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jamie2011

In need of help

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Thanks for the replies.

Hal - Yes I think there is a kind of momentum that follows from starting the day differently. There are moments where I feel like I would slip back, but I am trying to see what it feels like to be less obsessed about what time it is and whether I should be eating/drinking. Last night I was feeling pretty bad, but tried to still go to bed a little later than normal. Then this morning I woke up over an hour later than usual. It actually felt nice. Taking away the idea of set times seems to make me feel more relaxed. However I can see the problem of my thinking. I have a friend who doesn't live in the UK and they are over for a short while. We have arranged to meet today for lunch. Part of me is wanting to pull out, due to the time we are meeting, worrying about eating in front of them and eating certain food. I don't know if I can do it or not. Just trying to go with the flow.

The problem with the thought of bad things happening just gets to me so much. I really do wonder if it isn't actually a problem with OCD. I cannot explain it properly. I just so wish I knew what was going on. I really do hate myself for my thoughts.

I mentioned some of it in a previous post about going through conversations/scenes. That is part of the problem. It goes back a long time. Since a young age I have got attached to others. I will have these conversations/scenes go over. I worry about them leaving/dying or their family dying. I just cannot stop the thoughts. Every time it happens I hate myself a bit more and question why I am doing this/thinking this. Over the years there have been so many people this has happened with. Every time I am in the particular persons company I question what I say or what I do. For example "am I do this for attention". It has happened at school, at sports clubs, college, volunteer work, employment, with professionals etc. I find it hard to be around others because of this happening. I can't cope with it. Last night I was just thinking I don't deserve the help. Why can't I just be around others without constantly thinking about them, thinking up conversations/scenes. I have had enough of it. I just keep coming to the conclusion that it must mean that I want attention, that I want people to feel sorry for me so on. That is all I can think of. I just cannot make sense of it. I just feel like a horrible person for this.

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How did you get on, did you feel able to go for lunch? Rome wasn't built in a day, it's going to take time getting back into a regular way of doing things rather than the OCD's.

On 05/01/2019 at 07:20, jamie2011 said:

Then this morning I woke up I will have these conversations/scenes go over. I worry about them leaving/dying or their family dying. I just cannot stop the thoughts. Every time it happens I hate myself a bit more and question why I am doing this/thinking this.

Try letting the thoughts/images be there. It's the need you're feeling to be rid of them by using compulsions that keeps you locked in the loop. Maybe imagine yourself on the side of a road watching cars (thoughts) travelling past.

Some will be bright shiny Mercedes, BMW's(nice thoughts) others will be rusty old gas guzzlers like Del Boys three wheeler (not so nice thoughts)... just let both pass by, you don't have to flag the dodgy car/intrusive thought down and inspect or question what it means.

In other words a thought is just a thought. The mistake we make is thinking because we think something it must automatically be important or say something about us...it doesn't, so please don't hate yourself for having a normal mind generating all sorts of weird, wonderful and not so nice thoughts.

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Just wanted to say I feel your hopelessness in the original post, I've been there a lot. It's an illusion that there is no hope, as long as we're alive there is hope. And a lot more than we realise. Our medical model is generally focused on pathologizing everything, telling us we're ill, need to be medicated etc etc. In my experience, I've never felt less empowered than when dealing with most (not all) professionals in the area of mental health. It's no wonder you've felt like there's not much hope for significant improvement, we have an entire system that diagnoses, labels, makes everything an illness rather than an opportunity for change or growth, and medicates to numb symptoms. I've seen personally as well as read many stories on other support sites of people who have recovered completely from very serious disorders, including bipolar and schizophrenia, without drugs and more fully than any doctor or psychiatrist ever predicted. I was in hospital a few years ago with a woman who was considered one of the most clinically depressed people in there. I think it was almost psychotic depression, she attempted suicide while I was in there and was sectioned several times. She was told she would be heavily medicated and ill for life. She weaned herself off meds, was told she'd be back in there or dead within a year. Abandoned the doctors and went through hell for 18 months of severe withdrawal, found a unique therapist who got to the root of her issues, and has been meds and depression free for several years now. I spoke to her a while ago and it was heartwarming, she is happier than ever, is working, in a relationship and caring for her daughter. Never believe you are beyond help.

There's no doubt you're suffering, and this guilt comes from a sense of feeling you should be somewhere other than where you are. You deserve support and kindness. Don't give up, but also go easy on yourself. Wishing you all the best

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Thanks for the replies.

Hal - Well I managed to meet with my friend. I was tempted to pull out, but this time last year I had done that when they were visiting then. I didn't want to do the same. It was really nice to catch up. One thing that was nice was that whilst we were out I wasn't worrying about getting home at a certain time. So there was no build up of anxiety. The only thing that I struggled with was when I got home I felt sick. So for a while I was highly anxious, worrying was it what I had eaten, but then eventually felt it was more the case of the change in eating/drinking at different times. In all it went well. 

