Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
gingerbreadgirl

I don't know whether I am OK or not

Recommended Posts

I wouldn't agree with the fear over talk therapy have no brain. 

Obviously of course there may be a rational concern over how good, and experienced, the therapist might be. 

But if we are open and feel able to trust the therapist, then being able to talk to someone who understands, on a face to face basis, can make a huge difference. 

But here is a great fall-back position :)

 

Share this post


Link to post

Hi gbg. Your issues are very similar to mine and I'm finding this such a relevant and useful thread. Given the state I'm in i feel like a fraud even trying to help but I've wondered, with the being good thing, are you aiming for something that's not real? What does being good actually mean?  Is it feasible to live a happy life while demanding of yourself that you be good, and be sure that you are being good? There are a lot of messages given to us from society that we should constantly try harder and be better, and I think that can be rather harmful for worriers like us.
I'm wondering whether you feel you're not good because you've spent so long asking yourself whether you're good and needing the answer to be yes because you care about being good, but being unable to be certain because how could a person ever be certain of that? I think you talked about other people seeming good and seeing confident. People who don't question whether they're good can easily seem confident. 
So I suppose it's like all ocd. It's asking the question that gets us into trouble. We need to find a way to decide not to ask it or at least not to try to answer it any more. 
Also, I think we need to fill the gap that will be left once we leave that alone or we'll keep coming back to it too easily. I'm reading Mark Freeman's book "You are not a rock". It's excellent and covers that topic well: you find new motivations based on other values (as in ACT therapy).
As I said though, in practice I am very stuck too. Trying hard to get the theory straight so that I can then apply it to my own issues in practice. 
Xxx

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

And the thing is i know that there are all kinds of suggestions for changing core beliefs but how do you change something if you just feel like it's the truth? It's not like I could change my belief that theearth is round because that's just a fact. 

HI GBG

Try not to get mixed up in using a fact and comparing it to a core belief. Yes the earth is round - its a proven fact through science and exploration. I think there are very few facts when it comes to the human behaviour scale, just opinion and interpretation. 

It seems to me this is the heart of the matter you think you a bad person? is that a fact? no?, its your interpretation.  Have you done things your not proud of in the past? yes  - as has everyone else The main difference to me is that your OCD has leapt onto this and is having a field day. its possible to be a decent person while having done things wrong. You using what happened years ago to colour your character today. 

You seem a bright person to me but I think your getting bogged down in the fog which when we are in the midst of an OCD episode we have all have been at times. I did this quite a bit myself at times. Your interpretation of your past is just that an interpretation, yes you may have done things you are not proud of but it doesn't make you a bad person all told. I also think you are not really accepting that people have done wrong in their past as well but don't punish themselves like you do. You did some things you are not proud of but how long do you punish yourself for? 5 yrs,? 10 yrs? 15yrs? 

If this was your partner saying this to you about her past - or indeed anyone else - what would you say to them? I feel that you would be of a fairly even minded opinion and that they should not indeed be punishing themselves for doing wrong in the past - or maybe put another way - being a human being. you need to apply that to yourself too.

Ultimately if you ruminate enough about something you could convince yourself of almost anything, every time you analyse this your doubt grows, it seems you are on hyper alert for anything you deem to have done wrong in the past and OCD is throwing it at you with relish. 

Have you ever tried some kind of self-compassion type therapy? I think you would truly benefit from it. Along with making a big attempt to break this pattern on rumination over your past. It has to be broken for you to move forward. 

sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I have been trying to type while 'multi-tasking' not sure how successful its been. Wanted to try and help if I can. 

 

Share this post


Link to post

I use another approach: When one only get more distressed and more questions arise than before then do we know that we have ruminated.

Take a pen and a paper and track your anxietylevels day to day. You will probably see a pattern. 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

And the thing is i know that there are all kinds of suggestions for changing core beliefs but how do you change something if you just feel like it's the truth?

The same way every sufferer changes their beliefs, by identifying what they do that builds their belief and changing their behaviour. What is it you do that builds this belief? And what have you changed? If the answers nothing, then why are you expecting to feel any different?

 

5 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Whether any of this is my fault or not is honestly irrelevant to me.  I can see some of it is not my fault.  But all I care about is that I think my default behaviours are hurtful and I hate that. 

Again with fault. Who is analysing fault here but you? You don't get it, things happen, you don't need to keep apportioning blame. 

You think your default behaviours are hurtful, you have no evidence for this. Your actions are trying to prevent something from happening that might never happen, sounds a lot like OCD. Also, when are you meant to disengage as a solution to fighting OCD? CBT is a doing therapy, you don't just leave stuff and hope it goes away. This is simply confusion between actively not ruminating and simply doing nothing, you need to DO something if you want to overcome this, even if that's sometimes not doing something like rumination. 

Share this post


Link to post

Hi all

Thank you so much for the input here.  I am always really grateful. I wanted to reply to you all individually but there's so much good stuff here it would be a gigantic post! Please just know I've read all your posts and I really appreciate you taking the time to write them. 

