So I’ve been writing this blog for 6 months now. This for me is a massive achievement as I find it incredibly hard to concentrate on anything for a sustained period of time. I get terribly excited about the idea of things but when I realise I’m going to have to apply myself and my mind fully, often I find myself unable to. Focusing my mind on something, really concentrating, has always been difficult for me, my mind is quite often off, distracted, somewhere else.
There have been many reasons for this over the years, at times my OCD would apply fears/thoughts to actions. I can remember practising my piano when I was younger and having to keep playing the same piece until I’d managed to get through the whole thing without a bad thought entering my head. Sometimes I would have to play the piece four times because that’s how many members of my family there were at the time and if I didn’t then something bad would happen to one of them.
I like baking but if I am making a cake and I see a little mark in one of the eggs or perhaps a crumb gets into the mixture then the whole activity can become hugely stressful. I don’t know how many cake mixes I’ve thrown away over the years through fear of them being contaminated.
The list goes on and on, I find it so hard to get my head into an activity and apply myself without having to deal with some sort of OCD thought along the way. I am guessing this is quite common for people with OCD?
OCD makes everything more difficult, cooking, relaxing, driving, decorating, seeing people, going places, work, relationships, pregnancy, events, absolutely everything I do is just a bit harder and over the years I’ve just had to get stronger and stronger to deal with it.
So how have I dealt with it?
- I’ve talked to people
- I’ve had CBT therapy
- I’ve faced it head on
- I’ve learnt to control my thoughts better (most of the time)
- I distract myself
- I breath through the anxiety when it hits.
- I remove myself from stressful situations (when I can)
- I’ve read blogs
- I’ve started to practice mindfulness
- I’ve read books
- I’ve learnt what my triggers are
- I’ve learnt what relaxes me
- I’ve learnt to appreciate what I have
- I understand that the thoughts and anxiety will pass in time
- I’ve learnt to like myself more
- I’ve learnt to be kinder to myself
- I’ve educated myself
To be honest this list could probably go on and on. It makes me realise how far I have come since I was 11, scared, not knowing what was happening to me, completely alone, feeling out of control and upset. This was the reason I started this blog, no one should have to feel the way I did, ever!
Actually this blog has been very cathartic as well – which I didn’t see coming – so I would probably add ‘write’ to the list above.
I hope by sharing what I am learning and what I have learnt I will be of some help to others. Life can be pretty tough at times and we all need to talk more to each other about whats going on inside our minds.
I feel like OCD in particular is a hard one for people to talk about as there’s normally an element of being ashamed of or embarrassed by the thoughts. I guess if they were ‘normal’ thoughts there wouldn’t be an issue.
We must remember that everyone has intrusive thoughts, most people are just able to dismiss them straight away and so they never take hold. As soon as you notice the thought and give it some time it makes the thought stronger and then if you keep thinking back to it, even if it’s only to think ‘why have I had that thought’ then it will get stronger and stronger and so the viscous cycle continues.
So to sum up the last six months have been a huge learning curve for me, thanks for everyone who’s followed so far, I really hope it’s been of some use. Here’s to the next six.
Stay Strong xxx