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jamie2011

In need of help

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I do apologise for posting. I do read the boards, but try not to post. I am just in a pretty desperate situation right now. I know I posted a few weeks ago, but things haven't moved on a great deal. I have had a few appointments and have been emailing Samaritans daily. At least with them I have been able to say exactly what the situation is and not have to worry about any action being taken.

So I know in my last post I mentioned intrusive thoughts and not being sure I had them. I appreciated the response and tried to take it on board. I still have a daily battle with thinking that I don't struggle with OCD and that I am just using it as an excuse not to work. I question whether my actions are to get attention rather than a true struggle. I feel like a failure as a person. I don't function as most people do. I have nothing in my life that is meaningful and I have lost the connection with those closest to me. Even thinking they would be better off without me.

I saw my psychiatrist a few weeks ago and he suggests a change of medication (not started yet) and he said he will write a letter supporting my need to receive funding for intensive therapy. I wasn't able to fully explain to him my concerns except that I felt if I got funding they would assess me and say nothing is wrong. He told me that I was really unwell and that I have an anxiety disorder affecting how I live. The appointment was so quick and focused more on what I had done a few weeks prior. 

Well since then I have still struggled. I see no future for myself. I have struggled for over 13 years and I am now at a point where I feel if things could change they would have done so already. That perhaps the problem is with me. I wonder if I am choosing to not change. Maybe I am just a lazy and selfish person. If I wanted to get better than I would.

I seriously doubt I will get the funding. I am very close to texting my support worker and telling her to tell whoever it is that is trying to get my funding to stop. That this funding can be used for someone else. That I don't deserve it and that they wouldn't be able to treat me anyway.

I have totally lost all hope and I am in very bad situation. My support worker is concerned about my risk at the moment and she doesn't know to what level. I haven't been able to be fully open with her. She has done her best to support me and I am very grateful. I know it will be my choice to ask to stop the funding process, but I know if I do choose that there will be no turning things around and that I will all but be choosing totally give up. I haven't been able to open up to anyone. I have one friend who knows about what happened 4 weeks ago, but I cannot say much more because he is worried. Other than that I have been pretending everything is fine with everyone else. It is taking its toll. 

I don't know what to do about getting help because I do feel now that there is no hope at all. I just feel this need to text my support worker and tell her the above (stop request of funding). I just feel like this what I deserve. I mean how can I see that there is a future worth fighting for? How can even begin to feel I deserve the help. Every time I see someone in their job I feel immense guilt that I am not working. If I see parents with kids I see myself as a selfish person, because I think I would never be able to parent a child. I feel I give nothing to others and am a failure. Even with my nieces I feel I have let them down. I have always been very close to them, but as time has gone on and I don't see them very much or have contact. If I cared about them enough I would make the effort.

I am sorry, I don't see a way out of this and know that in a small amount of time I will likely say I don't deserve the funding even if it is likely I wont get it anyway. I don't know how to find something to give me the fight to carry on. I apologise again. All I have had is contact with the Samaritans and just felt it might help to have some feedback.

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Your entire post shows that you are feeling hopeless and that is EXACTLY why you need help. You exhibit signs of depression. I don't know how OCD comes into play, but that doesn't matter. When you get down on yourself and down on life, you need help. Period.

Edited by PolarBear

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On 10/12/2018 at 01:22, jamie2011 said:

I wasn't able to fully explain to him my concerns except that I felt if I got funding they would assess me and say nothing is wrong. He told me that I was really unwell and that I have an anxiety disorder affecting how I live. The appointment was so quick and focused more on what I had done a few weeks prior. 

Many OCD sufferers fall in to the trap of worrying that they haven't explained fully/enough.  Its just another example of OCD doubt causing issues.  You don't have to explain every detail to your therapist plus they are often quite perceptive having dealt with many sufferers over the years.  It sounds like your therapist is on the ball, trust them.

Meanwhile, its also pretty normal for OCD sufferers to worry that there is really nothing wrong, that its all some fraud.  The thing is unless you are a criminal mastermind who has studied OCD intensely and are actively trying to convince everyone around you you have OCD (in which case you wouldn't feel doubt, you'd be absolutely certain about what you are doing), you aren't going to be able to fool this many people for this long.  Not us here on the forums, not your therapist, not your doctors.

Both of your behaviors above are textbook OCD, assuming the worst thing is true/will be true even though the odds of it are vanishingly small and ignoring the far more likely far more reasonable possibilities.