Gemma - I see what you're saying I'm not really trying to talk about blame, all I mean is that although I can see reasons/context for my behaviour, in my heart I don't really care about them, all i really care about is whether my behaviour is wrong.  I know me saying this kind of thing is frustrating and I am going round in circles and all i can say is I'm sorry, I know it must seem like I don't listen but I do, I take it all on board and I try hard to put it into action. 

Actually OCD-wise things are considerably better than they were a year ago.  I go long periods of time where OCD doesn't bother me too much.  But this feeling, this belief or assessment of myself,  this fear that I might be worthless, remains.  It has never gone away and I find it hard to believe it is caused by OCD although I understand that OCD is tangled up in it a lot. 

I think in some ways I should stop worrying about being a good person and just be a good person, why do I find that hard? I think partly because nothing would ever be enough in my mind, I would always find evidence to the contrary.  

I think I have given this impression that I am being a perfectionist about this that I am actually 99% good and I am agonising over the final 1% - but honestly if I told you some of the stuff I've done/said you may think differently about me. 

I have calmed down somewhat since I posted this morning and feeling reasonably OK right now.  In some ways I wish i could just accept that this will always be a thing but it doesn't have to be a massive thing, I can live alongside it and that's OK. 

Thanks again x

 

Edited by gingerbreadgirl

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

think I have given this impression that I am being a perfectionist about this that I am actually 99% good and I am agonising over the final 1% - but honestly if I told you some of the stuff I've done/said you may think differently about me. 

This is pretty classic OCD (only a 1% chance equals likely!!!) plus mind-reading (reckoning others would think bad about us because of..... ) 

Just thought I would highlight that, and not sure whether you might have spotted the mind-reading, but my wife is good at this. 

Share this post


Link to post
33 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I see what you're saying I'm not really trying to talk about blame, all I mean is that although I can see reasons/context for my behaviour, in my heart I don't really care about them, all i really care about is whether my behaviour is wrong.

Yes you don't care about anything that suggests you should change your behaviour. Clearly it's very threatening to you to even consider challenging these safety behaviours, that's why you're ignoring reasons, explanations, whatever you want to call them. Can i ask why you think this isn't OCD? 

 

38 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I think in some ways I should stop worrying about being a good person and just be a good person, why do I find that hard?

Because it's impossible. You can't purposely be a 'good person', because it'll make you over focus on what is good and bad and basically put you in the situation you currently find yourself in. Again you're trying to make sure of something with your actions, just like in OCD. The moment you give up caring if you are good and bad and just behave how you think is best in any given moment without much thought, is when you'll start to be confident with who you are. 

 

44 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

In some ways I wish i could just accept that this will always be a thing but it doesn't have to be a massive thing, I can live alongside it and that's OK. 

You can't live with OCD when you feed it all the time, it will always be there. You need to take control off OCD, it’s the only way to accept it. 

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I'm sorry to bring this up again but I don't really know what to do about this. I am so sick of feeling like this, i think my life would be so different if I could feel at peace with myself.  But I don't. I feel that my default setting is just this awful horrible person that i want to disown, I want to send her back and get a refund!! 

And the thing is i know that there are all kinds of suggestions for changing core beliefs but how do you change something if you just feel like it's the truth? It's not like I could change my belief that the earth is round because that's just a fact.  

Whenever I say this kind of thing to people they are always like "don't be silly" etc but all I think that means is that I present myself quite well.  When the chips are down I reveal who I really am, I think I am selfish, thoughtless, impulsive, and sometimes just truly horrible especially to people I care about. And I know people say "oh everyone's like that" but I don't think they are.  I don't even know how I could change that or even if it's possible to change who you really are.  Sure I can do good actions but they're only ever temporary.

Whether any of this is my fault or not is honestly irrelevant to me.  I can see some of it is not my fault.  But all I care about is that I think my default behaviours are hurtful and I hate that. 

Also, although I know I have OCD I don't think this this is OCD, or at least not entirely, I don't think disengaging from it will really change it. I don't think anything will, honestly, i think this is just how it is. 

(I know it seems like I must be a real downer but I feel happy enough when I don't think about this.  But it always comes back round eventually.) 

@gingerbreadgirl just wanted to tell you hang in there..you are our inspiration and you feeling down is not nice..cheer up and just like so many times, I am sure you will continue to motivate people like me :)

 

Share this post


Link to post

Hi GBG,

On the "you would all think bad of me if you knew the bad things I have done theme", it's:

A repetitive negative obsessional thought causing the urge to carry out compulsions and creating disorder - viz OCD. 

An overgeneralisation - some of us might be bothered, but by far the majority would probably think "so what, I have done plenty of bad things in my time" 

It's a mind-read - thinking that others may have negative thoughts about us, based just on our own coloured, biased interpretation. 

But the response - with CBT - would be the same. Note what is going on, and challenge - don't accept - it, stop ruminating about it, and get on with daily life, living in the present, forgetting the past, planning for - but not worrying about - the future. 

