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Cub

Really Bad Struggle

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Hi y'all

Posting because I've had a Very Bad Day(TM). My brain is very sore and I can't pretend I'm not about to fall asleep because I'm exhausted and my head feels as though it's been spinning in neutral with nowhere to go.

I've just come back from a week away and it was lovely but now I've returned to regular life and I'm just not happy. I tried to be brave today and put some new strategies into place but I failed drastically and it feels as though I'm falling further and further away from myself, grasping at straws. I don't know how to make this better.

I feel so incredibly stupid about my doubts and fears, which are very specific to me and which I can't even explain properly without it all sounding very confusing and tedious to somebody else. I know that in the world of OCD, all sorts of things could be classified as irrational but I feel as though I've let everybody down: my psychologist who helped me all those years ago, my Dad, both my brothers and I feel like the faller; like I need to be written off because I'm such an embarrassment and a burden to all of them and they've had to deal with all this before, comfort me before, spend money on therapy for me before and I just don't know how much more of this I can put them through, if I can even share it, if my psychologist would find any reason to be proud of me years on. I've broken down a few times over the years and the struggle against my OCD has become harder and harder. I found myself wanting to cry at work and wanting to end it all today because I am just so sick of feeling like this. I don't even know how to explain the thought processes; other than my thoughts seem to 'go back on themselves' and I go around in circles with them and it's like the black dog is digging up my brain from the inside because I'm looking for answers and can't find them. Like I'm reaching deeply inside myself to find something; the equivalent of digging for a hair with the tweezers. I hurt all over and I just want to sleep. 

I honestly don't know how to explain it at all; it's just this constant cycle of thoughts in my head that I can't leave alone, or maybe won't leave alone, or just don't know how to leave alone, and I feel restless and trapped and don't know what to do with it. I'm even considering leaving my job because I don't feel like it's the best place mentally for me; it can be very unchallenging and involves a lot of standing around and some days can be more productive than others. But would it be better or worse to leave? Would it make things worse? I don't want to stay here longterm and I'm not really making much of an impression; I haven't been able to develop due to my anxiety and take on additional roles and it makes me feel rubbish. I don't know how to stop the cycle; I tried today, I really did, but I just couldn't do it and feel like I crashed and burnt.

I just don't know how much longer I can carry on with this and I don't know how to make my head right, or how to make myself right; I'm obsessed with making this one thing work and every time I try and focus on something else, I come back to that one thing and it's something I used to enjoy that I'm now uncertain about, that I don't know is allowed or not and the more I wonder, the more I try to prove to myself that it's okay and that if I can prove it's okay, then I'll be okay again; so I'm constantly obsessing over 'how' to make it work and blaming myself for not being able to. Like a kid trying to clue parts of a model together that won't quite fit. I know it sounds so stupid but I can't let it go and every time I try it just comes back to me even when I'm trying to focus on other things. I just don't want to live like this, trying to set everything in my head right while life is passing me by. It occurs to me that I'll look back and think that I wasted my twenties worrying about silly things and I've already lost so much time. I just don't think I can run from this; maybe it's not OCD, maybe it's something I need to face that I am running from and need to make better? I've been trying to feel the fear and do it anyway but it just stresses me out and makes things harder. I just want to live my life and be happy but I feel trapped; I keep trying to do things that I want to do but it just stresses me out because I feel it's 'not allowed' and it leaves me so confused and wanting to die. I don't know what to do anymore or how to get out of this; I feel tightly bound by my thoughts. 

Thanks for reading,

C x

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Hey Cub,

I just wanted to give you some words of encouragement. I'm sorry you're feeling so bad and just know that you are not alone. So many of us have gone through this and know how you feel, you just have to hang in there :hug:

Firstly, you have no reason to feel like a failure or like you've let people down. You have an illness, like if someone hurt their leg and then every few years experienced recurring pain in the leg, should they feel like a failure? This is what you're going through, but it's with thoughts and emotions instead of physical pain. 

I also think that you are spending a lot of time thinking about how you feel and how to make yourself better. This is a bit of a trap because the more you think about it, the more anxious you'll become. I think you just need to let it be and just get on with it, don't analyse your life so much. Are you seeing a therapist now? 

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Hi Malina

Thankyou for those kind words. I don't have a therapist, having finished therapy in December. 

I am aware I need to take myself out of myself. I know I think about how I feel a lot - something my Dad has mentioned - but I don't know how to stop. It's like layer after layer after layer piling up. I just want to feel normal again, feel happy and know that I'm not wasting time worrying about the wrong things. That I'm living and not letting silly things hold me back. It seems so easy for everyone else; I don't want to miss out on anything but feel I kind of am. But perhaps there is some pressure there to try and make myself feel normal and unafraid of silly things; to try and fix myself and hasten myself to the finish-line so I can feel better. I know we all have limits but I'm trying to figure out what those are. I just don't know how to stop thinking and the more I try, the worse it gets and the guiltier I feel. I try and make myself do things to feel the fear etc but it just makes me worse and feels like too much; too much pressure to make myself better. 