On 10/12/2018 at 01:22, jamie2011 said:

I don't know what to do about getting help because I do feel now that there is no hope at all. I just feel this need to text my support worker and tell her the above (stop request of funding). I just feel like this what I deserve. I mean how can I see that there is a future worth fighting for? How can even begin to feel I deserve the help. Every time I see someone in their job I feel immense guilt that I am not working. If I see parents with kids I see myself as a selfish person, because I think I would never be able to parent a child. I feel I give nothing to others and am a failure. Even with my nieces I feel I have let them down. I have always been very close to them, but as time has gone on and I don't see them very much or have contact. If I cared about them enough I would make the effort.

As long as you are alive there is hope.  It can be difficult to see right now because you are in a bad place, but that doesn't mean things can not and will not get better.  One of my past therapists described OCD like being in the middle of a forest.  You start, surrounded by trees, not quite sure which way to go.  You want to get out of the forrest so you start walking.  The trouble is even if you are going in the right direction it still feels like you are in the middle of the forrest because you are still surrounded by trees.  That can be very discouraging!  You think to yourself "Oh i'll never get out of this forrest" so you stop walking, and you stay where you are.  But really you are almost at the edge of the forrest!  Its been hard to tell the difference because the things haven't changed a lot, but if you knew where to look you'd notice that the trees aren't QUITE so close together and there is a LITTLE more light coming through.  And if you just keep walking a little further you WILL start to see noticeable differences and you'll make it out.  The only way to lose hope is to stop trying.  If you keep going you can make it out of the forrest and it would a huge loss for the world and your friend and your family and the forum if you gave up now, when the edge of the forrest might be closer than you think.

Also, please try not to judge yourself by what you see in others.  We all walk different paths in life.  We all have different opportunities and different ways of contributing.  There's a story from the Bible about a rich man donating a large sum of money and a poor woman donating a single coin.  Who is more generous it asks?  The answer is the poor woman because she gave more of what she had, even if it was a very small amount, giving that little bit was much harder for her than the rich man giving a large sum.  Its great that many people can contribute to the world by working.  Its great that many people in the world can contribute by raising children.  There are many many ways to contribute to the world and how much we contribute should depend on our ability to contribute, not on what other people do.  Would you expect someone struggling with cancer or MS to contribute the same way and the same amount of work as a young, healthy individual?  Of course not.  Would you expect a person in a wheel chair to contribute in the same way as a person with the use of all their limbs?  Of course not, they each have different limitations and abilities.  It must be beyond frustrating to want to contribute more but feel unable to do so, but that you WANT to contribute tells me what a good person you are, and the world desperately needs good people like you!  Maybe, right now, you aren't in a position to contribute as much as you'd like.  But that doesn't mean it will always be that way. 

You are not at fault for having OCD.  You didn't ask for it, you didn't do anything to cause it to happen to you.  Its awful that you, or any of us have to deal with OCD, but that doesn't make you a bad person or someone not worthy of help.  You deserve help because you are suffering, thats it.  And there are people who are trying to help you, who want to help you, just as you want to contribute so do they.  Let them contribute by letting them help you.  And a year, two or 10 from now maybe you'll be able to turn around and help someone else because you got help now.   Hang in there Jamie, we are here for you too!

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Thank you so much for your replies. I am just very sorry for not getting back sooner. I appreciate your comments and support.

Things have been a bit up and down. By Monday I had got to a place where I had made some decisions. I was at breaking point. At that point I actually broke down, which is rare for me. I text my support worker and explained that there are things I have not been able to say and that when I see them next can they help me try to open up. That with the situation as it is it needs to be done. I really wanted to speak to them, but didn't have the courage. I didn't express my urge to pull out of funding.

I am due to see them soon and am feeling stressed. I am still waiting regarding the medication change. I have now found out the psychiatrist wants to see me face to face again to discuss the medication, I know there is a concern because of the type of medication and my recent actions.

I guess I am struggling because I feel like I have never had the opportunity to go through everything I struggle with. The things I am anxious about, what I avoid, what thought processes I have. I just feel like no one really knows what things are like. I feel like I need to get it all out. I wish I could have a few sessions with a professional where I can sit down and start from the very beginning up until now.

I am also feeling a little overwhelmed with emotion. I am scared for my future. My mood lifted a little for the past few days and now I can see how bad the situation was and I came very close to not being here anymore.

I don't know how things will be going forward, but will just have to take it one day at a time.

