Frustrated with myself my thoughts and my past
Hi Im feeling alone with all these thoughts, they bother me sometimes until it triggers another problem or just messes with me and makes me feel guilty. I guess I was just hoping to get things of my chest and perhaps maybe someone can relate.
2 years ago I was admitted to hospital following an attempt. I was also admitted for the same reason 1 months prior. That period was a horrible time in my life. For about 2 years leading up to this I constantly thought like that - really dark stuff. I didn’t always want to but there were stages when it was constant and relentless.
I was in year 7 when I first thought of it. I was constantly worrying about going mad and the fact that it felt like I was loosing my mind. Looking back it was my OCD moving up to a much higher degree than I had previously experienced. I thought that if one of these things that I’m constantly worried about isn’t actually going to hurt anybody or me but still left me feel like this then one day I would probably do something extreme.
I am safe, and studying and trying hard to move on with my life. But I know I overthink things and it’s bothering me.
I worry a lot about the attempt. I heard people talk about theirs and I’ve read about it, they seem to say that really they didn’t want it. I am so happy to be alive today! But I didn't back then I felt so stupid for not getting it to work properly. I was so depressed afterwards and yet still so anxious. My voice actually seemed to go away the second time. I would speak and no one would hear what I had said. I don’t even know sometimes how many “attempts” I actually have had. As I was so desperate for what seemed like forever.
Sometimes now I feel really lucky that I made it and then I think I’m silly for thinking that.
Now days songs and things sometimes still get me as they remind me of pain, mental and physical from back then. But that frustrates me as I am the only one to blame for all of that. I hid symptoms, I lied constantly to everyone: I love and my mum was the one who found me. I have caused my family pain and that hurts. At the time everything I did felt like the best option I had available, but I feel I can’t complain. No one has ever really hurt me beyond the basics and I have a wonderful family.
Hi Sea Turtle,
I can totally relate to you.
I also suffered with OCD and when I was in the grips of it I thought I was going crazy.
I also had some horrible dark intrusive thoughts and I felt the same as you in the fact that they felt constant and relentless.
I just wanted them to stop.
Im sorry that you had an attempt I can only imagine the turmoil you felt inside your self.
I felt like I was running from something constantly and my nervous system took a battering while I was in the grips of OCD it really was horrible.
Its not our fault that our anxiety reacts in the way it does due to our intrusive thoughts, I believe the severe anxiety fueled my OCD to very high levels.
Its not your fault for what you went through your actually a very resilient person for getting through it because it’s a hard road….. a marathon.
I ve now recovered from my OCD thanks to the health professionals that helped me i did a great therapy that taught me how to master my OCD.
I had a wonderful family aswell and I still fell into the grips of OCD it’s a condition that we got and that’s not our fault….. many people have this disorder.
Its hard when we are in the grips of OCD sometimes we don’t feel like it’s easy to tell someone our true thoughts and why we do things the way we do…… it’s part of the condition…. Again not our fault…
How’s everything with your self and your mum now?
My mum saw we through some hard times……… our mums love us and are there for us with understanding.
Have you been able to talk to your Mum about what happened in that time in your life?
Im so happy you are here with us today 😊
How are you going with your recovery?
I have a song that comes up at times……. It played on the radio in the car when I was on my way to my first day of therapy… it was….
It not crazy, I’m just a little bit unwell, right now you can’t tell but sooner enough you will see a better me…….
I took that song as a sign I was going to be well again…….
Now I am……… I always have a little laugh to myself when I hear it because now I’m proud, proud of how far I have come ❤️🙏
Im here to chat to you always
My relationship with mum is going wonderfully. She grew up not really talking about the tough stuff, the moral was just to be loving and supportive and that will get you through. Not a bad moral. But my mum and family had no idea of mental illness and didn’t want to find out about it.
I don’t know where you live but I grew up around Dubbo. My mum asked a local doctor when I was little, who said “ that’s life”. The therapist from Dubbo also had very little understanding. I told her how dark I was feeling and that I had wanted to do something bad, she shrugged me of.
I don’t know If you find this but I have found people assume they know OCD but think it’s comical, clean and painless.
Mum is also a person that becomes angry when she is scared and worrying. That made things really hard. We argued and cried and our relationship was falling apart. I tried desperately to push her away as I thought that way it would hurt her less.
from when I ended up in hospital the second time though we have talked every day since. She moved into my apartment so she could visit me every day in the hospital. I’m am so thankful for her and proud she is my mum as she kept proving to me that she loved me and wasn’t going anywhere. We talk about so much now sometimes for hours, she always there to listen now . Although I can see in her face that it hurts if I go back to before hospital.
