Monday, 28 March 2016

Progress, peace and learning to have fun

I have not written for a long time mainly because I just lost the will to document all the on goings in my head since it meant thinking about it even more than I already was doing and partly because I was just too fed up to be bothered.
In the time that has passed I have had some very bad lows and some high highs leading me to think I might actually be mildly bi-polar if such a a thing is possible. I have not dared look into it as depression scares the hell out of me.

I have made huge progress with my OCD and have managed to rid my mind of my thought loops. Basically compulsively repeating a list of worries over and over in my head. This I have done since childhood so this is massive for me! Of course it returns sometimes but only for a short while until I regain control.

I did have, what appeared to be, another OCD / GAD/ depression breakthrough moment last October. I went to Brighton for the weekend with my husband and his best mate Gary and his girlfriend Sara. I was not really all that bothered about going as it was to see Joe Bonamassa in concert who the guys had worshipped for years but I barely knew who he was – I don’t tend to pay attention to this stuff as I am too busy obsessing about everything in my head. My usual fearful and negative mind was telling me that I would be bored and not really enjoy Brighton - I had never been before. Anyway, off we went. It was awesome! I loved Brighton as it is so busy and vibrant and I loved the concert and came out with all the good brain chemicals running wild. In the pub afterwards the subject came around to my husband’s brother Matt. Gary was commenting on Matt’s OCD and that he avoids various things he is afraid of. So there was I in my high as a kite good mood full of positivity and joy thinking “Oh yes I also recognise those as OCD behaviours and I have similar ones which I just know I can overcome!!”. I had this sense that I could overcome it all. Also, I had been really down about karate for a while, missing lessons. I lost my Mojo you could say and my confidence with it. Feeling empowered with the happy chemicals running wild I thought I am going to go back and go for it! So I did. For about two weeks…

Then something happened. I will not go into great detail due to its personal nature (sorry to disappoint – you don’t get the juice!) but suffice to say I met a friend who was very dear to me and they let me down. They acted like a good and close, caring friend and then in the blink of an eye - nothing! They virtually disappeared. I had become very attached and was gutted and heartbroken to say the least. I missed the person but also I had allowed this friendship to distract me from many things in life and in particular karate which I had as I said earlier regained my passion for.  Then when they turned away from me I felt I was left with nothing. I had so easily allowed this to happen. I have learned a lot from this experience.

I am learning about my highs and lows and that it is often only a feeling and does not always have much of a basis. I get low about something and then with a boost of happiness it just disappears as though the source my unhappiness does not matter anymore. Like it was just an obsession. Some highs can come from big or small events and last hours or weeks and they also have little basis. They are just there. I think this is what happened after the concert with my thoughts on OCD and karate. It was just a high making me feel that way? It can only be real if it sticks and I so easily let go. I'm not really decided yet what I make of all that.

I have been reading a book called “Dare to Live” by Mirian Subirana. I cannot recommend it enough. It teaches us to let go of attachments. We can love people but we cannot own them. We can like our possessions but we should not become emotionally attached. If you can learn to accept this you can rid your life of a lot of fear and anxiety as you no longer fear losing them. Also, not to pin happiness on wants and desires. We want possessions and we want status. Best instead to work on goals which allow us to progress as people. Of course, in my opinion, we will always want stuff but as long as you understand you cannot always have what you want and don’t be emotionally dependant on it it’s ok. I think you can choose a balance which suits your needs. I now meditate each day. I tried before but didn't stick at it but this experience has made me see that I really need to. If I don’t things break down again. I am always so up and down, high and low. I need meditation to keep on the straight and narrow. It keep the storm away - to maintain some peace in my mind. I am focusing on being peaceful and loving while letting go of fear and anger by understanding and acceptance. I have also made a promise to myself to only have optimistic and positive thoughts. Quite a challenge!

I have also learned that I must do things I enjoy. I don’t spend enough time having fun. I really would love to do something creative and achieve a sense of progress. I can of course progress in karate but increasingly I am falling out of love with it. I really don’t know what will happen there. I lose confidence every time I make another go of it. We’ll see but I don’t think I should pressure myself to do something which is not working for me at the moment.  Anyway, because of something I am up to (more about that later) it will be necessary for me to have a rest from it in a few weeks’ time. Maybe absence will make the heart grow fonder or maybe I will find something else that excites me.

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