Saturday, 30 January 2010

Hangover happened

Well on Thursday the hangover happened. Locking up at lunchtime to go to work wasn't too bad considering but work was though. When I'm unwell, tired or hungover (not expecting any sympathy on the latter!)I always seem to be more anxious. I work as a secretary so it means I'm responsible for arranging meetings and business trips. You can imagine, being a checker, how much fun my OCD has with me! Details, details, all the little details. It's hard enough that I feel the need to check multiple times because of the OCD but in the company I work for we are actively encouraged to check, check and triple check. It goes without saying of course that you should check your work whatever it is that you do but as all people with OCD know there's necessary checking and needless compulsive checking - it is so wearing. I was exhausted by the end of Thursday. Lack of sleep on Thursday night (could not switch off from work) meant that it was similar on Friday. I wonder if I am making enough effort with the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I don't think I am so will try to be more disciplined and see how I go.

I'd like to point out that I realise some people might think why on earth does she go out drinking and induce a hangover when it makes her problems worse?! but you see one effect of OCD is that it makes people feel as though they cannot live a "normal" life. Going out with your friends and having a couple of drinks (not more as I hate being drunk) is normal and I feel as though I have missed out on so many things, especially earlier on in my life when it was debilitating, that I just want to do those ordinary, small, enjoyable things. I just have to use judgement and take care with each occasion. I am very aware of myself and my health.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Up and down...

Well it's been an odd couple of days. On Monday I was terrible at locking up. No idea why. I must have had some unconscious anxieties going on as I felt quite relaxed in myself but when it came to locking up everything worried me and I had to check things I no longer normally think about. I stopped checking the cooker before leaving for work a few weeks ago but no, I had to check it. I also had to unlock the front door and lock it again! This felt like such a big step back and made me determined to lock up better so yesterday (didn't have to lock up on Tuesday as someone was in (handy!) I made a big effort. Although I have to admit I did not feel so compulsed as Monday and locked up in 11 mins!! Let's see how I do today. I have a feeling I might have problems later today as I was out last night for a few drinks which always effects my blood sugar levels and in turn makes me anxious. Need some protein pronto. I'm not in work until this afternoon and I might, on the way, have to pop in the shop to see the Vivienne Westwood handbag...

Just an observation but when you think of something you really like (such as a new handbag - or if that's not your bag (!) a night out or whatever) does it make you less anxious and your compulsion fades? Or is that just me? Good excuse anyway...

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Locked up quick but no designer bag!


Well, yesterday I did go out but not to the west end for the designer handbag, just into town for a few bits and managed to lock up with hardly any stress. I did struggle for ages when I locked up the kitchen though to go to bed. I had to check the cooker a million times. This seems to be something which is a problem inconsistantly. Also, in the night when I used the cold water tap in the bathroom I had to check it was off several times. This is always a problem. I really need to work on it but find it really hard because I always think that if I'm not comfortable then I won't be able to sleep which I find harder to deal with than when locking up to go out because I can then leave the house and then it's done with. If I'm in bed thinking "is the tap off?" it's possible to re-check so much harder to get out of my mind.

Oh well, must work on it!!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Naughty, naughty!

Oops! I said I would update my blog daily and nothing for a week! I will blame the fact that I have been busy at work. Actually, after trying to find my blog in search engines I have discovered that it might take weeks before my blog appears in any of them! So, if you're reading this because I have provided my blog URL in a discussion forum thanks for looking me up. Pls pass it on! x

Anyway, as I have mentioned, I have just started seeking help for my OCD. While I wait for my psychologist appointment I am going it alone and putting into practise CBT I have found in a book called "Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" by David Veale and RObin Willson. It explains how OCD works and how you can effectively overcome it. I am a "checker" which means that I am compulsed to check things are switched off, shut, locked etc. before leaving the house and before bed at night. The aim, very basically, is to fight the compulsion each time - more complicated than it sounds. Believe me this is a lot easier said than done as other sufferers will understand. It used to take me 30 to 40 mins to lock up the house each morning before work. It now varies from between 10 to 15!! I am very pleased. In fact on Friday (when I really was on a mission to do well after taking ages the previous day) I did it in eight mins - EIGHT!! It varies a lot depending on my level of anxiety. I am not yet sure if I'm off out today (there is a Vivienne Westwood handbag calling in Selfridges!) - wonder if I can do it in eight again?! We'll see.

Bye for now. x

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I am glad you've found me.

I want to share with you my experiences as I deal with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder). I have lived with these conditions since childhood and now in my thirties I have begun to seek help which is slowly but surely enabling me to deal with them and start living rather than just existing!! These are conditions which people find hard to tell people about and therefore feel isolated and find it very difficult then to seek help often with the belief that there is nothing that can be done. I have realised this is not the case. I am reading self-help books and am due to see a psychologist within the next few months. Unfortunately mental health is very underfunded on the NHS and the waiting list is one year!!

I have discovered that 2.3% of the population have OCD and only 10% of those are seeking help. I hope that my blog will help me and others as I share what is happening in my life and that perhaps other sufferers who read this might be encouraged to also seek help if they are not already. Or maybe you have managed to gain full control of it and you can offer advice to me!

I will try to update my blog daily.Thanks for reading. Please do comment and share your thoughts.