Was the therapy you did ERP?
I have come so far since the therapy and meds. It was so very hard though, especially when I was depressed but it got easier.
I seem to have an ED mixed in what’s left over of the OCD.
I went to my sister house on the weekend. It was very obvious I still have things to work on. I get quite stressed with new environments I worry about what to touch, where to sit, and I still find eating hard. When I’m not at home I find eating with my hands difficult and worry about a sort of build up of things I’ve touched. But I can get on with things and enjoy myself. it feels like nothing compared to the person from the hospital who wasn’t eating, was having panic attacks, afraid to move, jumping at every sound and didn’t sleep. I was like a scared zombie.
Im so glad you’ve recovered.
I always think of something a nurse told me. We had a great repore she looked me in the eyes once and said “It....Gets....Better I promise It...Gets...Better”
thankyou for your support
That’s ok Sea Turtle 😊
It’s great that your relationship with your mum is going wonderfully!
Im really sorry that the therapist you saw with your mum when you were younger shrugged you off…. That must have been so hard for yourself and your mum .
I have found the same as you in regards to how some people view OCD as comical….. there is so much misunderstanding in the broader community on what OCD really is and how it affects to sufferer.
I know that the general person that thinks OCD is comical really has no idea what the person suffering the condition really goes through from an internal perspective…..
I can understand why your mum may have felt scared while you were going through OCD…… I know my mum sometimes felt that way…… I guess they can see our suffering and torment and not really understanding the impacts of it inside ourselves……
Im glad your self and your mum are in a better place I understand that your mum may show her hurt when you bring up the past but I think that comes from her being scared of not knowing what to do……
When I talk to my mum about that time in my life she has said to me that was a really scary time.
Well done for how far you have come!
I also went on meds and did therapy………. I did metacognitive therapy I did mine at a University the therapy was run by trainees and overseen by a doctor……. It was an intervention into the OCD.
Im sorry you are going through a ED I can understand how this would accompany OCD……
When you have these worry thoughts just try to let them be there but put your attention on something in the present moment if your mind tries to fixate on the thoughts again just re direct your attention on something in the present moment… ( it takes practice)
In the therapy that I did we were taught what our OCD cycle was and then how to become aware that when we are getting caught up in the cycle and then how to disengage from it.
Have you ever been taught what your OCD cycle is?
I was also taught a certain meditation in my therapy I did this meditation every day for quite some time….. I believe it got me over the line.
I learned to become the observer of my thoughts and not get so caught up in them.
Do you practice meditation?
Im so glad that your nurse said that to you! It’s so true ❤️
I had a great friend who stood by me through out my journey she said to me …… OCD is a marathon you just have to keep persevering! and that’s what I did perseverance paid off.
Here to chat to you
I haven’t heard of an OCD cycle, I had to google meta cognitive therapy as I’d never heard of it. We had to figure out a hierarchy of what we struggled with so you know where to start in ERP. I’m curious to know what you mean.
I did do progressive muscle relaxation, to try and meditate in a way. I remember in the hospital they got me to go do a group meditation session. It was an imagination meditation, I don’t know if you find these helpful but for me I couldn’t turn the OCD off even in my dreams at night let alone in my imagination. Honestly it made me anxious. I have tried, I crochet, paint and draw I find these help as your being calm and present while having something to do. Although this seems to stop working at times.
I have definitely been learning that perseverance pays off.
Hi Sea Turtle, 😊
Thats ok 😊 I’ll explain to you what I was taught in therapy hopefully it can help you aswell in some way……
OCD is a vicious cycle…. As we both have experienced.
In the therapy I did we were taught many helpful ways to deal with our intrusive thoughts.
My therapy was done as a group therapy there were another 12 people in my group that also suffered with OCD.
We had two trainees who ran the session.
One of our first activities was to write down a intrusive thought that bothered us …all of us did this anonymously and put the paper with our answer in a bucket ….. the trainees also did this exercise……
The trainees read out the intrusive thoughts and then also read out
“their “intrusive thoughts to the group.
What came out of that exercise was that everyone has intrusive thoughts and it’s normal to have them……….
This was just the beginning………. we were taught so much in our 8 weeks of therapy including how to challenge our thoughts and beliefs, attention training, meditation, we were given home work … some home work ( experiments) was writing down our intrusive thoughts 50 times and saying them out loud 50 times…..
