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greentop

How do you pick yourself up when you’re at your lowest?

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Hi there,

I’ve been struggling a lot recently with anxious and OCD thoughts. But additionally I’m now finding myself questioning who I even am. My life is just passing me by somewhat, that I’m disconnected from my mind and body. I feel very low and down and I am so aware that I’m acting somewhat offish and maybe rude to those around me. 

Things got really bad when I had an argument with a family member last night. They said I was a spoilt brat and that everyone was fed up with me. I am by no means perfect and yes this probably is somewhat true but things like this make me feel even worse about myself. 

I know at these points when I’m low there are moments which often outnumber these low points where I’m so happy. I have great friends, great grades and have lined up an amazing job post-college. But right now I’m questioning how do I get myself out of these low points which are coming more and more frequently?

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Hi Greentop,

It sounds as if you may be suffering with depression as well as your OCD, although I am no expert. Are you seeing a therapist at the moment?

It is so difficult to try and pick yourself up when you feel so wretched.  But my advice is to start small.  Do something small that you once enjoyed that wil occupy your attention and prevent you from ruminating on your anxious thoughts.  Like, watch an episode of the simpsons or something.  You may not enjoy it, but you may surprise yourself and enjoy it a little more than you expected, and you've then clocked up 20 minutes of not thinking about your anxiety or obsessions. It may give you that little nudge to do something else.  I find that having lots of things to fill my time really helps.

You could maybe have a think about some things you might want to do or achieve when you're feeling better, maybe set some small goals, even tiny ones if big goals feel overwhelming. 

I think also, don't fight your emotions too much - don't think "why am I feeling so low? I should feel better!" Just accept however your feel and let it flow through you.  I read a great thing recently on this forum (I forget who said it) - but they said that your feelings aren't in the driving seat, you are.  You can get on with your life despite having bad feelings.  You don't have to be dictated to.

Hope some of that makes sense!

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I was seeing as therapist, 2 actually.

But I didn’t feel comfortable with either of them. I’m not sure why. It was a little bit like when I was learning to drive my first instructor I felt entirely uncomfortable (although he was really nice and a great teacher) and the second instructor was then perfectly suited for me. 

One therapist I would sit in silence and nod because I felt so embarrassed and the second I would downplay my OCD to the aspects I didn’t find embarrassing. 

Maybe since I’m suppressing all these feelings it’s just making it worse. One thing one therapist did ask was whether I’d had any traumatic moments in my life. Accidentally seeing an e-mail which revealed something no one else knows about apart from the 2 senders of the e-mail is definitely what triggered it. I’ve never been able to say those words out loud because I’ve been fearful of whether the therapist will tell someone (which they OBVIOUSLY would never do). It’s just finding the courage (and the money) to go do something about it I guess.

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Thank you for your advice gingerbreadgirl I will try that

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It is really hard, and it sucks that one even need to get more anxiety to recover, but you have to see what the option is. Having this anxiety for a loong time if not forever. 

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4 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

You could maybe have a think about some things you might want to do or achieve when you're feeling better, maybe set some small goals, even tiny ones if big goals feel overwhelming. 

I think also, don't fight your emotions too much - don't think "why am I feeling so low? I should feel better!" Just accept however your feel and let it flow through you.  I read a great thing recently on this forum (I forget who said it) - but they said that your feelings aren't in the driving seat, you are.  You can get on with your life despite having bad feelings.  You don't have to be dictated to.

Good advice. Don't put a lot of pressure on yourself. Strangely, when I started giving myself permission to feel rotten it started to feel better. Strange, but it worked. Instead of feeling guilty or questioning why or thinking I should be better, it's okay to accept that at times we're going to have bad days.

Every day is different. And it's not always OCD related stuff. Yesterday was a sad anniversary for me. It's very difficult to motivate myself at times. Sometimes thinking about a future goal helps keep the motivation up, and other times it might be discouraging if I think I should have been at that stage already. When the latter happens, if I can remember to do it, reminding myself it's okay to feel rotten today and watch a film, listen to music, read a bit of a book, sleep... It's better for me if I can push myself enough to get out of the house and go somewhere like a quiet coffee shop, a garden, the guitar shop - really anything that isn't too triggering.

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I know that this might be short-sighted because maybe I've been through worse, but I think right now is close to my lowest. At least if this were merely an intrusive thought, I could still enjoy things and sit with the anxiety. Right now though, my mind is threatening to lose interest in certain things.

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