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gingerbreadgirl

An update and maybe some hope

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Hi all

Just wanted to give a quick, mostly positive update. Hopefully it might give a little hope. 

So as some of you may know, I suffered a huge huge relapse around 2 years ago.  The worst I had ever experienced.  This was triggered by the Harvey Weinstein stuff which was all in the news at the time.  This triggered a cascade of OCD which really just snowballed massively from there - I became consumed by a huge number of themes, all related to my big fear of "what if I am a monster".  I did so many compulsions just desperately trying to "fix" this awful feeling I had.  I think I probably was also depressed for a long while.  I felt completely stuck, and any progress I made was quickly lost as I kept doing compulsions.  My quality of life was very low.  I had periods of progress but these quickly unravelled as I did compulsions thick and fast.  I was also very harsh to myself, a bully in my own head really, and it wasn't a nice way to live. 

Fast-forward to now and I am doing much better.  Which I think is down to a number of things. I have been doing a lot of exposure on a daily basis. That gives me a sense of momentum and achievement as I can see things which used to make me scared no longer do.  I have also done a lot of cognitive work - which you guys on the forum have massively helped me with (particularly Gemma who I really have a lot to thank for). I have been looking at my cognitive distortions, a big one of which is binary thinking.  I have been challenging my perfectionism around moral issues by allowing myself to do little "wrong" things which make me nervous, or doing things which I think others might disapprove of, particularly those close to me. I have also tried to just generally be a bit nicer to myself, give myself a bit of a break, and appreciate the good things about myself which I was never able to do before.  

I have also given up caffeine, which I think has made a massive difference - I feel much more stable and calm.  I have also started taking meds which I do believe have made a bit of a difference.  It's hard to know how much is due to giving up caffeine and how much is due to the meds, but my baseline anxiety is much lower for one reason or another.  This in turn has allowed me to dramatically curb my ruminating, which has freed my brain up to think about other, more positive things.  I have been enjoying my hobbies more and focusing more at work.  I think it's important to have things to fill the void which OCD can leave. 

All of this has combined to put me in a much, much better place and I am enjoying life so much more now, it is a huge relief.  I am not out of the woods but I am in a much better place than I've been at any point over the last two years.  

So I just wanted to say - hang in there, have hope, keep working CBT, things really can get better and the view is so good from the other side.  

GBG x

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Thanks for sharing GBG, I'm really happy for you! It's always good to hear stories about how hard work pays off, helps the rest of us stay motivated!  :clap:

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Gosh what an ordeal you have been through. Thanks for sharing, really great to hear your story and your progress :)

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Glad you're feeling more positive about things. You sound like you've made really good progress, well done! :) x

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That's a very positive post gbg , it's great to hear how well your doing at the moment.:)

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So great to hear gingerbreadgirl--very encouraging! Thanks for posting all that helped you with the progress too. I think it's especially good to note about some of the basic things we can do to lower our base line anxiety--whether it's giving up caffeine, taking on some exercise, eating a better diet...it's good to try these things out to see if they help! We need all the help we can get!

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Well done gbg, you've done amazing, you should be very proud of yourself :yes:

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