Setting out a experimental time the thoughts would happen ……. Just by thinking them…
By the way “ they never happened “…
We would do our home work and come back to group therapy and explain our outcomes……
The goal of our course was to help us to respond in a more helpful way to our intrusive thoughts so that we could feel more in control of our thoughts and feelings.
Ill explain the vicious cycle of OCD and how to break free of it in my next post 😊
Hi Sea Turtle,
Just a follow on from my post I understand that meditation can be difficult until you get the hang of it, I think with OCD we need to do a specific type of meditation.
I have found that the guided meditation for learning to watch your thoughts is really helpful for OCD because it can teach us that we are not our thoughts but the watcher of them, I learned that I am seperate from my thoughts and I could just sit back and view what my mind was doing.
You can google guided meditations for learning to watch your thoughts, at the time when I began doing this in therapy I didn't realise what positive impacts it was going to have on myself and my OCD.
By doing meditation I believe that meditation got me over the line because by myself learning to be the observer of my thoughts I could actually site back and watch the OCD cycle as it arouse in my mind, I learned that I was seperate to the OCD cycle and didn't have to engage in it I could just allow it to float on by.
Some days when I was learning what the OCD Cycle was I did get caught up in it but because of the meditation that I had begun to engrave in myself I was now beginning to become aware when I was getting caught up in the OCD cycle and I could then disengage from it with the tools I had learned in my therapy.
The less further I got into my OCD cycle the less anxious I became I was no longer spiraling " I was in control" and I could recognize where in the cycle I was getting caught up in and then could notice this and disenegage... there for the OCD cycle had been interupted which was a huge win for me.
Just another follow on :
In my therapy I learned alot of ways to challenge my thoughts and beliefs.
We also learned what the vicious cycle of OCD is, by learning this it helped me to get better at identifying when I was getting caught up in the OCD cycle so that I could take active steps to change my thinking and my reactions to my thinking.
The vicious cycle of OCD:
First we have the initial thought
Then we have symptoms eg.. feeling fearful and anxious
We give attention to the thought, we ruminate on the thought , we question the thought, we then put our morals against the thought, we look for meaning
We then move to "efforts to control" eg we seek reassurance, we check things, we check memories, we have avoidances
We then have "stop signals" we have anxiety then something else comes up that brings us back into the present moment.
It is important to remember that our intrusive thoughts will still occur from as these are completely normal. The goal is to help us to respond in a more helpful way to these thoughts so that we feel more in control of our thoughts and feelings.
After doing quite a few weeks in therapy we were given something to start doing in our daily life it was called
" Driving the New System" this system is the way I now live my life and have done so for the past 4 and a half years.... this system has successfully kept me free from the vicious cycle of OCD .... it all takes practice.
Driving the New System
These intrusive thoughts / urges/ images mean..... " nothing" I'm normal 94 percent of people have them
Even if they seem or feel really awful they still mean im normal they are random activity
When I have an intrusion (and I will!) I can....
Let it go
Gently dismiss as my intrusion
Be ok with uncertanty nothing is 100 percent certain
I don't need to
Seek re assurance
Because they dont mean anything.
Thought mean nothing
If I have a bad day ( get caught up in intrusive thoughts or compulsions). I can remind myself that OCD occurs on a sliding scale.
Some days I am further along the scale than others.
If I keep working at driving my new system my good days will outweigh my bad days!
I m also glad that you have found ways to bring your self into the present moment like your painting and crochet that s great...... I guess when you have the intrusive thoughts really work on bringing your attention onto something in the present moment and not inside your head.... when your painting really focus on all the beautiful colours you are using, what you can smell and hear. Even when you are holding the paint brush how does it feel in your hands... really study it....
These tasks are so simple but they really do work for people who suffer with OCD because they bring us out of our mind and into the present moment.
If you feel like your mind is going back to past things redirect it to something more positive in the present moment, the trick is becoming aware when your mind is doing this so you can then redirect it.
Awareness is an amazing thing.
Remember to expect slip ups and down days
Slip ups in progress can happen at any time and are to be expected. Try not to fall into the trap of believing that you are "back to square one" as this will only make you feel worse. Use your skills of challenging your negative thinking to help when this occurs. It might be useful to remind yourself that most people have 'down days' or days where lifes hassles are harder to deal with, its part of being human! Also you can use setbacks as a way of learning something new about yourself to help avoid similar problems in the future.
Remember - progress may be a bumpy road at times but it will be a rewarding journey on the whole!!!
Here if you have any questions Sea Turtle or to chat to you...