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It is important to slow down and take care of yourself. Stress makes OCD worse. Do what you can to limit stress in your life.

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Hi, thanks for your advice. Sorry for not responding sooner. I do try and limit times of stress, won't be so easy the next few days.

I guess this is a bit of an update and I also need some advice. My mental state hasn't improved that much. I do have support, but it is a stage where depending on what I say certain things may need to be put in to place. The professional I see is aware of how bad things are and have said that there are three options should I say certain things. I don't want any of these options so have to hold back on what I say. Right now the Samaritans are the only people I can fully be honest with, even though I know the healthy thing is for those supporting me professionally to know.

Since I last spoke I have received a date for an assessment (which will be funded), I felt a slight bit of relief, but now just complete fear of what may happen and their suggestions of treatment. 

On top of that I was asked to see my psychiatrist later this week to see him face to face regarding the change over of medication. This is where I need some advice. My psychiatrist wants me to start taking clomipramine. The problem that I have with this is. I tried taking this over 10 years ago and physically it was impossible to be on it. It completely knocked me, I couldn't read a thing because of blurred vision and whenever I stood up felt like I was going to pass out. I had to come off of it. I haven't told my psychiatrist this and I know if I do he probably wont start me on it. The reason I haven't told him is because I feel so bad I want to be knocked out. I have come to a point where I would happily not be able to think/feel and if that means being dosed up then that is fine by me. I know deep down that I need to be open with the psychiatrist, but I am so desperate that I feel like not saying anything.

I kind of know what people may suggest, but I just don't know how to be honest.

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Hi Jamie,

I'm sorry you're going through so much.

I know you feel you don't want any of the three options, but deep down do you think you might need the extra help and support those options might give you if you were honest about how you feel? 

I've written a couple of replies and started again because I really don't know how best to advise you about taking the Clomipramine again. I'm not a doctor, only a fellow OCD sufferer. Part of me thinks if it helps you through this, then perhaps you should go back on it, but another is worried about how horrible the side effects were for you in the past. If they were impossible to continue with then, could they make you feel even worse now?

I really would urge you to go with what you feel deep down and be completely open with your psychiatrist.

It's possible he may be able to prescribe something else that will help you, but won't come with the type of side effects from the Clomipramine. 

I'm not sure I've really been much help, I wish I had a magic wand to make everything better for you, but I hope the next few days go okay. Please remember too, we're all here at any time to talk things through if you feel like it.

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Thank you for taking the time to reply, I really do appreciate it. It is such a struggle trying to carry on as normal around others. The three options that were mentioned was, being discharged from the service and being put on another team (but that would mean not seeing my CPN and psychiatrist anymore), my CPN thinks that would make things a lot worse as I have built up a good relationship with her and my psychiatrist. The second was hospital, again she felt this wouldn't be helpful and lastly the crisis team. I did tell her I wouldn't want any of those options. I last spoke to my CPN last week and tried to be as open as possible, but she told me she thinks I am filtering out what I say because I am worried about what she will think, say or do. That she feels I am trying to reassure her. She told me I need to trust her and we can talk things through. She was right, I have been scared to say things because I cannot cope with those three options. So I have been saying little things here and there. In the hope I can get some release.

I guess with the medication, I feel like it wouldn't be healthy for me to just take something to knock me out, but I do wonder if it would be different this time. When I last took it I was exercising obsessively everyday and not eating very much, so wonder if that would have had an impact on the physical side effects. Also I remember that when I took it I stopped the exercise and wasn't anxious about it. So there is a chance it may help me.

Oh I don't know, I will have to try and think about this and try and be honest with the psychiatrist.

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On 25/12/2018 at 05:53, jamie2011 said:

She told me I need to trust her and we can talk things through. She was right, I have been scared to say things because I cannot cope with those three options.

She sounds very kind and on the ball.

She is right isn't she, I think you should trust her, and tell her how you really feel, let her help you through this. She obviously cares and has your best interests at heart, but she really does need you to meet her halfway. You've been living with OCD for some time, that takes a lot of strength, resilience and courage to do, you've proven that. If, and it is only an if at this stage, if your CPN thought one of those options would help you the most, you would have what it takes to cope. It's just so important that you get the best help.

