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Cub

Life, compulsive praying and derring-do

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Hi y'all

Hope you all had a good Christmas and are enjoying the new year. I've been absent again recently and dealing with my compulsions.

I am really struggling with compulsive praying at the moment; every time I have a 'bad' thought I'm praying for forgiveness and I'm really trying not to. It's been a bit of a struggle as I'm generally feeling a bit stupid; like I'm realising I've spent my twenties worrying about the wrong things and there are far more important things to worry about; looking after family members, trying to sort my career out, making sure I'm saving enough money for the future. I don't know about anyone else but when I'm feeling bad I tend to buy stuff in a vain attempt to make myself happy again; to staunch the wound somewhat, though it's a habit I'm trying to shake. I'm doing it less than I used to now as I'm a little more settled inside my own skin. I'm very aware of my own mental state though and it's kind of exhausting; I'm aware of my feelings, my thoughts and my faults and every time I feel aware of a fault I compulsively check it in with God and ask for help to do better. I'm trying not to do this but it's very, very hard. 

I guess real life has had its share of blows, recently; I've attended a couple of funerals, both for family-members who had dementia and I get so scared I'll go the same way as it runs in the family. Added to that is the fact that a close friend of mine - whom I met while living and working in Wales - severed all contact with me a few months ago over some difficulties we had in the summer when I put my family before her; it hurts, but I miss her. It was a difficult situation and I wonder if I made a mountain out of a molehill, but I didn't know how to make things right again as I felt like I was getting in her way and eventually she cut me off after several months of near-silence. I confess I hoped we would get things sorted out, but I miss her dearly; we had two really great years and I was so glad to make friends outside of my workspace, which could prove cliquey and excluding despite the best intentions; I was glad I could make friends, full-stop. The fact that I've lost that two years on - and having constant reminders of the good times we shared on facebook, which makes it harder - is making me worry I'll never be able to keep a friend; I don't seem very good at it and while I know I've got my family, I worry I'll end up alone and that my mental health will suffer as a result. My family always comes first as it's the place I feel most comfortable in myself and I know despite my issues I can be myself. 

Now for the complicated stuff: I guess I feel really stupid for spending my twenties worrying about trivial things; I wish I'd listened to my psychologist first time when he told me not to waste my time on these things and not to get my knickers in a twist, to borrow his phrasing. I guess the things that make me feel the most secure are the things that get to me most of all. As a writer, I've been doing some thought compulsion in the pure O sense; when I'm trying to write certain scenes, or fantasies in my head, to write down later on paper, I try too hard and give myself a headache. Or I'm checking for my own reaction: does this make me feel good, or does it make me feel anxious? Why does it make me feel anxious? Why does this scene feel natural in my head but not that one? So that's something I'm trying to tackle. I would appreciate advice.

I feel bad because I feel I've been selfish; I've been trying too hard to get to the things I want and I feel I've been justifying it in my head, which adds to the compulsions. I realise I'm an imaginative individual - it comes with being a writer - but my compulsions also stretch to making myself write a scene that I don't really want to write, just to prove I can do it and that's no good. If I write something, it should be because I want to write it and because it fills me up in every space. It's an unfortunate habit; I'm still in the habit of 'checking' my responses in my head, trying too hard to make them work but one thing I'm learning is we should enjoy what we've got, rather than what we haven't. I guess I've always been guided by my religions and morals but there's part of me that's always been thinking, 'No, why can't I write this too,' even though it doesn't feel entirely right with me; I've been trying to 'make' it right, to force it. It led to me being creatively blocked for a while, but I'm much better; sadly, the habit lingers. I'm spreading myself too thin and chasing ideas that aren't right for me. I need to stick to what is right, now, but I keep forgetting to do so. I just want to enjoy the things that are in front of me. I feel bad for not doing this sooner and for letting this dog me throughout my twenties, but then again our twenties are an uncertain time and I've been going through growth and change and trying to figure out my identity. So maybe that's okay. I know that the God I believe in knows I have good intentions and I want to do my best. But as much as I want to pray genuinely, compulsive praying isn't going to help me and I'm worried I'm back in that cycle of temporary relief followed by worry.

Added to this is the fear that I'll never enjoy anything fully; I get so used to worrying and I feel I'll self-sabotage. I don't want that but I feel a happy life might sometimes just be beyond my reach because I don't deserve it; because I feel I wouldn't enjoy it thanks to my worry and others would be more deserving. I have had therapy and it's helped a lot; I've managed to purge some of my anxiety and I'm a lot calmer now but I need to help myself more. 

Thankyou for reading this baring of my soul! Much appreciated.

C x

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Hi Cub :)

I understand how you feel about compulsive praying, my OCD is about religion and compulsive praying too. I am glad to see in your post that you understand that compulsive praying is something that you don't have to do. The compulsions of praying you are engaging in aren't making you safer, it is an ilusion of safety. Instead they are trapping you and robbing you of living your life. 

If you notice yourself starting to ruminate on any topic remind yourself it is just OCD and focus on something else. In time your brain will learn this isn't an imposrtant topic and it will stop being a problem.

I hope it helps a little,

big hug

 

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Thankyou for that, Andrea; and for the hug too!

I'm actually feeling a little cross with myself because today was a bad day for me OCD-wise and I skipped book-club to come straight home. My brain started to cook up scenarios first thing and it got to the point where my story ideas were becoming compulsions inside my head; mental compulsions - 'if I can finish creating this idea it will mean this is okay' sort of thing. I will obsessively go over a fantasy/story idea to see if it works and question myself and second-guess myself along the way while creating that idea in my head. It really is annoying. It also gave me a tight chest, sent my temperature up and down and my colleagues could tell there was something wrong and were offering their support. I appreciate it, but I feel silly. It kind of takes you away from what really matters, I feel and from enjoying the good. 

I agree distraction works and this is something I need to do a little more. I know there have been worse days, but today was challenging for various reasons and I need distraction and rest now.

Thankyou again for your understanding and kindness - and not thinking this was completely mental. If it feels like OCD, it probably is, right?

C x

 

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5 minutes ago, Cub said:

 If it feels like OCD, it probably is, right?

In my opinion, if it feels like OCD it probably is, :yes: absolutely yes!

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Thanks for that, Andrea

I'm happy to announce that today was much better. My mental compulsions usually involve focusing too hard on a particular kind of thought, trying to 'make it work' inside my head, going backwards through my thoughts, or starting over; ruminating, basically and so today I tried distraction and focusing on what was going on around me. It made me feel a lot less burdened and a lot more present. It's made me realise how much I've been struggling with this issue because I get so distracted and stuck inside my head, trying to make story ideas work.

I feel bad that it's story ideas that my OCD jumps on; it's a particular genre I've struggled morally with, as I wasn't sure for a while whether it was wrong or right (nothing harmful, just, you know, adult) and struggled so hard with it. I've made my peace with it now but I keep trying to write it myself, as opposed to simply reading it, as I want to be part of it and keep throwing myself over a barrel wondering if I'm doing the right thing and if it's allowed. I struggled for so long with this issue and feel bad for the struggles but I can't help myself and I can't help questioning it. I don't think it even matters anymore but it matters to me and I guess I just want to do the right thing. 

Anyway, here's hoping. At least I'm feeling calmer and better today. :) 

C x

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Hi cub :57439eb60db27_thumbup:

I am glad today was much better :thumbup: You can choose to treat your doubts and worries as not worth spending time on.:;

It is absolutely fantastic you are feeling better and calmer today.

big hug

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