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malina

Feeling frustrated

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My OCD relapse started 6 months ago with physical symptoms of anxiety, something that I had never really experienced before. I just felt this heaviness in the right side of my body and didn't recognise it as anxiety, I thought it was real, completely panicked and that started my spiral down into intrusive thoughts about harm, etc. I am getting better and I think I have learned a lot, but some days it's hard not to get frustrated and just want to scream at the world. I am feeling something unusual in my arm, some kind of tight sensation around my wrist, since yesterday. I know it's most likely nothing, maybe feeling the effects of using a new phone and using my thumb a lot. However, I am anxious about it, I'm catastrophizing, worrying that it's something serious. I'm really trying not to go down this road again. I am not googling this, I am trying to think rationally and keep myself calm. But I just think to myself that I haven't learnt anything if things like this continue to bother me. I am scared that I haven't changed at all and that I'll continue to be stuck. 

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How you are feeling about this is OK. 

You still have some way to go, and the illness somehow seems to up its game when threatened - meaning that little things can suddenly create a problem out of kilter with their real likely threat. 

This is so with that pain you felt. The likely reasoning you give seems plausible, but OCD will make a case for an awful meaning instead. 

Don't buy into that. Continue to resist compulsing. 

7 minutes ago, malina said:

But I just think to myself that I haven't learnt anything if things like this continue to bother me. I am scared that I haven't changed at all and that I'll continue to be stuck. 

Stop that line of thinking, just treat this situation as the blip it really is. And not evidence of not learning, not making changes. 

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1 minute ago, taurean said:

How you are feeling about this is OK. 

You still have some way to go, and the illness somehow seems to up its game when threatened - meaning that little things can suddenly create a problem out of kilter with their real likely threat. 

This is so with that pain you felt. The likely reasoning you give seems plausible, but OCD will make a case for an awful meaning instead. 

Don't buy into that. Continue to resist compulsing. 

Stop that line of thinking, just treat this situation as the blip it really is. And not evidence of not learning, not making changes. 

Thank you Roy! I always appreciate your advice :yes:

I am trying to see all of these blips as part of the journey to recovery, no path is every completely smooth. It's just as you say, OCD ups its game when it's threatened and hits you with something new and different, this is the big challenge, trying to learn that it's all the same, meaningless nonsense. 

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Mmmm I can feel you but what can you do? You can do very much in fact. Do not go to black and white thinking. If you think about it every day which is better than when it is worse is a good day, life is happening right now after all, not tomorrow. And anxiety really sucks, so if you are feeling better than that it's great. 

But yea falling down is not nice and anxiety always feel bad, maybe one will have it on and off forever, that is a possibility, not being open to that would be searching certainty I guess. 

Take care

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5 hours ago, malina said:

But I just think to myself that I haven't learnt anything if things like this continue to bother me.

First, sorry to hear you are going through a rough time.  
Its understandable and natural to be frustrated.  In moderation of course, its probably healthy to let out that frustration at times, whether its expressing it here on the forums, having a good cry, beating up a pillow etc.  But I think you should also give yourself some credit, you HAVE learned things!  Look at how you are handling your situation this time, you are avoiding Googling, you are recognizing the symptoms of anxiety and OCD, you are taking steps to try and reduce the impact.  Those are all good things.
 

5 hours ago, malina said:

I am scared that I haven't changed at all and that I'll continue to be stuck. 

Again its perfectly understandable to feel this way, I have gone through the same fear more than once, and I wouldn't be surprised if I go through it again during my lifetime.  Living with OCD is, unfortunately, a long term battle.  But its also something where you improve your skills and experience over time, you can (and likely are) becoming better at dealing with OCD.  Now sometimes it will be two steps forward, one step back, but mostly, if you keep at it, you'll move forward, the general trend will be in a positive direction.

One thing that I found which helped me when I would be going through an OCD spike was journaling.  I'd set aside some time and write down how I was feeling, the frustrations I was having but also the accomplishments I had made, just like you are doing in this post.  Not only did the fact of simply writing things down in a physical way help me process things, it also gave me a record that I could look back at as time passed, I could see how scared I was on day 1, but see how some of that fear dissipated over time. I could see that as time progressed I was making positive choices and seeing the benefits.  It gave me a perspective over time that we often don't have when in the midst of the anxiety.  I don't journal all the time, its fairly sporadic and tied to times when the OCD is affecting me more than usual, so its not something you have to commit to permanently to see benefit from (though you could, some people find journaling useful with or without OCD), so even if its just a temporary thing, maybe it would help you to have a different perspective on your situation.

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Thanks for your responses! I think I've accepted that OCD may remain a part of my life, I just want to believe that I'm moving forward and improving my situation. OCD has always been in the background but I've had maybe 2 major episodes of OCD, and both times I didn't see it coming. I felt generally happy and then suddenly, things changed. The first time was when I was diagnosed and it was a complete disaster, this second time isn't anywhere near as bad. I get what you're saying @OCDhavenobrain, we have to accept uncertainty, I think this is what I have to learn. I think that I am just constantly on alert now, afraid that things will get worse again and thinking that I'll be back at square one. 

5 hours ago, dksea said:

One thing that I found which helped me when I would be going through an OCD spike was journaling.  I'd set aside some time and write down how I was feeling, the frustrations I was having but also the accomplishments I had made, just like you are doing in this post.  Not only did the fact of simply writing things down in a physical way help me process things, it also gave me a record that I could look back at as time passed, I could see how scared I was on day 1, but see how some of that fear dissipated over time. I could see that as time progressed I was making positive choices and seeing the benefits.  It gave me a perspective over time that we often don't have when in the midst of the anxiety.  I don't journal all the time, its fairly sporadic and tied to times when the OCD is affecting me more than usual, so its not something you have to commit to permanently to see benefit from (though you could, some people find journaling useful with or without OCD), so even if its just a temporary thing, maybe it would help you to have a different perspective on your situation.

 This is a really good idea, I think that I tend to forget the bad experiences and everything in the past seems better and easier than it really was. A journal would definitely help me keep track of the progress. 

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Sorry I’m not really able to offer any meaningful advice but I hope you’re recovery continues and this is just a minor blip, I think OCD is the mental illness equivalent of the flu in the way it evolves just when you think you’re coping with it and then throws something else in the mix and off we go again.....

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So after a few days, I am starting to see some progress with this! I have basically come to accept that you can't freak out over every little sensation in your body and that I have to just ignore it and move on. Six months ago, I wouldn't have been able to do this! So this is a positive and even though it's frustrating that I still have to put effort into this kind of thinking, if I continue one day it may just come naturally to me. 

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That's the spirit and how it has proved with me :thumbup:

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