Thankyou for the encouragement. I know I need to get on with things but must confess I'm rather dreading the rest of the week. :(

C x

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It's just that in trying to get better, you're spending so much time worrying whether you're happy, which means that you won't feel happy. Just try to relax and let it happen. Honestly, who cares if you're worrying about the wrong things, you have OCD, it will happen. I think the goal is to enjoy life in spite of these problems and to learn to manage them so that that don't get in the way of our lives. I also think that we all have the impression that others are living life to the fullest, but they aren't. What does it even mean to be happy and to live life fully? I think the people who are truly happy are the ones who accept that life isn't perfect and enjoy the good things in their lives. 

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That's really valuable advice, Malina, thankyou. I know no life is truly happy; I'm just so sick of feeling anxious all the time and so twitchy; blanking out and feeling alone with my thoughts, being lost in them. It makes me feel alone and I can't help thinking it's stopping me getting close to people.

That said, when it comes to feelings of anxiety, I'm doing my best to sit with them and just be with them. Just allow them to be there and not respond. I know we all have problems at the end of the day, and all of mine are pretty much internal. It often feels like there's a lot of energy happening beneath the surface, a lot of fuel and pumping gears going on. I'm not entirely sure how good I'm proving at managing it right now, but I'm trying. Trouble is, after a while all the trying gets me down and I don't know how to get myself onto a happier plain. 

I'm doing my best; at work yesterday I managed to just sit with the thoughts but my mind was active all day and it was so tiring. I genuinely am wondering if this job is mentally good for me anymore and if I should go for something that keeps me busy. My lot can be quite frustrating; I just want to feel happy, but I feel lost. But I guess I need to accept what I have, that I can't change the past and no amount of rumination will help. I just want to exist fully in the present; I can't seem to stop worrying and can't seem to let go. It appears to take a great deal of effort.

Oh, well. For the moment I'm working on being. I'm also writing up a gratitude list for general purposes - not as a compulsion, just as a little reminder for myself because I seem to be looking at the glass half-empty. I'm just scared of becoming like people I've known, who have been dogged by anxiety and have become over-burdened and unhappy in their later years; the trouble is I'm so used to worrying and if I'm not, things feel off. Like I have to have something to mull over, but that's no way to live. I just wish I knew how to give myself a break and let go of the past; I keep doing 'quick checks/just in case' ruminations, just to check I have got everything right, that there's nothing I've missed and nothing I have left to do, that I need to do. That I've done everything I possibly can to try. 

*sigh* It's all rather difficult. I'm sorry to sound so negative; thankyou for your kind advice and for giving me something to think on and for putting up with me. :hug: 

C x

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On 05/06/2019 at 23:25, malina said:

I think the people who are truly happy are the ones who accept that life isn't perfect and enjoy the good things in their lives

This is spot on. 

When I first started work I was penniless, living in a bedsit in London, far from home :a new location, new job, didn't know anyone, my only assets a motorbike, radio and guitar and a few clothes.

Was I unhappy? No. Why? I saw no reason for concern, and I knew things would change for the better - in a gradual process. 

Adverse anxiety is treatable. 

We evaluate, with whatever necessary psychological help, what is causing that anxiety. 

In my case, as OCD and worry began to bite, there were those plus 4 other types of distorted thinking. 

My worst causation was general worry. I worked hard in self-help therapy to eradicate that from my life. 

I took privately - funded CBT, which highlighted the themes of OCD and how it worked and how to challenge it. 

Plus how to tackle the distorted thinking. 

I learned relaxation techniques and took plenty of exercise. 

The final piece of my jigsaw was learning and applying mindfulness. 

We won't beat unnatural anxieties without going through such evaluation and treatment. We have to learn the techniques per type of issue, then apply them wholeheartedly. 

Otherwise we will stay anxious, and stuck so. 

 

Edited by taurean

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Wow, taurean, I'm impressed by that bit about you starting work far away with not a lot of possessions. Well done you. :)

I'm actually really proud of myself for how I've done today; I had the day off and I've just Been. I just sat with the thoughts and let them come through and did my best not to engage; it wasn't perfect, but it was okay. I didn't do the things I was going to do - the gym, specifically :D - but I had a nice hot bubble bath and watched some of Good Omens (which I recommend for those who need distraction; I felt uncomfortable reading the book and it was a bit tedious, but I like the show) and although I'm budgeting a fair bit, I was able to buy milk and biscuits and apples. Cookies and apples go very well together, I find. So I feel proud for slowing things down, for being and for reminding myself that no amount of rumination is going to change things. It does make things worse in the long-term. Guess I've always just been a worrier.

