Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Rollercoaster weekend

Whoohoo! Good news. I got my red karate belt on Sunday! I'm very pleased. The grading is really stressful and scary but I think that makes it even more rewarding. I am noticing how much confidence it gives me generally. It all gets harder as you go up the belts of course but I am enjoying the challenge. My anxiety really did rise the day before. I was going over and over a thousand times everything I had to do and get ready and thinking have I done this have I done that over and over. I managed to calm down and think about something else for a while and the need for Overthinking passed thankfully as I needed to get some sleep!

It was a pretty stressful weekend all round actually. On Saturday we woke up to discover the kitchen was flooded! My husband managed to stop the leek before the plumber arrived thankfully. However, the water coming from the bathroom, was sitting between the bathroom floor and kitchen ceiling so he had to cut out a section to let it flow out. Not ideal! I realise thought that it could have been a lot worse as it was just a leaking pipe which needed tightening and had probably been slowly dripping away for weeks. It worked out ok though and the damage was minimal apart from the hole in the ceiling which will take weeks to dry before we can re-do it. Interestingly I did not start overly worrying about it which I out down to being preoccupied with my karate grading. Usually I would just worry about whatever is happening but when there is something which is very important to me such as my grading I seem to somehow let other things bypass me. I don't think this is the same how any "normal" person would think because I think the reason is that failing or missing out on the important thing is totally unthinkable and intolerable whether that is reasonable or logical or not.

Very emotional weekend!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Worry shift

I cannot manage in any way to stop checking my alarm clocks. Yes, I have to have two in case one mysteriously brakes in the night! I have managed relatively well in resisting checking windows and taps (apart from taps in the night - why is it always harder In the night?) and various other things using CBT but the thought of my alarm not going off and being late for work seems to be at the top of the fear list when it comes to checking - at the moment anyway. I seem to experience more checking at work these days than security checking at home too. Perhaps my fears have shifted and work fears are more prominent. Of course if I can learn what about work I really fear then maybe it will help me to gain more control of checking or even decrease my "need" to check by dealing with it directly. I think though that I am just worried about responsibility and security but what can be done about that? Until I start seeing a therapist I think I'll just have to struggle along with the clocks. I feel I have made some small progress with checking at work though. On average I do approximately one to two fewer checks. It's not much but it's a start. The little voice is always there..."but what if?"

Monday, 21 March 2011

Back to normal...

Well I am back to work tomorrow. The rest is over. I am beginning to think about my week ahead and to anticipate what I have to do. Of course all the old anxieties are creeping out such as having to set my alarm which I check countless times and being back at work with a full inbox. This week and next I don't need to lock up when I leave for work as hubby has two weeks off work. I can look at this one of two ways 1) that this is good because I don't have to lock up :0) or 2) that this is not so good because it does not give me the opportunity to test myself and progress :0(. I can only imagine what my checking will be like once he is back at work! I will just focus for now on all the other checks I have to do at any time such as the taps and lights etc.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Cooling down in the sun...

OMG. It is quite amazing. I have been so relaxed this week despite being away from home. I did not stress once about anything apart from this morning when I had a minor freak out about all the housework I would have to do when I return home today. Who cares?! It can wait until tomorrow after karate. Also I did get overly concerned about the colour of my skin as I am quite fair skinned and the colour was a rather alarming shade of red but I soon rationalised that it always happens before fading within hours which it has now. It is almost as though I am one of those "normal" people who think that going away is relaxing and is actually the whole point of a holiday rather than an OCD persons who thinks it's the perfect way to torcher yourself for a week about everything and anything that pops into your mind. Wow! I am trying to think of how I have managed to be so anxiety free right now. Could it be down to learning to question my fears and rationalise them? And how long will this feeling of relaxation last? Back to work on Tuesday...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

So far so good

Well I am quite surprised. I expect to be even more anxious than usual when I go on holiday and find it hard to enjoy myself but not at all this time. When things are unfamiliar my anxiety seems to increase although I am now thinking that that is offset by the fact that I don't have any responsibilities to stress about while I am away and nothing is expected of me. Hurray! I can tackle the responsibilities when I get home and am hoping to keep up the progress of late but for now I really am enjoying a bit of sun and relaxation. :0)

Monday, 14 March 2011


I have recently been fortunate enough to experience life without anxiety, fear and worry. This is with the help of the books I have been reading and which I now pretty much live by. This rare feeling of stillness and peace in my mind is really quite blissful. It enables me to just be, experience now, get on with my life and enjoy all that life is. There is however, one other thing the peace creates - space. Actually, it's a void. At times I go from being a constant worrier to someone well, pretty much normal really. This is fantastic of course and something I want to maintain but what about the space? I have feared and worried my way through life and I feel as a consequence have not achieved what I could have. This mental freedom allows me to see this. The only thing I have done is take up karate in the last few months. The space in my life and the time I now have is an opportunity to live and experience which, progress permitting, I fully intend to do but I cannot help but feel a great sadness at the lost time and opportunities I have missed. Without the fear and worrying to make me afraid to do things and occupy my time what would I have been like and what would I have done with my life? I am now left thinking what can I do to make a start on making up for it? Can I? I feel as though I need to get to know myself properly aside from the problem so I can successfully achieve what I want out of life.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Help and holidays

Since the discovery of the great book ‘Anxiety Free’ by Dr Robert L. Leahy at New Year I have been up and down with my anxiety. One minute feeling as though I can gain / am gaining control of it and feeling as though things are promising then the next feeling as though the strength of the anxiety is still overwhelming. I realise though that progress will, of course, be slow. I have not seen my counsellor as planned because since reading the book I felt as though I could try to deal with it alone. I have though, continued to struggle and although the book is very good it is not enough. It was rather optimistic and naive to think I could take it on alone. Anyway, I have been on a waiting list for a psychologist since November 2009 and they have recently contacted me and am told I will start a programme within the next two months. I think it will be so much easier with someone guiding me through what I need to do. I have also bought a book called ‘The Worry Cure’ also by Dr Robert L. Leahy which is excellent and even more relevant since it is even more specific to my most challenging needs. Worry, worry, worry! I do feel optimistic because of everything I am learning from the books. Perhaps progress will quicken up once I start the programme.

Anyway, guess what?! I am going on holiday tomorrow for five nights which will be a challenge for me as I can be more afraid when I am not familiar with my surroundings. Then there is all the planning and preparation which can get me into a bit of a tizz what with making sure I have everything but hey - nearly there now. Please wish me luck for that. I am trying not to think about my workload at the office when I return. Also, I have another karate grading coming up so it’s challenges all the way!