You mentioned GBG that previously you had been triggered by thoughts of prison. This is classic OCD - I did bad things, I should be punished, what if I am arrested and go to prison? See how the vicious cycle of distressing thinking from OCD distresses then builds to catastrophic thinking. 

All of this - the OCD, the overgeneralisation, the mind-reading, are working together to cause distress and unhappiness. 

Time to stop believing, stop the ruminating, and move on. 

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks very much gemma, Roy and pranjali I really appreciate your thoughts. 

I have struggled this week more than I have done in a long while and I know I keep doing compulsions, I don't know whether I lack strength or insight or both but I just don't seem to be able to stop, it feels like something I deserve and I don't know how to change that view when it feels so real. I know this is something every ocd sufferer faces and I am no different. 

 

Share this post


Link to post

So I've realised that the root of my fear is the idea of anyone disapproving of me. That's it. So I need to expose myself to the idea of that happening and it being OK. I have some ideas of exposures I can do. I think this will help because I was struggling to figure out exactly what I was scared of. So now I know I can target it like I've targeted other ocd fears. 

Share this post


Link to post

That's good. We need to know what that fear is, or we are just spread betting. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

So I've realised that the root of my fear is the idea of anyone disapproving of me. That's it. So I need to expose myself to the idea of that happening and it being OK. I have some ideas of exposures I can do. I think this will help because I was struggling to figure out exactly what I was scared of. So now I know I can target it like I've targeted other ocd fears. 

Hi GBG :)

I might not be reading this right but I'm not sure this is the answer. At least I'm not sure targeting that fear is the answer. You have various beliefs about you as a person that you compensate for with behaviours. I believe it's these beliefs and behaviours you need to challenge. Exposing yourself to the idea of someone disapproving of you seems wide of the mark to me.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not sure I've explained myself particularly well but I kind of mean the same as what you've said really. My safety behaviors are all around the possibility of someone disapproving of me, they're all designed to manage that possibility - I think this is at the core of all this, my belief that if someone disapproved if me it means I am a terrible person (and I think that belief likely comes from my childhood). So challenging those behaviors essentially means exposing myself to that fear without doing any compulsions. 

Share this post


Link to post

Anyway I don't want to analyse this too much right now as I think part of my problem is I've over complicated  it a lot and not moved forward because of analysis parallysis! I want to just at least address some of my safety behaviours in this way without analysing it too much and I know this is a big part of it even if I haven't explained it too well. 

Share this post


Link to post

Sounds sensible :)

Over-analysis would be counterproductive. 

All the best GBG 

Roy 

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

My safety behaviors are all around the possibility of someone disapproving of me, they're all designed to manage that possibility 

Sounds like a good idea to stop the safety behaviours surrounding this. I might have to do the same for this exact same problem - you’ve put it together very succinctly, it’s a bit of a realisation for me re my situation. 

Question is, how are you going to identify the compulsive behaviours for this theme? 

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks both, sorry I missed your replies. X

Orwell - I have a lot of compulsive safety behaviors around this and I've actually spent some time this week sort of observing myself. A big one is checking /monitoring other people's behaviour, I have antennae for a change in body language or a look or anything that may mean they disapprove of me in some way. Of course this is hogwash as most people are wrapped up in themselves not thinking about me! Another one is I'll say something and then go back and "correct" myself because I worry I said something bad the first time round. Another one is reassurance-seeking especially from my partner - "is what I did OK? Do you think this person was hurt by my actions?" Etc etc. I also monitor my own behaviour a lot - was what I just said a lie? Or was it hurtful? Did I accidentally do something terrible?

Just to say I think some of this is kind of normal human behaviour I think lots of people are sensitive to disapproval. I guess when it starts to really affect your life is when ocd can come into play  x 

Share this post


Link to post

That's nicely done GBG. 

Yes plenty of people are sensitive to disapproval as part of their character - my other half is with regard to her family, for example (whereas I am just careful how I interact, then don't worry about it). 

Like all behaviours, when this takes on obsessive status, and affects our daily life, that needs us to understand then take steps to tackle it. 

You are doing nicely, keep working on it. 

Share this post


Link to post

Not doing great :( feel a bit like things will never feel stable ever again, I will always be teetering right on this edge. Even when I get a handle on it it's only a matter of time before it comes back again. 

Share this post


Link to post

It'll just take time GBG, I guess. I still have off days (more than I'd like recently) but for the most part I feel OK. That's a long way from where I was in 2014.... I thought it'd never get better and I'd feel mega anxious all the time. I guess I'm lucky- meds helped me a lot and still do... that combined with some good CBT.

What sort of help are you getting these days (sorry, haven't read the thread from the beginning).

Binx

 

Share this post


Link to post

Try and remember GBG that these moments can and do pass. While we are in them they are horrible but its at these moments we have to rely on what we have learned and trust in the process. Its OCD testing you - it doesn't go down without a fight.

Try and be aware of its tricks. Can you use some of the techniques you have had success with in the past to help ?

 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...