I have still maintained the change of routine since, but it seems I am struggling more with other things. Last night I felt my mood dip. I am worried about the assessment. I keep going over and questioning my difficulties and if they are valid. That I will be assessed and they will find that there isn't a issue. I have been going over things I have said and done in the past questioning why I said/did what I did. It is mostly questioning whether I have been making everything up for attention, that I want to be seen as unwell. I am questioning my feelings towards people around me. So my nan died when I was young and I think this was a major event that has impacted on my fear of death, due to things I saw at the time. Over the years I have often discussed this and spoken about how much she meant to me. Now I am like maybe it isn't true, maybe it is just a lie. Maybe I have just made the whole experience to be something that it isn't.

There have been more thoughts/conversations around others in my mind that just make me feel again that everything I do it for attention. So an example is I will think my CPN might text me to arrange a new appointment, I then think that I will leave it a while before responding, then my thought is that this will make her think something is wrong. Hence me then coming to the conclusion because I am thinking this I must want for her to be concerned. These are the type of things I have going on in my head. I know if she did text I wouldn't ignore it for long, but that doesn't seem enough. These thoughts are driving me crazy. Last night I was just thinking that I don't deserve to be alive if this is who I am. Then with that I am thinking am I saying that so that people are still concerned. 

I just seem to be questioning everything about me as a person. I just don't know what to do at the moment. I am so worried about the assessment a great deal, worried that I won't be able to share the detail of these thoughts/conversations in my head because I am so ashamed of them. I desperately want to understand it, because I have never actually been able to talk about them in detail. Over the years I have always wanted to let them go and be open, but I have never been able to. I am so scared that I am going to be told that it isn't a problem with anxiety and that I just want to be cared for. Then this will confirm my fears. 

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On 07/01/2019 at 07:20, jamie2011 said:

Well I managed to meet with my friend....all in all it went well. 

I have still maintained the change of routine since.

I take my hat off to you for what you're accomplishing:)You're now decIding what you want to do and when, I hope you feel a sense of achievement? You really should do.

On 07/01/2019 at 07:20, jamie2011 said:

I have been going over things I have said and done in the past questioning why I said/did what I did. It is mostly questioning whether I have been making everything up for attention, that I want to be seen as unwell....These thoughts are driving me crazy. 

Reviewing your conversations, questioning them, doubt over your intentions...all combining to make you feel crazy, what does that remind you of? To me, it sounds very much like OCD up to its usual nasty tricks perhaps?

Try to leave these questions and doubts unanswered...getting caught up in them will only make you feel more anxious about your assessment.

The thoughts you're experiencing are nothing to feel ashamed about, please...you must understand that. 

When you start chatting with the person carrying out the assessment you can say you struggle opening up and feel ashamed by some of the thoughts...try to let them gradually guide you.

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I do feel good about the change in routine around eating. It has made a big difference to my day in terms of spreading everything out. I have noticed I am now finding I am eating better. For a long time I could not find it in me to decide what to eat because I had no fancy for anything. At times just making a sandwich for dinner. I am still feeling sick a lot, but have realised it has been there since the start of the added medication. So more than likely just take some getting used to. Spreading it out also means I am getting up later, spending less time in bed doing nothing and going to bed later. I also don't feel so controlled by what time it is. I know the anxiety is still there, I don't set a time to eat, but it is still roughly around the same times if I am not doing anything that day. I am also still having to drink a set amount each day. So I know I need to work on this.

I feel a little all over the place right now. I cannot work out how I feel about everything. I am having moments where I feel more positive and start thinking that things might actually change so much that I can start enjoying life. I have made a few choices in the past week to try and be more proactive. I have agreed to meet a support worker who will try and help me get my heating sorted. I haven't had heating for 7 years and have just endured the cold every winter. My psychiatrist and CPN suggested the support worker can help me with my landlords. I declined the offer towards the end of last year. My psychiatrist also tried to refer me for treatment on an injury that hasn't healed after 5 years, so that I can hopefully try and get back in to some exercise. Again I pulled away from doing it. However today I saw the GP who has now booked me in for an appointment with a sports clinic to see what they can do. This has been very hard to do. I have spent so long ignoring my needs because of anxiety or feeling I don't deserve things. I don't always take care of myself and feel like if I go back to when I was younger, I feel I have lost so much of myself. So for once I am trying to do things that will hopefully improve my life.

Then comes the anxiety. It just seems to hit me so easily. I get anxious over so many things. Some things that I are just normal everyday things for any adult living life. I get triggered all the time. I am still finding myself getting caught in moments where I think the fear of being alive is too much and that I will never function as one would want to. It is when it hits me I just consider my options and do wonder if suicide would put an end to it. I feel like a failure for not being as independent as I would like. To earn my own money through employment, to not rely on benefits. That is a big one for me. One of my siblings has had it pretty tough trying to raise a family and survive. They have worked a night shift, come home and then gone straight to another job, without any proper sleep. Have had to walk miles to jobs just to survive. When I know they are doing that, they are doing the best they can, whilst I am not working and getting help via benefits. It is just something I always struggle to accept.

Today I have really tried to think about the things I would like to do. You know if I wasn't anxious or fearful, what would I be doing. If I could take anything away, what would it be.

