It’s so easy to give yourself a hard time! I do it constantly, I’m definitely my own worst critic. This week I was in the supermarket, it was really busy and I could feel the anxiety sitting there in my chest. The car park was packed with people everywhere and inside wasn’t any better.
On top of the anxiety I then started getting frustrated with myself that small, normal day to day activities like shopping are still difficult and stressful for me. Everyone else can do it, why can’t I, gurrrrr!
When I got home I had to sit down and remind myself that actually a couple of years ago I wouldn’t even of made it into the car park let alone the supermarket and actually I have come such a long way. Even being able to recognise the anxiety and OCD thoughts when they are happening is progress.
Recovery is a marathon not a sprint (unfortunately), there will be set backs and days when we find it harder than others. Always try and keep this in mind, never forget how far you’ve come, OCD is a bully and it won’t give up so you mustn’t either.
So how do you deal with these low points when they occur?
I guess you have to be realistic, it is naive to think you’re not going to have bad days along the way and having a plan of action in place is key.
Always be kind to yourself and don’t catastrophise events/situations.
For me this week the shopping was something I had to get done, as we all know we have to face our anxieties head on and not run away from them. I used breathing mostly to get through my anxiety on this occasion. Deep breaths in and out to keep myself calm and relaxed. I also took my time, I wasn’t in a rush so I took the opportunity to take a step back and think about what it was that was causing me to be so anxious.
The process for me on this occasion was more about getting through the shopping trip rather then relieving the anxiety, as this didn’t pass until I was home later and all the thoughts had gone but even being able to function with the anxiety is essential for recovery. Not being completely paralysed by the fear, thoughts and the physical reaction is also an achievement in itself and by writing this now I am only just realising that myself.
It’s so frustrating to have to be on a journey – man I hate that word – but like it or not I am on an OCD recovery journey and I hope some of the things I am learning along the way are helping you guy’s out too.
Stay Strong xxx