On 25/12/2018 at 05:53, jamie2011 said:

I guess with the medication, I feel like it wouldn't be healthy for me to just take something to knock me out, 

I completely agree with you there, that's a good way of looking at it. It would be much better to get to the root rather than masking the problem with the medication. I guess that brings us back to having faith and trusting your CPN and allowing her to help you in a healthy way by talking things through with her. I know it must feel daunting, but I really believe it would be for the best.

When do you next speak to her, can you call anytime?

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Thank you again for taking the time to respond and trying to help.

I know my CPN is right about me holding back. There were a few things I was holding back because I was scared of what might happen. I do actually trust her and she is the one person I haven't had to pretend when I have seen/spoken to her. She has said I can text/call whenever needed and we can discuss whatever I need to. I just hold back a lot because I feel guilty about taking up her time. The truth is I struggle a great deal and sometimes waiting two weeks for an appointment feels impossible. I hate that it has got that bad. I hate feeling like I cannot cope.

I let her know I had my assessment date and she said we can discuss that when we meet. I know I should be pleased I have this date set now, but I am so scared about what may come of it. I am due to see her next week and will hold off until then if possible. 

I am due to see the psychiatrist tomorrow. Not sure how it will go or what I will be able to say. Feeling a little apprehensive. I know I need to be honest.

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The last thing you should be feeling is guilty for taking up her time, she wants to be there for you, if you want to text or call her you really should.

Try to be kinder to yourself and put to one side all those thoughts around hating how bad things have got and beating yourself more for not coping, it really won't help and it's undeserved. All that's important is now and doing what you're doing taking these steps receiving care and treatment, that's what counts.

I know it's not easy, try though to take each day at a time, don't look too far ahead worrying what might happen with the assessment. Things tend to work out for the best.... I hope everything goes well later today?

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Thanks. Seems things have been taken out of my hands with the medication situation. I spoke with the psychiatrist, tried to be a bit more honest about things. Always feel like I am not quite explaining things as I would hope. I told him that I have so many thoughts that go through my head, fears and worries. That I never quite know how to explain it all.

We agreed to change the medication as planned, starting at a low dose. He informed me that the delay in arranging this was due to a change in where the medication is manufactured and wasn't available, but now it is. So I went to numerous pharmacies who all said they have non in stock and cannot order any in.

I called the reception of my psychiatrist to see if he could call me back. A member of the team called me and said they would speak to him, but I still haven't heard anything. My psychiatrist is due on annual leave, so if nothing is changed now I will be waiting until our next appointment.

I am not feeling great. I know medication doesn't fix everything and that therapy will be the best thing, but I really need something to just take the edge off of things. I felt a little better with the idea that we could try and see if new medication helps. Now I just feel deflated. It looks like I will just have to stay on what I am on, which I have been on for many years now.

Not sure what else to do. I don't have it in me to call them back. So will just have to wait and see if they get back to me. Not really what I needed.

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4 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

Not sure what else to do. I don't have it in me to call them back. So will just have to wait and see if they get back to me. Not really what I needed.

Don't feel deflated I'm sure it will get sorted. You might just need to give your psychiatrist a bit of time to look into this for you and work out the best course of action if the medication really isn't available. Hopefully you'll hear back from him soon, could you give him until early next week and try ringing again, or maybe ask a friend or family member to call on your behalf, or your CPN? 

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So the situation was sorted in the end. My psychiatrist called back and said it seems the availability of the first choice medication hadn't been fixed. So he has given me an ssri to take with my current medications. So there is no need to reduce any medication as first thought. I am not sure how I feel about taking three different medications, but right now I will take anything that will help just ease things.

I know medication takes a while to get in to the system and show if it is helping so will have to take it as it comes. So for not it will be about managing feelings whilst waiting for my assessment. 

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I'm glad he came through for you, at least you didn't have wait too long to get it all resolved. I hope you feel some benefit soon from them. I might be guilty sometimes of erring too far on the side of caution when it comes to medication (I couldn't even tolerate a very low dose SSRI), as they're new tho' and being combined will you think about getting in touch with your CPN if you have any side effects? 

7 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

So for not it will be about managing feelings whilst waiting for my assessment. 

That sounds like a sensible and wise approach, you'll be surprised how quickly the time will fly by. These last few days have been very stressful for you, as Polar's already said, stress will make things worse, especially with all that comes with Christmas too. Maybe over the weekend it might be worth taking some time out to look after yourself and unwind a little before the New Year?  