I guess I am also trying not to worry about the assessment. If I think about it too much it just overwhelms me and again leads me to think about suicide. I know it may sound weird, but it is almost the fear of not being offered treatment or being offered treatment and me failing to get better or offered treatment, but it wont be funded. 

I think right now I am just trying to do my best to maintain the progress I have made in the past week.

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I'm just glad you're taking some steps to looking after yourself more and meeting up with your support worker. I hate the idea of anyone going through winter without heating, I dont know how you managed it for so long I really don't think I could have done. It's incredibly sad you've been holding so little value in yourself that you didn't feel you deserved even the bare basics like warmth...you absolutely do deserve to live comfortably, and much much more out of life. When your injury's healed, what kind of sports are you looking forward to getting back into? Each year I make a New Year's resolution to get back to running long distance, do I actually do it? :no: I need to take a leaf from your book and be more proactive.

7 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

I feel like a failure for not being as independent as I would like.

Ahem:wontlisten:No one living with anxiety and everything OCD throws at them is a failure, full stop....you mustn't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people. Your life is your life and you're doing all you can to improve it by facing down the compulsions, eating well and building a better living environment for yourself. With that willpower I'm sure everything will come together for you.

For the moment you need some extra support, but that's not to say you won't be able to be more independent in time with the right help. You need to be much kinder to yourself and give yourself a break...I'm sure you wouldn't be as hard on someone else as you are on yourself.

With time I really hope you'll begin to value yourself much more, and appreciate the strength it's taken to live how you have. You have a great future ahead of you full with whatever you want to do.

It's important when you begin to notice yourself thinking more about suicide to acknowledge the thoughts, but it's also important to always remember it's never the solution.

Whatever the challenge you're coping with is, you can get through it...but you must always ask for help from your CPN or doctor to give you some extra support until the thoughts subside, because I promise you they will. What's the saying 'suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.' However bad things feel there is always a way through it, always.

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Thank you for your response. I guess I find that I can get overwhelmed quite quickly. I can start to feel a little positive and then things just hit me. It has been difficult without having heat, but I think I am used to it now. It was only a few days ago when I was stood in my kitchen thinking that there may come a time where I will want to have a warm flat, that I don't have to resort to getting under the duvet. Because every winter that is what I do. I saw the support worker today, they were really helpful and we tried to think of activities I can try and get involved in. Not straight forward because everything sets of anxiety. Being involved in sport is a major part of my life, but has been restricted for many years. We were trying to think of activities that are free/low cost, We touched on volunteer work, but again this felt a little too much. Then spoke about possible applying for PIP (I was turned down a while ago, got 0 points). I have looked at what they wrote when they felt I shouldn't be awarded and don't think I will apply again. The support worker explained that if I was awarded it, this may help in getting involved in more activities. I have just sat down and had a look at my incomings/outgoings and didn't realise how little I am left with each month. Which has made me think about my heating. Even if it was fixed, I probably would worry about the cost of using it. 

Things just seem to have hit me a bit now. Earlier I felt relieved to be having this support from everyone. Now I just don't know. All I want is to be living life. Not just existing. This just feels like one long battle that has been going on for way too long.

Before I forget I cannot speak highly enough of running (long distance). I really do hope you can get back in to it. From personal experience when I have done running on a regular basis it has always made me feel great. I always say when I trained for my marathon that is the best I have felt in many years. When I look back I am surprised at what I did. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that. I don't know what your schedule is like, but hopefully at some point you can get a run in and then work from there.

I know deep down suicide is not the solution, but I find it difficult to imagine a different existence for myself. I have almost no confidence in my ability to work/be employed, constantly worried, constantly anxious. 

I think right now I just have to focus on going to the assessment and see what they say. I cannot do much else until then. 

 

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I am sorry to be posting again. I have been really worried about the assessment coming up and my thoughts have gone a little crazy. Last night they overwhelmed me and I just couldn't relax. I was literally thinking about the nature of my thoughts and that if this genuinely isn't intrusive thoughts then I don't deserve any help. I really am starting to question myself as a person and who I am. I am so confused right now. I want to understand my need to think the thoughts I have. I cannot help, but think I have more control over them. I have been going over the length of time certain thoughts have been going on. 

I cannot help, but think I am one messed up person. I have had so many different diagnosis over the years and now I worry that I will look like a complete idiot at the assessment. That what I think is OCD isn't OCD. I have mentioned the thoughts before in a previous post. The ones that I have had from under the age of 11. They destroy any sense of belief in myself as a good person. 

I really need to speak to a professional about this, because in over 12 years of therapy I have never fully expressed it. I hate carrying it round with me. My last therapist I got close to it and wish I had been able to say more before it ended. I know it isn't likely to be OCD related, but how does one stop getting attached to others. I understand why it happens and possible reasons, but it doesn't stop it. Then when that happens I question everything about myself, instead of thinking it happens to fulfil a need I had as a child, I think I am just an attention seeker. That I make everything out to be worse than it is. I am going over things I have said since a child and whether it is all a lie. I have one big achievement in my life and right now I wonder if that only happened because of being attached to specific person. Like I didn't deserve it. That all my hard work in getting there wasn't because of my love for the said activity, it was just for someone else. 