The 'trying to be perfect' angle is something to keep in mind, from both angles; not trying to be perfect in yourself, but also not trying to create the absolutely perfect life. In times like that, I think of the series Poldark when Ross, the hero of the story, has moments of feeling torn between his wife Demelza, or his lost love Elizabeth; he loves both but also needs to learn to cherish what's in front of him and not keep reaching for the impossible, of what's lost. I think I tend to do that a lot; I spread myself too thin and try and check that I can do everything, even if some stuff is just beyond me, my limits, my conscience.My OCD often comes in the form of 'wait, is it okay to do this?' and go around in circles with it; that's how it goes these days. I have to learn to just be with what I've got. Not ruminating is a hard thing but it can be done as I proved today. I guess also when I talk about these things, I want to hope it'll have cured everything but of course it doesn't. Sometimes I look back and see how far I've come. I'm just frustrated that my twenties have been spent slightly underheel with the OCD and dealing with wider anxiety and depression, which made me feel like a failure. But then it's like that for a lot of people, relapses happen and we can't wrap it all up in a nice box. Everybody has issues and I did lose my Mum into the bargain, not to mention the usual uncertainties that come with being a twenty-something these days; finance, jobs, moving out. I think I'm allowed to go 70% rather than 110%, although I intend to do my best. 

I went to a chat over the weekend with Matt Haig, the author who talks about mental health and he concluded his talk with 'just be, just beach.' I also chatted to him about dealing with my own suicidal urges and he was really nice about it. I read somewhere when tackling with suicidal thoughts that you shouldn't worry about the future, just today. So although I worry sometimes that I'll never get better, because I've spent the last few years going around in circles worrying about the same stuff against the stress of modern life, at least I'm taking it one day at a time and I've made some progress; made the realisation that I've been rather unkind to myself, cruel even and setting myself to impossible standards. And that's something. 

Thanks for the support, guys. I'm out of the suicidal zone now and I'm in the moment and it's an okay day. Sometimes on a day off I worry about what I'm going to do with the time but today I'm with the time, in the moment and I'm still alive.

This turned into a long post but thankyou all once again for taking the time to respond. I am aware I should engage more with others on the forum.

C x

 

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First of all, well done for today! Honestly, a bubble bath, biscuits and tv series sounds like a perfect day to me! I really think that many young people today are pressured into wanting the perfect life because of things like social media. You just see the best bits of other people's lives and it's hard not to compare yourself, I think we all do it but it's pointless because nobody has the perfect life. You've probably accomplished more than you're aware of and have done so alongside mental illness. 

The way I see it, you're dealing with two separate issues at the moment - OCD and then the impact that it is having on your quality of life. I think that you should work on the OCD and just let life sort itself out. It won't do you any good to pressure yourself into feeling happy. Besides, life throws completely unexpected things your way and sometimes they can be good. Just take it day to day for now and eventually things will improve. 

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That's great advice malina. 

If we let things overwhelm us, they will. 

We can be concerned, and plan to improve things - but being worried will weaken us, make us more vulnerable to OCD. 

So let's play a little game, cub. Next time life seems to be dealing you bad cards in the scheme of things, take stock. 

Instead of looking at the black side of things, see if you can work out how to review the upsetting or annoying issues in a much more positive light. 

Where OCD is in play, remember what you have learned and put it into practice. Don't believe intrusions, don't connect with them. Refocus away. 

I learned this technique from a self-help book and it's amazing, it can really begin to shift us from negative thinking bias. And help us to resist the OCD. 

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Thankyou Malina and Taurean

I've been working on just being in the moment the past few days and things feel a bit better. I've been making a point of Not Ruminating with the reminder to myself it doesn't help anything, and won't change the past and also using rational thinking. I feel a little less twitchy, I suppose? I'm just enjoying moment by moment and not pushing myself too hard. Only trouble is I'm on a diet and it makes me very hungry! :D 

Your advice and support is much appreciated. Thankyou in particular Malina for telling me to focus on the OCD; that means a lot. My head feels a bit calmer right now and it feels like I've been having a bit of a break, so that's nice. :) 

C x

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3 minutes ago, Cub said:

Thankyou Malina and Taurean

I've been working on just being in the moment the past few days and things feel a bit better. I've been making a point of Not Ruminating with the reminder to myself it doesn't help anything, and won't change the past and also using rational thinking. I feel a little less twitchy, I suppose? I'm just enjoying moment by moment and not pushing myself too hard. Only trouble is I'm on a diet and it makes me very hungry! :D 

Your advice and support is much appreciated. Thankyou in particular Malina for telling me to focus on the OCD; that means a lot. My head feels a bit calmer right now and it feels like I've been having a bit of a break, so that's nice. :) 

C x

I'm really glad the the advice helped and that you're feeling better Cub! :thumbup:

I'm also coming to the end of my "staycation" and it was so much nicer than I expected, only got anxious a few times and really enjoyed being at home and getting some rest! 

 

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Mindfulness really helped me cub - just "being", in the present in the moment. 

And I use it all the time now, as it stopped the overthinking - whirring thoughts in my mental chatter that formed a constant loop. 

So steering yourself into that way of thinking should help curb the rumination :)

 

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Thanks, taurean

My manager suggested mindfulness actually. It does come in handy! :D The rumination is the thing that needs to be batted down as it's a terrible waste of mental, physical and emotional energy. 

Thanks once more for your time. 

C x

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