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Sorry for not replying sooner. Have been meaning to sit down and do so, but never quite got round to it. The addition of the medication has been ok so far. I am only on half a tablet until tomorrow. Haven't had too much problems. At the moment all I have felt is a little tired the following morning/afternoon. One bonus is I feel a little more relaxed, there is anxiety there, but it doesn't feel so overwhelming.

I have had my moments where things hit me and I feel so hopeless. I just keep thinking that I don't know how anything will help with my thinking. A lot of my anxiety and fears are over things that I know we have little control over. I know that in reality nothing I do will stop some of them, but I still avoid so many things and restrict. I am  also pretty sure that I have other difficulties alongside the OCD that are making things difficult. I am just hoping that with the assessment things will be a bit clearer. There are things that I struggle with that I don't know why I do. I try explaining it to others, but can never fully get what I mean by it or what it feels like. I also struggle to admit it because I fear professionals won't see it correctly and make a judgement that is wrong. I have been told that when I go for the assessment I need to say everything, but not sure if I can. I tried when I saw my psychiatrist but I couldn't do it or explain properly. There is one thing that bothers me so much and has done for years. I hate myself for it and get frustrated doing it. 

Sorry probably doesn't make much sense. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

I am just hoping that with the assessment things will be a bit clearer.

I'm sure they will. I keep meaning to ask you when it is:doh:do you have long to wait? I know you're worrying what to say, would it help to jot it down and hand it over during the assessment?

That's something I did when I first saw a therapist and might make it a little easier for you to get over that first hurdle. Try not to worry too much though, mental health practitioners are usually savvy enough to see when someone's finding it difficult to voice their problems, I'm sure they'll go at a speed you're comfortable with.

9 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

but I still avoid so many things and restrict.

You're a lot further ahead than I was for a very long time. For most of my 20s I didn't have anywhere near that awareness with how much avoidance was making things so much worse. With the support that should come with the assessment (and here) you will gradually be able to face these challenges and live life w/o it being confined by the disorder.

I just wanted to also say that everything here is completely anonymous. If you ever feel it would help to go into more detail, we have a great community here giving good, solid and practical advice...absolutely no pressure though.

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Thanks for your help again, I appreciate your support.

The assessment is in just over two weeks. I think your suggestion about writing things down is helpful. I have considered this. My struggle is that I feel like even writing it down won't explain it properly. There are things that are easier to explain than others. Then there are some things I do that I don't even know clearly why I do it. I just get so confused over it all. I want to try and understand things a bit better because there are times I just carry out actions without evening thinking. I don't know if it is because it has been going on so long. Also I know I avoid a lot of things purely to not get anxious and be in situations I fear. Like one of my problems is that I eat/drink at set times. So when I have my assessment it is at a set time and will last up to 2 hours. I am going over how I am going to eat/drink around that time. So I won't drink whilst travelling for fear of needing the toilet/train getting stuck. I won't drink before the assessment. I won't drink after because of travelling home and having the same problem. When I leave I will probably have food with me (I can't wait until I get home), but feel I can't eat it until I have had a drink (bottle of water). I know this all sounds so ridiculous and I cannot work out what the problem is. So even getting to the assessment is worrying. This doesn't even take in to account of fear of travelling places and not being able to get home.

I guess the one thing I want to understand about my thoughts is confusing. The other things I can understand because the fear seems easy to understand. but this one not so much.

It is a combination of different things. I know the fear is that I am an attention seeker, that I am making things up, that there is nothing wrong. That my thoughts show me that I want bad things to happen. I get frustrated beyond belief that I cannot stop it from happening. I will try and explain. Since I was a kid I have struggled with having scenes play out in my mind. I will try and think of an example. So I could be walking down the street and start thinking of getting a call to say that my Dad has had a heart attack and died (it could be anything, he killed himself etc), then I go through my reaction and then me telling someone. The other night I had thoughts of walking in to my Mum's and finding her dead. Another one is I could think about having an appointment with my CPN and going over different themes where I start crying or have a panic attack, I may see myself leave the room etc. I go over thoughts of if I attempted suicide and someone would find me. I am not sure if that makes sense. The thing is nothing happens in any of these things (stories/images), there is no thoughts on what others say or do. It is just a constant process of things going over and over. Also I actually cannot stand having focus on me, I do anything in my power to not show emotion in front of others. I have been in appointments with my CPN where I have shut down. I hold back from reaching out because I fear this shows I want attention. I have had experience where if I speak out I go over if it is for attention or if I don't speak I am doing it for attention.

