Thursday, 23 February 2012

Black Cloud

Ever since my first driving lesson I have been living under what I call a Black cloud which is basically the way I have felt. Anxious, fearful, negative and down. It is as though I am trapped in this way of thinking and cannot see a way to brake free. I seem to get lost in a dark world where I cannot see reason. The negativity is so intense. I was at first feeling inferior because I find driving hard. This brought about  feelings of inferiority in other areas of my life. I managed to stop feeling that way through reasoning. The feelings then moved to intense fear coupled with negativity. Yesterday I had a think about it all and how I am so fed up of feeling this way and how hugely it effects my life. I realised that I really need to learn to see reason and stop the black cloud early on. I am sure I have said this before though. It is tough. I also realised that while I am living under this black cloud I lose enthusiasm,  joy and energy generally and become less enthusiastic about the things I love which is unfortunate because these are the things which keep you going. My fear of driving is making me so fearful and down that I am less enthusiastic about things. I decided I simply must put a stop to that. I'm not sure how to tackle it but my first plan is to face all fears directly and don't allow myself to back out of anything. Be strong.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Well here we go then...

I bought a car today! I have been looking for three or four weeks now and today I saw the right one. My husband will collect it on Thursday. I have another refresher lesson coming up after which I will be driving to my karate lessons at the weekend which is why I am getting the car really. One more weekend of public transport and off I go. My husband has said he will come with me the first time I drive to each location as they are dotted around town. Then I will be on my own. Blimey! Facing the fear...

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Amazing take control moment...

On Wednesday morning I was getting ready for work and realised I was running late. I had about three minutes to lock up the house and go. Not sure where the time went! Anyway, usually that would make me panic and my checking would just become worse. But I thought to myself "no I am not going to be late today. I am not going to miss my train". Somehow I managed to just lock up by doing only what was absolutely necessary and found the strength through determination to pretty much leave everything else. Wow! Got the train no probs.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

It all started with a driving lesson...

I am a scredy cat driver. I passed my driving test several years ago but I have not driven since. I learnt, not because I wanted to drive but because it was a skill I thought I should get under my belt in case I ever needed it. It takes time to learn and is expensive. I did not want to find myself in the position of needing to drive but having to start from the beginning. Ever the cautious person! Anyway, being the anxious type if something is generally viewed as being potentially a bit risky it is to me something which is definitely very dangerous and must be avoided at all costs.

Now I have moved house I need to drive as the public transport is not sufficient for my needs. Of course I am rusty to say the least and need refresher lessons. I had one three weeks ago which went ok. I remembered a lot which was pleasing. I was quite happy with the lesson overall. The problem though is that I have quite low self esteem and I tend to get self critical very easily. I identify negative niggles and analyse them until I feel bad. As I thought about it I started to become annoyed with myself for not being more able. I felt that I should be more competent since afterall I can  legally drive. At the time I did not rationalise that hang on a minute I have actually not done it for about six or seven years.  Secondly I became annoyed with myself for being so scared and began to compare myself with all the "normal" people who just go out and do it without all the fuss. I was not fair to myself by saying "the thing is though they don't have anxiety disorders". I started down a path of negative feelings - mainly inferiority. I then compared myself to people at work and how highly educated they are, how much money they have, where they live, how thin they are! Why was I doing this to myself? The negative, self-critical thinking can really spiral out of control. All I did was have a driving lesson and after a couple of days negativity I felt so bad about myself. Now though I am more rational. I got so sick of beating myself up for not being more able and successful or being as "perfect" as everyone else and feeling low because I have these anxiety issues. I just had to be more kind to myself. I thought do I deserve to feel like this about myself and the simple answer is no. I have done nothing to deserve that. I have my own successes and when I look at my life with reason I know I am doing ok. If only I could have more control when the negative thinking begins I would perhaps not go down this path.

Any advice would be greatfully received!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Check, check, check

Even when my OCD checking has improved I have always had a compulsion to check at work. Well actually none of my checking habits ever disappear completely but at work it seems particularly tough to control. I guess it's the increased sense of responsibility. Anyway, at present my anxiety at work is pretty strong. I find myself going back to check constantly. It is worse just before I leave for the day when I am wrapping up. The doubts begin. What if this? and what if that? I think I need to learn to trust myself more and have more confidence in myself. Perhaps this will help with the doubt as I think maybe it is not all down to OCD but lack of self belief which makes the doubting stronger. OCD sure does rob you of confidence. Sometimes are better than others. I will see if tomorrow I can trust myself more. I did a bit better on the locking up before leaving for work this morning though. :0)