How does one begin to speak about these things. I don't enjoy the thoughts at all. When I get moments that I am not thinking about others it feels so nice. I feel free. However they soon return. I don't know anymore. Just freaking out about it all. I just want to be able to speak about it and move on to a place where this doesn't happen or it doesn't torture me.

I just feel like I need some real help and that I am too messed up for CBT. That I need some other help.

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On 10/01/2019 at 17:20, jamie2011 said:

I think right now I just have to focus on going to the assessment and see what they say. I cannot do much else until then. 

Maybe afterwards it might be worth reconsidering applying for PIP again. I'm not up to speed enough with the benefits system to be much help advising you on that...maybe your support worker or psychiatrist would be able to support your claim if you did try going for it again. Heating isn't a luxury, I really hope your support worker can help you get it fixed and access the benefits you're entitled to to help pay for it.

Traininng for the marathon, that really does take dedication! Once your injury heals it sounds like that might be something you'd like to take up again? 

I will try to reply properly in a couple of days when this lousy cold has shifted, but will you let us know how the assessment goes this week?

Good luck though if we don't chat before the day, just be honest and remember they're there to support and help you:)

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Hi Hal,

Apologies for not replying sooner. I hope you are feeling much better after your cold.

I really don't know how I feel right now. Tomorrow is the assessment and I am feeling a little stressed. My head is all over the place. I have realised that I have spent a lot of time recently trying to work out what I am struggling with. My fear being it isn't OCD as already mentioned. I can now see that my researching over and over is trying to find an answer to make me feel better, but it hasn't actually happened. I have also realised that by doing all this research it has taken distracted me from my obsessive thoughts about conversations/imagining scenes with my CPN/Psychiatrist and others. It seems my mind has focused totally on the assessment. My fears about being told there isn't anything really wrong, that they can't help. Then I am scared about the possibility of treatment. I cannot win.

I am a bit worried now. I am scared of slipping back to that place I was two weeks and more ago. It has been a relief to not be feeling the desperation I had. I feel like I have been distracted and that after the assessment everything will come right back in. I am scared to hear that my thoughts are not anxiety based. I just cannot deal with the thought of being an attention seeker. That I want to be ill. It has been a nightmare filling in the questionnaires for the assessment. Questioning if my answers are to make things look worse, that the questions don't really relate to my struggles. I just feel like the questionnaires cannot explain my situation. That the questions will not make things clear. I wish I didn't need to fill them in. 

I am also concerned because I have seen that the criteria for treatment states that recent/current suicidal thoughts would exclude for treatment. I don't know if they are aware of what I did recently. That even after that event there was a high risk. I am still on weekly prescriptions. Since the new medication I have been better and haven't seriously felt like I would do anything. However how do I explain to them that my anxiety/obsessive thoughts lead me to feel suicidal. So for example I fear dying, yet when it overwhelms me it makes me feel suicidal. My fear of being sick also at times makes me think of suicide rather than be sick. I just don't know how I will be helped. There is a chance I will be excluded from treatment because of recent events. How can I face treatment if it is offered, when my fears make me feel suicidal. Although the last two weeks I have had no plans to do anything. 

I just don't know. I think fear and anxiety has set in. I am scared of what is to come.

 

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Hi Jamie,

This time tomorrow the assessment will be all over and done with, try if you can for this evening to adopt a what will be will be attitude and if you can try to relax. Tying yourself up with all these 'what ifs' really won't help...as we've spoken about before, your part of the deal tomorrow is to be honest, that's ultimately what will allow the person carrying out the assessment to honour their side and help you in the long run.

I know questionnaire's are a pain, they are important though, and I'm sure you'll also have a chance to 'flesh' out how you feel and be able to give a clear picture just how much the OCD's affecting you and how desperate it can make you feel. 

Try to take it one day at a time, get tomorrow over with and go from there. I really don't think you'll go back to how you felt a couple of wks ago, for the simple reason you have that insight to see it could happen. With that, you stand every chance of heading it off at the pass so to speak by focusing on something new and continuing to build on how much you've achieved recently.

I really don't think you"ll need it, I"m sure you'll be fine, but Good luck:clover:

Remember, they only have your welfare at heart and want to help you.

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Hi Hal, thank you for that last message. I am so grateful for the support you have given me these last few weeks. 

So yes now the assessment has been done. I was so exhausted afterwards and just couldn't think straight. I was able to use the assessment to talk about everything. I was honest about what I struggle with. We spoke about all the different treatments I have had, what my circumstances are now (daily life) and we spoke a lot about my history.

Emotionally it was tough. I had to express to the professional that I don't show my anxiety or struggles outwardly, so most people wouldn't realise anything is wrong. I spoke about my emotions and that I don't really express much. That I have a wall that goes up without any thought going in to it. They told me that during the assessment they could see it happening at different points. I was honest about the recent suicide attempt and how it is something that comes up often. 