I also replay conversations that have happened over and over. So I will get it in my head and go over what was said. I also have conversations play over that haven't happened. An example could be a conversation with someone about me having these conversations in my head. Conversations about daily things that go on of no real importance. I have to say I have actually never had any of the conversations in real life. They drive me mad. I have at times tried to prevent it. So I listen to music a lot. If I am out I have music on, when I sleep I have the radio on. I if the TV is not on the radio goes on. It goes further where I question my actions around others. Like I have had appointments with my CPN where I have shut down where I could not look at her and talk. I spent time silent and staring at the floor. It was awful, but I now go over this and question whether I do it so she is worried. It has happened with people when I worked and when I have done volunteer work. It has been a problem since I was young. I hate myself for it. Sometimes I feel like not being around others is the best thing then I cannot go over situations/conversations or have thoughts about things happening.

My neighbour has recently had a baby and due to a situation I was concerned that there was a lot of stress. So the other day I got her a card/gift and just said to her that it was something for her to treat herself and have some alone time (she has other children). I did it because I wanted her to know that I was concerned and that I hoped she was ok. A few days after she knocked on my door and she gave me a small gift. She said she did it because I am a good neighbour and a really nice person (that really touched me). Then straight after I was like "did I get her a gift for show, to make it look like I care, so she would thank me and give me a gift", then I start thinking her baby is going to die.

I don't know if any of this has made sense. I just find it hard to explain it fully. All I know is that I have always hated myself as a person. I question who I am as a person. Am I selfish, do I do things for attention, do I care about anyone else, do I just make it look like I care so on. As a child I believed my parents separated because I had thoughts of it happening, I had scenes play out as a young kid. If I think about people dying I question whether I want people to die so I get attention. I cannot even spend time with my nieces or nephew without questioning whether I really care about them or are interested in them. Which is so hard because I have always been close with them. When I saw my nieces before Christmas I was trying to work out if I felt anything when I hugged them to determine whether I really care.

I just feel like my whole sense of a person is being questioned. Truth is I cannot cope with others suffering, I would struggle if these things really happened. I never really admit to how bad things are. Even now my mum has no idea about how bad things have been recently. What I did over a month ago could have actually ended up with me not being here. I spent weeks after feeling physically unwell and hid it from her, even though I met her every weekend. I haven't been able to tell her about the assessment (she asks all the time if I have heard). I actually hold back a lot.

I do lots of things with regards to contamination, counting, repeating phrases, not travelling places and lots more that do restrict me, but the above is what troubles me the most as a person and I question my worth.

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That's good you haven't got too long to wait. I'm not sure if you'll agree with me here, maybe focusing on your eating and drinking rituals before the assessment should be a priority? If I/we can help you with those it might take some of the pressure off.

On 31/12/2018 at 17:07, jamie2011 said:

 Like one of my problems is that I eat/drink at set times.  I am going over how I am going to eat/drink around that time. So I won't drink whilst travelling for fear of needing the toilet/train getting stuck. I won't drink before the assessment...When I leave I will probably have food with me (I can't wait until I get home), but feel I can't eat it until I have had a drink (bottle of water). I know this all sounds so ridiculous and I cannot work out what the problem is. So even getting to the assessment is worrying.

The thing is though, the problem really is the OCD rules you feel you must follow around eating at set times which don't need to be followed.

The goal's going to be getting back to eating when you want to rather than when you feel you must or should. How do you feel about working on this, would going against these rituals cause you to feel very anxious, or would it be something you might be able to gently tackle over the next few weeks? It may be too much at the moment for you or something you'd feel happier talking over with a professional, that's absolutely fine, we all need to go at our own speed...but the offer of support is there if you would like to take a tentative step.

Again, absolutely no pressure. 

With the concerns around drinking and using the loo. Is that down to a fear of being caught short or problems around using public loos because of fears around contamination? 

Sorry for the late reply, last night was a bit of a late one with the new year:wontlisten:

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Hi Hal, no need to apologise for when you were able to reply. I understand everyone has different things going on.

