Monday, 27 September 2010

Hunger, tiredness & OCD do not mix!

Yesterday was a bad day. I did not really eat well towards the end of last week and as always it caught up with me. I was ok on Saturday although feeling a little strange. I then woke early at about 4.30am on Sunday due to hunger and could not get back to sleep. The strange thing was I was in a terrible mood. How can you wake up in such a bad mood? I eventually managed to get another hour / hour and half before getting up and was then tired, hungry and grumpy the whole day. I realise tiredness and hunger can make anyone irritable but my moods are quite extreme. I don't tend to take these moods out on anyone though, thankfully, only myself. I seem to turn the anger inwards. I have tried to consider why and since I am still without a therapist due to the massive waiting list I am figuring this out alone. I guess it's the frustration and anger at my OCD or at myself for having OCD. The constant feeling of not being able to do this or that or being able to do it but not without huge irrational stress and anxiety. Constantly doubting myself or my ability when really I am more than capable. This destroys my confidence and self-esteem. How to tackle this? Of course number 1 has to be eat well. When I fall into this mood I need to realise why I am feeling that way. Ask myself if I am hungry or tired? I leaned a simple but effective tip at a talk I went to which was to say stop! Whenever my mind is confused just stop and clear my mind. A great way of dealing with any problem which causes mind confusion is to clear the mind and come back to the issue. If I can realise it is just my frustration coming out because lack of food and sleep has made me vulnerable maybe I can stop the feeling or at least ease it. I can but try...

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Positively struggling on...

I seem to go through stages with my OCD. Bad patches and then good as of course we all do. It seems though when I have a good patch, that it will last forever and that I will continue to be improved. This of course is not the case but I believe can remain much improved with almost constant awareness and hard work. This of course is tough. Since falling the other day I have not had to run to the station and have not missed a train so I am improving somewhat. Some things I feel a need to check less than others according to what I fear most. At the moment I am doing better with most things but the thing I find so hard to leave is the basin tap in the bathroom. So worried it will flood when the thing is clearly not even on.

I have learned to not be so hard on myself for not doing 100% OCD exposure the whole time. As long as I am making some improvement most of the time then that is good enough. Remaining positive and remembering how far I have come is a great help.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

OCD Exposure: Fell flat on my face at my first attempt - literally!

On my way to work on Monday morning I was running for my train and tripped. I banged my knee and cut it open. I sat there for a few seconds feeling a bit shocked and sorry for myself and then as I got up and slowly made my way to the train station the feeling quickly changed to annoyance. Why did I trip? Because I was running. Why was I running? Because I was late for the train? Why? Because it took me too long to lock up because I was not strict enough with my OCD. I then promised myself I would not be having to run for the train again and have managed the last two days to leave in good time but still feel I am giving in a bit too much. I reminded myself as I left the house this morning that complete exposure to OCD means not one little check. Not one! I wonder how I will do tomorrow...

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Total exposure - again...

Well I have tried this before and really did quite well but like many things it slips back if I don't keep control of it. At first I am strict and manage to get on top of it and in control and happy about it. Then because I am relaxed about it I seem to occasionally let my grip go and give in to the temptation but still feel happy with my progres overall. Then I slowly let it slide more and more frequently until it's gained control once more. Why do I do this? Surly I cannot forget the horror of feeling helpless and powerless when it takes hold of me? The feeling that I am at the bottom of a long, deep, dark hole with no way to climb out. The trouble also is that by then my confidence and self-esteem have gone too. Not only do I feel like I have to get myself out of this hole but have no confidence at all that I can do it. Apart from the fact that I have of course done it before. This fact really is the light at the end of the tunnel which keeps me going. Where would I be without my CBT self-help book too?! It has been a great help to me and is purely the reason why I have managed as (relatively) well as I have. I have still not been given an appointment to see a psychologist. The waiting list is one year which is up in November so I guess it should be any time soon. I think I will have to adopt for my progress with OCD the same attitude I have towards practising sports which is that when you progress to the point where you are doing well you must not assume that that is it I am good now so I can relax the effort and stop because of course that is foolish. To stay at a level you need to practise all the time again and again. We'll see how I go this time.

By the way on the dieting I wrote about a while ago, that has predictably fallen flat on its face. Not because I lack discipline (honest!) but because I am just so bloomin' hungry! I don't know what on earth to do on that one. I go from being comfortable being a bit bigger and actually feel quite empowered that I can accept my womanly shape to hating the weight and feeling inadequate and a failure that I cannot manage to be thinner. I know the logical thing is to accept myself the way mother nature made me but it's hard.