It was tough listening to the feedback. The person doing the assessment expressed that they weren't surprised with how things are now because of my experiences going from childhood up until recently. That basically my body is always on high alert for danger. We discussed that it seems growing up it was too difficult to see that others were dangerous, so I turned it on myself and felt I was to blame for everything. That it was my fault for what happened and for myself now. I guess it was very hard to have my feelings validated and everything to be seen. That I mattered.

So by the end I was told that the difficulties are in OCD, GAD and complex-ptsd. That the hope would be to use CBT to treat the OCD, but there would also need to be some work on tapping in to my emotions. They said that tapping in to the emotions will help with the CBT to work. They are looking at specialist treatment, but I will have to wait to hear back and that funding may need to be done through NHS England. I don't really understand the funding situation or what the treatment will entail. I guess I will just have to wait.

The worst thing is even now I am still doubting everything. I was told yesterday that it is definitely OCD and that is part of the condition to doubt even if it is true. Thinking maybe they got it wrong and I don't need specialist help. Going over everything I said to them in the assessment. Maybe it will settle down, I don't know. I just think it will take a while to sink in. I try not to think about certain things and yesterday I didn't hold back with them. Talking so openly just got me in touch with things that have really caused a lot of hurt, that I carry around. So it is just quite overwhelming in that sense.

I am glad it is done now, just don't want to spend my time obsessing over everything I said and thinking I have made things out to be worse than they are.

 

 

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It's completely understandable to be feeling overwhelmed. You've bottled so much up for so long by the sounds of it that it will take time for it all to sink in.It's just so great you felt able to speak openly...I know how difficult that must have been but now your team can really work out they can best help you. 

On 17/01/2019 at 07:39, jamie2011 said:

The worst thing is even now I am still doubting everything.

It's not easy but try to refuse point blank to get drawn into going over it all, just let the doubts float around and things will gradually settle back down. You now have an official diagnosis for OCD, GAD and PTSD from a professional, that's the truth. 

On 17/01/2019 at 07:39, jamie2011 said:

I am so grateful for the support you have given me these last few weeks. 

No problem at all:) you did the hard work with reducing the compulsions leading up to the appointment, and had the courage to be more open during the assessment. Can you take it easy and unwind over the weekend? 

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Yes I do hold a lot in and on the surface always present as though there are no problems at all. There have been so many feelings going round and am just trying to deal with them as best as possible. I spoke with my CPN and she tried to help see that at the moment the change in emotions is just triggering me (even good emotions). That it is setting off fear, which is my normal response. That I am not in danger now, but my body thinks it still is. So I am trying to hold on to that. I guess I am just so scared at times. Where I just go off to a place where my thinking isn't healthy.

I can see how I just need to let the thoughts be there and accept that they are just thoughts.

Thanks I know I made the changes, but your support helped give me the courage to take the risk and test it out. I don't think I would have also been able to be as honest in the assessment without your wise words.

I have some plans for the weekend. Not sure if it is taking it easy. I am undecided about opening up to one of parents about what happened at the end of last year and how bad things have been. Part of me feels it is time to be more open, because it may help in the future if things get bad. My only worry is that this will devastate them and they will worry. I have spoken with my CPN about being more open in important relationships and that the more I hide stuff, the more worried people will be. If they know what is going on (even if bad) it is easier to manage. So I am trying to work that out right.

I hope you have some nice plans for the weekend? 

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On 19/01/2019 at 07:17, jamie2011 said:

I am undecided about opening up to one of parents about what happened at the end of last year and how bad things have been.

It's always tricky knowing how much to say to parents and family. Years ago my sister had a car accident we decided not to say anything about for fear of worrying our parents. I can't remember who now, but someone let the cat out of the bag at some point and my mother was pretty hurt we hadn't told her. It was done with the best of intentions but I guess when it comes to parents honesty is probably the best policy.

Maybe you could begin by saying how much you were struggling before Christmas and guage their reaction before saying anything about how deserate you felt. The thing is though you don't have to say everything in one go if you don't want to. Maybe you can 'frame' it that you're in a better place now after the assessment and on the road with the right treatment...that will go a long way to ease some of their worry knowing you have good support in place from your team.

On 19/01/2019 at 07:17, jamie2011 said:

Thanks I know I made the changes, but your support helped give me the courage to take the risk and test it out. I don't think I would have also been able to be as honest in the assessment without your wise words.

That's very kind of you to say, you must own what you've achieved though:)

On 19/01/2019 at 07:17, jamie2011 said:

I hope you have some nice plans for the weekend? 

