Friday, 31 August 2012

Upward curve

I have not written for a while. This is not because nothing's going on. I have been really quite low since November. It started with moving house. The process and the build up to the move and then the move itself was stressful. It actually went quite smoothly and relatively quickly. I dread to think what state I'd have been in had it not! So we were lucky with all that. However, the real stress came when once moved in we had the huge task of renovating the place which is now over half done.

All this got to me. I felt down, negative and stressed and my self esteem suffered although I am not sure how that relates to the disorder, mess and renovation. Maybe it felt out of control and too big for me? I'm not sure. This lead to feelings of anger and frustration a lot of the time. I found that the intense negative emotions made my mind very tired and also my body. I caught a cold in the winter which turned into congestion which lasted months and has still not 100% cleared. The doctor just said it'll take time to clear. Sure is! It's a real eye opener about how negative emotions can also physically harm you. I have discovered that stress even causes dizziness and back pain! Stress is bad news.

I have done a lot of work on trying to shift my emotions to up rather than down. I have tried to switch from negative to optimism and slowly it has worked. Trying to make myself see the good and be more light (hearted). Each day edging to being that bit better. I realised that I had somehow subconsciously decided that because I have OCD, anxiety and depression I cannot be happy. Of course this is not true because they come and go in varying degrees and can be manageable. I have used some Buddhist principles to help to calm myself which is very useful. 

Recently I have tried to avert my attention from the negativity and anger when it crops up and to switch to thinking of something which makes me happy or something practical. 

I think the route of my anger and lack of self-esteem stems from deep, long held opinions of myself which I have now learned are inaccurate. I believed for years that I should be and should have achieved things which I have not and this was terrible for my self-esteem. I read a book called "DON'T GET MAD GET WISE. Why no one ever makes you angry...ever!" by Mike George which made me realise I am not supposed to be anything other than myself. Sounds obvious but it is incredible how many people have no idea that is all / what they need to be. We keep trying to fit the square peg in the round hole because we think - or want - it to go but it just is
not us so it doesn't. Also to try to change these views and in turn my feelings about myself I have decided to focus on a few aims. I told myself I should do what makes me happy and do what I am good at. So I have based my aims on these things.

Something which had made a huge difference is that I have tried hard to atop my preoccupation with my problems. Anxiety and OCD like to put me though the torturous task of constantly repeating to myself my problems and how to resolve them. On a loop over and over I "repeat".  I have managed to stop this habit and free my mind. I managed it by keeping it short and sweet by saying to myself only the main points - I think there were just three - and then practicing letting them go and making myself focus on other things for prolonged periods. Now I don't "repeat" much at all. It has free my thinking hugely and made me feel more happy, creative, enthusiastic and energetic. I don't know how long I can keep this up but it's good! 

Life feels better now and I hope I can continue this even when the negative and fearful feelings rear their ugly heads.