obviously it’s only normal you are going to want to do it. The problem is we have spent so long believing this to be true before seeking help, then of course change is going to be difficult, especially when at this time you are so plagued by intrusive thoughts and anxiety and you are not in the right frame of mind to see things clearly. 

 The first steps are the hardest, changing the way you perceive your thoughts and your behaviour towards them, so its not going to be easy. However if you work along side your therapist and keep aiming for an achieveable goal, starting with easiest first and slowly going against your OCD beliefs you will start to see slow progress, at the same time your mood begins to lift, you start to feel good about yourself and so proud of your achievements. The more progress you make the more motivated you become and step by step you start to work through things a little at a time, eventually you start to see things a lot clearer and start the disassociation process. 

The first few weeks are the slowest and the hardest, but it’s important at this time to keep going because eventually you will start to see improvement. Don’t get disheartened when at first you don’t succeed because you have to make mistakes to learn from them. Keep going and you will slowly start to see that change is possible and then this is your motivation to keep going. So don’t give up.

Be determined and change is possible! 

 

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That's a really good description of the process lost. 

Difficult it may be, but the most prized achievements in life are those ones that weren't handed to us on any plate ; ones we had to work for, break lots of sweat, deal with setbacks and overcome them. 

I remember one sufferer saying she enjoyed her recovery the more, because as part of the process she also learned how to overcome social anxiety. And this she had so wanted to do for such a long time. 

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Thank you so much everyone. 

4 hours ago, Caramoole said:

Who wants to change?

I do! X

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45 minutes ago, Emsie said:

Thank you so much everyone. 

I do! X

Good for you.  Wanting to change is the place to start......now trust, because you can change.  I can't pretend it's easy or that you won't feel anxious, you will.  Try and understand and accept that the feelings of anxiety are part of your own protection system, your mind is reacting to your own thoughts.  If you learn to understand and accept that, try to reduce using compulsions as a way to deal with the fear, you will make process and real changes.  We can't wait for change to happen, we need to change to experience a change.  Good Luck :)

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3 hours ago, bruces said:

Wish I could 

What's stopping you Bruce? You're so quick to post something negative when it suits you, but when challenged you stop replying. Please don't let this be yet another thread where you just moan and disappear until the next moan. :(  

5 hours ago, Caramoole said:

Careful thought is given to the problem and shared from the experience of others.  Challenges to behaviour are suggested....the thread abruptly stops........until next time, days later, weeks later, months maybe but the sufferer is back with the same problem or a variation of.  We see little evidence sometimes of any plan, of any changes, of moving forward

Where's that plan, Bruce? Every day for over 2 years I've discussed with you the need to make a plan and suggested ideas on where and how to start.

Nothing is stopping you from making a plan. Even if you're too scared to put it into practise just yet , at least there'd be a plan there, waiting for when you are ready. At least if you made a plan it could be ticking over quietly in your brain, sinking in, making little changes to your thinking, helping you to get ready for bigger change. :)

What have you got to lose by thinking about and writing down a plan? 

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58 minutes ago, snowbear said:

Nothing is stopping you from making a plan. Even if you're too scared to put it into practise just yet , at least there'd be a plan there, waiting for when you are ready. At least if you made a plan it could be ticking over quietly in your brain, sinking in, making little changes to your thinking, helping you to get ready for bigger change. :)

What have you got to lose by thinking about and writing down a plan? 

Come on bruces. You spend your time in the slough of despond, overwhelmed by negative thinking and secondary depression because you haven't found an easy answer, one with little effort, to your OCD issue. 

Prove me wrong, please. Make up that plan. 

It won’t hurt you, it can only benefit you, to knock up a plan for snowbear - who hasn't stinted on freely giving masses of her time to your - not hopeless - cause. 

So come on - once you get going you'll actually enjoy it - it will stir your creative juices :)

 

 

 

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Sorry I just seem to have a million negative scary thoughts swirling round in my mind 

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Who else will take up the call to make changes today? 

We don't do this "cold turkey"  - as lost says, we learn then we gradually retrain our mind and behaviours to break the obsessions and compulsive urges that the grip of OCD imposes on us. 

It works for those who stay onboard and are committed to change. And their lives, and the experience of those around them, will change too. 

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2 minutes ago, bruces said:

Sorry I just seem to have a million negative scary thoughts swirling round in my mind 

Now bruces, let's be realistic. You have acquired a negative bias - we all can do that. 

"A million"  is the cognitive distortions of catastrophising and overgeneralisation - just two of fifteen standard cognitive distortions that typify negative, anxiety-inducing thinking. I'd bet you also have emotional reasoning - you may believe the grass is always greener some place else?