I've just been taking it easy really, loads of stuff I should probably be doing but it can wait...most of it in the garden and it's way too:cold:

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Thanks for sharing the example of the incident with your sister. I can also see why you all felt you were keeping it quiet to save any worry from your parents. I wasn't able to talk about it in the end. I thought of possibly emailing my sibling to test it out with them and see what they think would work best, but again backed out of doing that too. I guess there is some weird thinking behind it. Basically when I feel bad and am really struggling I do my best to hide it and pretend everything is fine. I find it hard to show the true depths of where I go. I am worried that if I share, but then find myself in the same place in the future I won't be able to hide it. I don't want anyone worrying if I haven't replied to a text or not answered a call. It has taken many years to get to this point where I feel like there is some level of trust. What happened in November isn't the first time it has happened. I struggle knowing about one particular time where I collapsed in front of one of my parents. From that time on they were very anxious about knowing where and what I was doing. Gradually as time has gone on it has eased. I am scared if I share what happened recently it will bring certain emotions/fears to the surface. Not just mine,  but their too. We never talk about all the previous times, but I know they wont have forgotten it, I surely haven't. I think for now I will just leave it be and see how things go.

Yes it is way too cold to be out in the garden, when it is like this you need to be in the warm where you can relax and take it easy.

Today has been a very strange one for me. I am not sure how to quite explain it, but my mind has felt free. I have not had any thoughts that raise anxiety, I have not been going over different scenes, repeating conversations, nothing. I have just gone about my day in a very relaxed way. It felt so strange to experience that. I would happily like to experience more like that.

I guess it helps with that change of daily routine. I have also started reading a lot more now, forgot how much I enjoyed it. I was always reading, but over the years it wasn't always there. I also did something different yesterday. I bought myself a dvd of a stand up comedian. I never put on dvds due to lack of concentration and having to be in bed at a certain time. Last night I put it on and watched the whole show, plus it made me laugh out loud a few times, which was a bonus. It made such a difference than watching the exact same thing on tv all the time.

Also had a nice conversation with my neighbour, I normally avoid this due to anxiety. We spoke for about 20 mins and I even got to see her baby, who has just started to smile. That made my day. It makes such a difference being connected with people. I have spent so long avoiding others.

Looking over things recently I know I avoid a great deal. I know I do this because I know certain situations/people trigger certain thoughts. After seeing my neighbour and the baby I started thinking the baby was going to die. I know the best thing to do is face up to it and not avoid. 

Can I ask a strange question, well it might not be strange. Since my mood has improved and I have made these small changes I have noticed that I feel less motivated to spend time with certain people I usually would. So I have two friends that I have known for quite a while. As of late I feel like there is some kind of change. I don't know how to explain it. So for example, one friend who I meet is kind of in a similar position (no employment/unwell due to mental health). We were due to meet and I cancelled. I know what the conversation would have been, what would have been asked, same old same old. I also knew that I would have been asked how the assessment went. In general I felt I didn't want to do this anymore. I feel awful about it, but it is almost like I am viewing that the friendship wasn't the healthiest. There is also a part of me that doesn't want to talk about my mental health anymore. I don't mean to completely ignore it and hide from it. More that I am done talking about my past, my experiences in life up until now etc. I have realised that all of that is just painful and I don't want to focus on it anymore. I guess I am asking if anyone has experienced that when they feel a bit better that their relationship with others change? That the relationship is viewed differently.

I guess I am just feeling a little bit of guilt about the feeling of not wanting to see my friends at the moment. That perhaps I am starting to think about the future a bit more and what I would like to do. I have had moments where I have thought about a few things. Like maybe having the opportunity to watch my nephew play football and even play some with him. Right now I don't think it is possible, but I would like to do it. I am trying to hold on to those things because they mean something to me and hopefully if I get the treatment I can get to a place where I can do these things.

Sorry for the length of this and for talking so much. I am trying to get my head around things. The built up emotion that I need to release, the realising that perhaps I am not the awful person I think I am, that there may come a time where I can function in a way that is good enough for me. 

 

 

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On 20/01/2019 at 17:16, jamie2011 said:

I think for now I will just leave it be and see how things go.

You're right to go with your gut feeling, and there's plenty of time anyway to talk it through with your family, maybe in a couple of wks maybe in a couple of years, you'll know when you feel the time's right. 

On 20/01/2019 at 17:16, jamie2011 said:

I have just gone about my day in a very relaxed way. It felt so strange to experience that. I would happily like to experience more like that.....I guess it helps with that change of daily routine. 

That's absolutely brilliant! Because you're making so many changes in your life I'm sure you'll have more days like that. Sometimes, and I've been guilty of this...it's easy to fall into the trap of focusing too much on therapy to the point that sometimes it can become too all consuming. Don't get me wrong it's important and vital for recovery, but mixing things up with other activities is just as important imo.

On 20/01/2019 at 17:16, jamie2011 said:

I have spent so long avoiding others.

Looking over things recently I know I avoid a great deal. 

I think as I've said before it took me a long time to really recognise and accept how much my avoidance of situations that made me anxious made matters so much worse. If I'd had that insight in my 20s and gone against the anxiety the OCD wouldn't have become as severe as it did. 

If you bump into your neighbour again will you make a point to talk again? It's really important you do. The thoughts might crop up again afterwards but you know they're not worth the time of day and will fizzle away so long as you don't engage with them or use any compulsions.

