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Hi Hal,

Thanks for your message. Apologies for not responding sooner. I know it makes sense to ease off a bit. I think I am just very fearful of letting myself not keeping a positive outlook. I am not constantly forcing myself to do things. I am just trying to make sure I do things a little differently. I think the anxiety will always be there to some degree, I just need to work out how to manage it without letting it take over.

I managed to attend the event I planned to go to. I decided before going that I wouldn't stay the whole time, that I would leave a little earlier than when it finished so I wouldn't get too worried about getting home. It wasn't too bad, I was distracted a little, but more so because I couldn't quite believe I was there. I went by myself and spent a lot of time thinking about it all. I have been feeling a bit swept up in emotion at times, mostly when I find myself doing something that I would normally avoid. When I went swimming earlier in the week I made a step in taking the long sleeves off and just went bare armed. It felt so much better swimming like that. Hopefully I can keep that up. I know people might look, but I would rather feel comfortable whilst swimming.

So now I am just focusing on trying to get involved in some volunteer work. It does cause moments of anxiety where I question my ability to do things and I notice at times I get this low mood that seems to just appear. I try to focus on the fact that I am not where I was a few months ago and I am trying to challenge the anxiety. Hopefully I get the funding for treatment and this can help with the areas I still struggle with.

How are you anyway? Have you managed to fit any running in? It would have been nice when the weather was mild, seems to have got cold these past few days.

I hope things have settled down for you since you last posted.


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On 03/04/2019 at 17:14, jamie2011 said:

I think the anxiety will always be there to some degree, I just need to work out how to manage it without letting it take over.

I guess there will always be situations where it’s going to be natural for you to feel anxious, just the thought of my first interview is still enough to bring me out in a cold sweat, but I really hope with time and all you’re doing it won’t always be there. Finding new non-OCD ways to manage it is very important isn’t it, I often wonder how differently things might have been if they’d taught something like mindfulness at school and I’d  learnt there were better ways to cope with the feelings, would I even have developed the disorder, but I’m heading into chicken or egg territory there.

On 03/04/2019 at 17:14, jamie2011 said:

So now I am just focusing on trying to get involved in some volunteer work. It does cause moments of anxiety where I question my ability to do things and I notice at times I get this low mood that seems to just appear. 

Those moments are also natural, you’re looking into trying new things out and whether they’re a good fit for you. There may also be times during the volunteering where the self doubt creeps in around what you’re capable of and your mood dips, so long as you can work at ignoring those doubts and feelings and viewing them as transitory you will get to where you want to be. I can fall into the same trap sometimes with something as simple as the running. It’a a long time since I did it seriously and noticed the internal chatter...can I do this, why am I doing it, what’s the point.

I have to remind myself so long as I keep going with it, eventually the effort will be worth it. Gradually I’ll hopefully be able to  effortlessly run a couple of km and you’ll feel more confident around your capabilities in a working environment.

Have you narrowed down any volunteering opportunities you like the look of? 

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Apologies Hal for taking so long to reply. I have been meaning to sit down and do it, but it seems I have been distracted with one thing or another lately.

Thanks for sharing how you have felt in the past and still do. I appreciate that we will all struggle with different things here and there at different times. It is impossible to never feel anxious at all.

I hope you have managed to stick with some of the running. I think sometimes we have to change how we think about why we are doing things and what is important about it. When I was swimming a few weeks ago I got chatting to someone in my lane, just having a laugh about taking a breather in between lengths. He was a bit embarrassed about having to rest and I just said to him that doing some exercise is better than nothing. I also read somewhere that it is common to an individual to choose to do nothing at all than do something not at their usual level. The theory is the same. Is it better to do nothing at all or to do even one session a week. It might not match what we expect of ourselves, but by engaging with something will help.

I decided to do something completely bonkers this week. So there is a local half-marathon coming up soon. I ran it the first year it started and every year since I have felt jealous of seeing people running each year. I was always reminded if not doing something that makes me feel good. So with my current running I have adopted a different thinking. Now I am slowing the pace down do increase the distance. I am not focusing on how quick I can do my run. I want to run for the health benefits. During a run I realised with this tactic I can attempt to do the half-marathon. I know I can increase my distance at a rate of 1 mile per week in time for the day of the run. I want to do it for the experience and to get back to what I was able to do going back. I haven't told anyone, I am going to quietly go about my weeks and then just go ahead with it.

How would you feel if you set yourself a goal to work towards that may give you a purpose?

I have three volunteer roles in motion. Two I have to do training and the third I am waiting for a start date. They involve visiting those who are socially isolated in the community. In total it would be 4 hours max a week volunteering. I have some plans for progressing, but will need therapy to hopefully help it more achievable. Future career options will require me to work in an environment where I will be around the things that I fear most. I am exposing myself here and there with things that I would usually avoid. I am reading books on subjects that also cause fear and anxiety. I have noticed that the more I am engaging with these things the less anxiety there is.

I am trying to take on board what you have mentioned about riding things out. I am so not used to be in this position and it scares me. I was so shocked this morning. So for the last I don't know how many years the first thing I have to do when I wake up is drink a bottle of water. So this morning I get and as far as I know did what I normally would. I had breakfast, went for a run, came home and had a bottle of water. Then when I was eating lunch I noticed next to my bed was my bottle of water that I would have normally had first thing. It took me almost 5 hours to realise. I was so shocked that I had not even realised.

I just hope I can just keep up with the progress.


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