I have been trying to think of how I can manage the assessment day with regards to eating times/drinking times. Haven't come up with a solution yet. I have long forgotten what it is like to eat because I am hungry rather than because of what time it is. Earlier on in the year I did manage two days where I delayed eating lunch, but I just couldn't manage it much longer and went straight back to my usual times. So for example at the moment I have breakfast/bottle of water at 5:15am, tea at 8am, lunch at 8:50am, tea at 9:30am, snack at 10:45am, tea at 11:45am, bottle of water at 1:30pm, dinner at 2:15pm and tea at 5:30pm. When I did the two days where I held off I had lunch around 10:30am. If I have been out with others and it gets near my time of eating I feel like I have to rush to get home or if I go past my time I wont cook will only have a sandwich. If I have visited family I take food with me and eat it on the way there. I have had times when out with family and if I start getting anxious about eating as soon as possible I start to get annoyed and don't calm down until I have eaten. I know I have been avoiding being around others to stop getting annoyed around others.

I still cannot workout the whole reason why I do this, it has been like this for around 15 years. The times haven't always been the exact same, but the issue has been there.

I cannot even remember what it is like to just spend a day without trying to keep to these times. I know there is a part of me that is saying I will just have to not follow the times on the day of the assessment. That I just need to accept that I cannot eat/drink at set times for that day. I think one option right now is to try and change some of the times I eat leading up to the assessment. I just struggle to do it when the day comes. 

The worry about the toilet is that I worry about needing the toilet and not being able to find one. Again this problem has been there a long time, around 22 years now. I am much better now than at some points in the past, but it is still restrictive. Before travelling I have to check train times there and back, so I don't have to wait too long for the journey. Again I have stopped being around others when travelling because I get really angry when the anxiety goes up. I don't want to get in to arguments because of my anxiety. I have pulled out of things because of the worry of needing the toilet and worrying about travelling.

Last night I got a little overwhelmed with the worry about the assessment. I know I need help, but I am so scared about what I may have to do to get better. I know I have no life right now and haven't for a while, but I am so petrified. Sometimes I wish I could even just wake up in the morning without the need to do this at a set time to eat at a set time. I often wonder what it would be like to wake up when I am ready to and just be relaxed.

I am trying to be positive, but I am scared that my fear of facing things will push me too far.

 

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8 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

I still cannot workout the whole reason why I do this, it has been like this for around 15 years. The times haven't always been the exact same, but the issue has been there....

.....I know there is a part of me that is saying I will just have to not follow the times on the day of the assessment.

That I just need to accept that I cannot eat/drink at set times for that day. I think one option right now is to try and change some of the times I eat leading up to the assessment. I just struggle to do it when the day comes. 

I wouldn't worry too much about pinning down the reason these specific rituals began. It may be tied-in with worries around drinking and trying to gauge when you might need the loo, sometimes it's impossible to really pinpoint why they began, other than problems with anxiety and developing OCD. I remember being about six or seven and suddenly feeling I had to repeatedly switch the lights in our dining room on and off 10 times each evening...looking back our neighbours must have thought we had a poltergeist! But I have no idea now what I feared would or wouldn't happen if I didn't perform the compulsion.

All that really matters is what we do in the present, and that always means refusing to carry out any compulsions in spite of the anxiety. 

Working on changing the time you eat (the compulsion) would definitely be a step in the direction you want to be heading in, but the long term goal to work towards needs to be jettisoning all the rules around when you should eat.

One day at a time though. If you could change the times you eat in preparation for the assessment that's something you can definitely continue to build-on over the next few months. You were able to kick the OCD's butt last year when you changed to eating lunch at 10.30 for two days, that's something to really own and be proud of. Could you pick-up where you left-off last year and try to push beyond the two days? 

8 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

Sometimes I wish I could even just wake up in the morning without the need to do this at a set time to eat at a set time. I often wonder what it would be like to wake up when I am ready to and just be relaxed.

I think you should hold onto and remember that thought when you're holding-off doing the compulsion and maybe having a wobble over whether to stick with experiencing the anxiety.

Imagine how great you're going to feel being able to face each day on your terms rather than the OCD's...you can make that a reality:)

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I think your suggestions make a lot of sense and can be worked towards. I have been thinking about them today.

Well today has been positive. Last night I didn't set an alarm, hoping I would possibly wake up a bit later. I knew waking up later would cause anxiety, but just tried to go with it. Turns I was awake the time I normally get up. I decided to try and hold out for a bit, so stayed in bed for about 15 mins longer before having breakfast. Then instead of eating lunch at my normal time I went to the café for a tea, did a bit of shopping before coming home to eat at 10:30am. I was then going to have my next tea, but tried to ask myself if I felt like I needed out of thirst or because of my set times. I decided to go to my Mum's. I didn't tell her about my change of routine, just spent an hour or so talking before she had to go out. I haven't had dinner yet, so just holding out a little longer.