On 20/01/2019 at 17:16, jamie2011 said:

Since my mood has improved and I have made these small changes I have noticed that I feel less motivated to spend time with certain people I usually would.......As of late I feel like there is some kind of change.... I know what the conversation would have been, what would have been asked, same old same old..... In general I felt I didn't want to do this anymore. I feel awful about it, but it is almost like I am viewing that the friendship wasn't the healthiest....I have realised that all of that is just painful and I don't want to focus on it anymore. 

Sounds completely understandable to me. If a connection with someone's mainly based around only one aspect like health it can become unhealthy.

Maybe the best way forward with your friend would be to try and steer the conversation away from the past and the assessment. Obviously if they ask how it went, it wouldn't do any harm giving a brief update but then change the subject to the future and what you're enjoying. You might find they're not at the same stage you are, or ready yet to focus on other things...but you could find if you decide to stay in touch with them you'll inspire them to maybe make some changes in their life too.

Have you had any more thoughts about sorting out your heating? I won't keep going on about it but it is getting colder. It would be great if your support worker could help you get your landlord to fix it and maybe access any extra benefits you might be entitled to.

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Hi Hal,

Well yesterday was interesting. Had visited family and we talked a lot. When I got back home I decided to email my sibling and I explained why I had been unable to visit before Christmas. I explained what had happened and made it clear that I do want to see them and my nephew, but I have so many anxieties around visiting. After I sent it I was anxious. I was going over everything I said. Some anxiety set in around some other things, but I had to just try and let it be there without questioning everything. I have never spoken with my sibling about anything, so this is something completely new. Will just have to see what they say. 

I will chat with my neighbour again. I hope to pop in for a bit. They always say to me that I am welcome to visit. I just get overwhelmed with anxiety and put it off. So I just have to go for it one day.

Thanks for the advice around spending time with friends. I agree with what you have said. I think now it is about trying to make things more healthy. It will be difficult to do, but I am trying to think of ways I can start maybe getting involved in more activities and spending time around different people rather than relying on one person for interaction.

So my support worker got back to me about the heating. Someone is coming out this week to look at it. My support worker will be there at the time to support me. So will have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully this can be sorted. I have started to feel a bit more open to seeing it is ok to have heating and that I shouldn't have to suffer on without it. So fingers crossed.

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Oh, not feeling great. I initially felt good to be having contact with my sibling and being open, but now I feel like I made a mistake by being more open. They asked me what I wanted out of life, I said the things I wish to do and they said all of this is possible. At has just hit me really badly. Because my mood had been better, had changed the routine, eating better, thinking more positively, I had kind of forgotten about the anxiety around things.

So some of the things that I would like are employment/study/travel/relationship/Have children. I don't know why, but I had completely dismissed these this past week.

Relationship - I can't live with anyone (contamination issues), no kissing/physical contact (contamination issues)

Children - Obviously with no relationship/physical contact I wouldn't have my own child. If I did have children I wouldn't cope if they were ill (contamination issues).

Employment/Study - Worry about travelling, needing the toilet, leaving my belongings anywhere not near me, contamination issues, anxiety around others (performance/having a conversation)

It has just hit me and right now I have become very aware that by trying to look forward I have now started to think about illness/injury/dying (myself and others). I knew at some point this was going to hit me and now I regret opening up. My mood has just dipped big time and the hopelessness has set in. I just wanted to connect with those around me and move on with my life. Not what I wanted to happen. I am now fearful that I won't make the changes that I need to live life and do the things that I want to do.

This is just a mess now.

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Hi Jamie,

I'm sorry for the late-ish reply and that things haven't been too good, are you doing okay now? I really don't think you should be regretting talking to your sibling though.

My understanding from what you've said, isn't so much you made a mistake being more open...it's really the interpretation you've placed on it that if you hadn't said what you did you could have avoided the subsequent thoughts crashing in.

All these thoughts and doubts around illness, dying, injury, questioning if you can make these changes you need to make don't have to be engaged with. No one knows for sure they'll achieve everything they want to do - we just have to have an idea of the direction we want to be heading in and stay focused despite the doubts (that applies to everyone whether they have OCD or not when it comes to making plans). I appreciate OCD makes it much more difficult to navigate sometimes, but for anyone thinking through employment, relationships, travelling, study.. it can be overwhelming, the key"s to go about it steadily from A to B, B to C and so on. 

Unfortunately OCD doesn't do steady does it. It goes from 1 to 100 in a nanosecond and before we know it we've gone from feeling okay to everything feeling impossible. Try to pause in those moments, I know it's difficult but with time and practise it gradually becomes second nature. 

Something else to also bear in mind here is most of your fears are around contamination. The more you can gradually face these fears in one situation the more able and confident you'll feel applying what you've achieved across the board...whether it be mixing with colleagues at a workplace, dating or travelling. 

Please dont let this knock you off course for too long, try to keep looking forward and as you were saying, start to find new activities to engage in.

 

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Hi Hal,

Thanks for you response and no problem about not replying sooner. Things have been neither here nor there. Everything comes and goes. Everything is so complicated. I did eventually relax in the thought that I have opened up a bit now and it is done. I can't change it and I can just take it as it comes.