Challenge that. Look at the negatives you are feeling at the moment. List them down. 

Then on the other side of the paper, note what could be done to reframe those negatives in a more favourable light, if you make some thinking and behavioural changes. 

See what of the negatives are directly attributable to your OCD - and therefore, by properly tackling your OCD, they will improve. 

None of this exercise is difficult - all of us are perfectly capable of carrying out this simple exercise. 

So why not give it a go?

The last few months have been full of massive negative challenges for me. Downsizing, refurbishing a property to sell, completely moving areas, my wife experiencing serious illness, myself having dizzy spells. 

I dealt with all these negatives with self-belief and trust in the agents and medics working on our behalf. I never believed in failure and I focused on the positives and not the negatives. 

And we have as a result come through, happy and healthier. 

I try to use my own experiences as a mentor to show others what is possible, what can be done by any of us who simply deploy the will, then commitment, to make changes. We can all improve our circumstances. 

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7 hours ago, Caramoole said:

Good for you.  Wanting to change is the place to start......now trust, because you can change.  I can't pretend it's easy or that you won't feel anxious, you will.  Try and understand and accept that the feelings of anxiety are part of your own protection system, your mind is reacting to your own thoughts.  If you learn to understand and accept that, try to reduce using compulsions as a way to deal with the fear, you will make process and real changes.  We can't wait for change to happen, we need to change to experience a change.  Good Luck :)

Thank you so much Caramoole for your kind and positive words of advice and encouragement.

I read what you wrote, when you bumped up Ashley's thread, after doing a compulsion (googling) for 4 hours straight and I've been doing it a lot recently. All resulting in scaring myself even more, opening up new fears that I hadn't considered and then fearing they applied to me because I'd now read the information. So I really needed this. 

I want to change and I'm going to change. It has to stop. I've had enough now. 

Thank you. X

Edited by Emsie

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I’ve been making an effort to change. I had CBT earlier in the year and had to challenge myself to go walking without timing it all and making myself do a certain amount. It was hard, but I had to force myself to do it. It’s nice now to be able to walk without the stress of knowing how much I’m doing. I haven’t entirely got over it, and I slip up at times, but I’m trying.

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10 hours ago, taurean said:

That's a really good description of the process lost. 

Difficult it may be, but the most prized achievements in life are those ones that weren't handed to us on any plate ; ones we had to work for, break lots of sweat, deal with setbacks and overcome them. 

I remember one sufferer saying she enjoyed her recovery the more, because as part of the process she also learned how to overcome social anxiety. And this she had so wanted to do for such a long time. 

Thank you Roy,

I think that so many of us fall at the first hurdle, don’t see improvement straight away and get disheartened that nothing is going to work and give up trying. Change is not going to happen over night and there is no quick fix, we can’t just change our behaviour and the way we perceive our thoughts on something that as taken years to escalate to where we are today. However the first hurdle is the most important one, accepting its OCD and taking the leap of faith and facing the fear. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s well worth all the hard work and effort when we start to see progress and start to regain control of our lives again. The more you begin to see improvement and start enjoying life again the more you feel motivated to keep working through it. 

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Emsie, kaheath, Bruce’s, 

Change is definetly possible, believe in yourself and never give up hope. Im so glad that I stuck to it, my life is so much better now and I never give up hope of one day to be totally free. I’m motivated every day to try and try again, if one thing doesn’t work then I try another until something finally clicks. Keep going and one day you will see the changes you have made too. 

Best wishes, lost 

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3 hours ago, Emsie said:

I want to change and I'm going to change. It has to stop. I've had enough now. 

Thank you. X

To quote the old cliche, every journey starts with one small step.  Start that journey, in earnest today.  Mark it in your diary or on the calendar, today you're going to start the process of changing your life for the better.

Don't panic, it doesn't have to be huge.....but today work on those compulsions.  Use the 15 minute delay tactic.  When you have a huge urge to start Googling, remind yourself that it is OCD that is making you feel this way and decide that you will not buckle and check for 15 minutes.  Remind yourself that you're taking charge and repairing your thinking process.  When the 15 minutes is up don"t immediately dash to the computer, reassess, see how you feel and if you're doing okay, postpone a bit longer.  The aim isn't to think "It's okay, only 15 minutes and then I'll check".....it's to change the reaction to the urge, to get through that period of discomfort without capitulating and giving in to the urge.

Give it a go today Emsie, try and do it each time that urgent feeling crops up.  See how you go and let us know this evening.  Good Luck :)

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