I am pleased my anxiety hasn't been too bad, but I do expect this to be a challenge. I don't think this is something that will change very easily. I know how easy I go back in to it when I feel the anxiety. I have felt tired all day and have had a bad headache. I know it sounds weird, but I think my body reacts physically to the change of routine. My body is so used to these set times. I have also found that my emotions seem to be all over the place. Since I have been reaching out and connecting with others I have felt so emotional. This past week I feel like I have felt emotions that have been shut off for a very long time. I don't know how to deal with it. I have always shut down my emotions and very rarely let things out or even let feelings in. Now it feels like I am in touch with so much. I feel like I need to let things out, mainly I feel like I need to cry, but I just find it so hard to. It feels so strange.

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I really need some feedback if anyone has it or can relate. Maybe even ways to manage. I have noticed of late that I have started to obsess about people dying. Lately it has been my mum or my neighbours baby. I keep thinking something is going to happen and things are going to be taken away. Today things have got a bit more stressful. I just cannot understand why this happens. So I was due to see my CPN today and she had to cancel because she was ill. I have no problem with that. But now I am wondering what the problem is, has she come down with something or is it something more serious. Maybe she isn't ill and someone in her family has died. Then I was reading a new story about someone being murdered and I am thinking it could be someone related to her. I haven't struggled with this for a long time. I do often worry about bad things happening, but this is harder to deal with. I keep thinking that me just thinking these things can make it happen.

Part of me is starting to think I cannot see her anymore, so I don't have to worry about anything happening. I hate this. I hate myself for getting so worried about bad things happening. I had started to feel a little more positive. Have done two days of changed routine and felt a little hopeful, but now I just feel like I cannot deal with it.

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On 03/01/2019 at 15:49, jamie2011 said:

Well today has been positive.

You managed to resist not one but four compulsions, I'd say that's definitely a good day. Did you notice a momentum once you'd made a firm decision to hold-off with the first compulsion around getting up at your regular set time? 

On 03/01/2019 at 15:49, jamie2011 said:

I am pleased my anxiety hasn't been too bad, but I do expect this to be a challenge. I don't think this is something that will change very easily. I know how easy I go back in to it when I feel the anxiety.

I agree with you there. This will be a challenge. There are going to be days like yesterday that go better than you expected they would, and others where it might be harder to resist falling back with the compulsions. From my own experience I'd say that's pretty normal....especially when we've been carrying them out for quite some time. It always comes back to picking ourselves up again after a not so good day, and continuing the next to work on it again. Remind yourself too if the 'I can't do this' thoughts try to knock you off course that you've already proven last year and yesterday you can weather the urge and anxiety. 

On 03/01/2019 at 15:49, jamie2011 said:

Since I have been reaching out and connecting with others I have felt so emotional. This past week I feel like I have felt emotions that have been shut off for a very long time. I don't know how to deal with it. I have always shut down my emotions and very rarely let things out or even let feelings in. Now it feels like I am in touch with so much. I feel like I need to let things out, mainly I feel like I need to cry, but I just find it so hard to. It feels so strange.

It sounds like your CPN and psychiatrist are really helping you at a meaningful level. A level that will ultimately help you so much in the long run. I can imagine it might feel a bit strange and overwhelming, it's bound to if you haven't felt these feelings for a long time, but it's a good sign. 

Maybe it would help to go with the flow...accept however you feel is how you feel in the moment and allow them to be there. Maybe treat them with a 'this is new and interesting,' frame of mind?

7 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

Part of me is starting to think I cannot see her anymore, so I don't have to worry about anything happening. I hate this. I hate myself for getting so worried about bad things happening. I had started to feel a little more positive. Have done two days of changed routine and felt a little hopeful, but now I just feel like I cannot deal with it.

Not seeing your therapist again isn't the right way to deal with these intrusive thoughts around death. It's definitely the OCD solution....to avoid in the hope the worry/thought will go away -  but it won't, it will stick around more. You're doing what so many of us fall into the trap of doing and putting 2 + 2 together and coming up with 5 for why she had to cancel and adding a measure of magical thinking into the mix that thinking something has the power to make it happen - it really can't.

Try to be prepared for these moments and don't get down on yourself. What you're working at is difficult and hard work, it will take time, but you can stay the course.

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I totally second Hal’s comments as avoidance is just another compulsion masked as a fix that doesn’t tackle your anxiety. Try and be strong and see it through. 

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