I have struggled in moments where I get overwhelmed with questioning everything. Which then leads me to feel very low and questioning my worth of being alive, I really do not want to go back there. I just seem to get caught in moments where I look back over situations from over the years trying to work out my true intentions. Why I said and did things. Was it for attention. Did I really enjoy certain activities or was it because of trying to get attention. I guess this is a big fear of mine. My fear is that I just want attention and sympathy from people. Another big fear is that I am a selfish person. If I see parents with their children I am analysing myself. So like if a parent takes their child to the park. I would be questioning whether I would do that, because maybe I am lazy and don't care.

As you can see my thoughts aside from illness/injury/dying are about who I am as a person. I recognise that trying to find answers will not help. I just get triggered all the time. It is if I see things, watch things, read things, talk with others etc. I am trying to accept that I cannot control my thoughts and that everyone thinks different things. That certain experiences have had an affect on me. It is just difficult to not see myself as not a nice person. 

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On 26/01/2019 at 07:55, jamie2011 said:

I can't change it and I can just take it as it comes.

That's a great attitude and actually when you think about it also a pretty good outlook to take when it comes to holding-off carrying out compulsions.

OCD peddles the lie we have to jump to its tune or suffer the consequences somewhere down the line, and if the worst were to happen we wouldn't cope but we would and do, just as everyone else does. 

On 26/01/2019 at 07:55, jamie2011 said:

I  recognise that trying to find answers will not help. 

It really won't help...you'll just get drawn more and more into the OCD's grip if you try to work out what your intentions were or if you're selfish. As PolarBear's succinctly said in the past we don't have to answers these 'what ifs.' You can leave them unresolved. I know the payback will be the anxiety but when you think about it you feel that anyway. At least with the exposure exercises we stand a good chance of being free from the anxiety in the long run rather than snatching a few brief moments given to us from carrying out compulsions.

I meant to ask earlier, any news on the heating front? 

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It can be a difficult one with just accepting the thoughts. Sometimes it just seems to come out of nowhere at all. I think at the moment I have had a few weeks where there have been a lot of conversations with different people. Conversations that have involved talking about different things, but more things from the past. I have done a few things that I felt at the time would give me the chance to take some control. I have opened up to some family. I eventually told one of my parents about how bad things have been. It wasn't easy, but knew it had to happen. I did feel like a weight had been lifted.

My trouble is that with all this I am getting thoughts/questions about everything. Like thinking about how all the professionals are taking what I say as the truth. How do they know it is an honest account. Having conversations with family about past experiences and now thinking I am doing this for attention. That I am making things out to be worse than they are. At the moment these are the things I am struggling with, I am not engaging with the thoughts as such, all that seems to be there is some level of feeling like I have done something wrong. Some doubt about why I say and do things. Again comes back to the fear of being an attention seeker.

I have been trying to focus on accepting that there are reasons that I am in this situation. Sadly by me trying to understand things it drives me further to question who I am as a person. Anything I have ever discussed has happened and a lot of it others have witnessed. Yet I still question my role in talking about it and whether I have some motive to it. Even now I am feeling bad about my assessment and asking myself whether I just said what I did for a diagnosis and attention to be seen as unwell. I have been told they will be requesting funding, but now I am thinking that I don't require the therapy. That maybe they have got it wrong. If they are only going on what I said then I could quite easily have made things out to be worse than they are.

The thing is I have been feeling a lot better and am still challenging different things. So have felt that maybe I don't need treatment or help. Maybe that is my way of thinking I can avoid all the above if I don't get treatment. Because the more help I get the more I question myself. The more I open up the more I worry about who I am and my intentions. There was a point where I wondered it would be better if I just stopped talking all together.

It feels like since I have worked on my routine/compulsions in one area I have struggled with other areas. At the moment it is more in my head. 

Thanks for asking about the heating. So the engineer that came said what he felt needed to be done. That they will tell my landlord what they feel and it is up to the landlord to then get the people to carry out the work. I haven't heard anything yet, but should see my support worker soon and they might be able to chase it up. My support worker spent an hour at mine last week so they experienced what it was like to sit in the cold for an hour. I think that was enough for them.

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On 29/01/2019 at 17:29, jamie2011 said:

The thing is I have been feeling a lot better and am still challenging different things. So have felt that maybe I don't need treatment or help. Maybe that is my way of thinking I can avoid all the above if I don't get treatment. Because the more help I get the more I question myself. The more I open up the more I worry about who I am and my intentions. There was a point where I wondered it would be better if I just stopped talking all together.

I absolutely respect this has to be your decision but please keep going with the treatment, your team wouldn't be applying for funding to help you if they didn't feel you deserved and needed it.

You're right, not following through really would be avoidance with a capital A...that in itself is as powerful a reason as any to stay the course. I know this is daunting but now you have a complete diagnosis, I would think they'll approach how they help you more holistically to include the ptsd and how that affects your anxiety and the OCD. This really could make such a huge long term difference to you, it would be a shame at this stage when you've come so far to let it go and possibly look back with some regret.

It's good news you're further forward with the heating isn't it,  do you feel you might be able to badger your landlord to get it sorted? 

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