Friday, 24 August 2012 0 comments

Friday needs some Jamiroquai

Hope you enjoy this for a Friday tune.
Thursday, 23 August 2012 4 comments

Think about what you are thinking about

Please don't think for a moment that with a title like this, I am telling you as someone with OCD or mental health challenges that you should ruminate or obssess, This is just the title of something I was listening to Today. I have been listening to a discussion on the Mormon Channel, which was an interview with an LDS Family services counsellor called Bruce K Fordham.

It was good to hear the things he spoke about. He was discussing how we can sometimes feel like our thoughts control us. His interview on the Mormon Channel and also in an Ensign article published in April 2009 outline a simple two step process to gaining control again of our thoughts.

His simple technique for combatting intrusive or unwanted thoughts are as follows –

First, we can treat the thought with indifference, preventing it from developing or becoming engaging to our minds.

Second, we can replace the negative idea with a wholesome thought or activity.

I found the interview on the Mormon channel more insightful and helpful than what was written in the Ensign article as it's a bit more in depth.

Here is a link to the podcast

However, Here is the link to his Ensign article

Think about what you are thinking about

While this is not an unusual or a unique approach, I found it helpful to hear a member of the church who knows about mental health challenges say that you don’t have to challenge your bad thoughts, infact you are allowed to be indifferent and unresponsive.
Monday, 6 August 2012 0 comments

Good for......not much it seems!

Something’s been bothering me. I hope I can explain this without any harshness or criticism, as that is not my intention.

For the past few years I have had pretty bad episodes where I am so anxious and distressed with thoughts that I have become quite ineffective. I’m stuck in the depths of obsessing, doubt and panic attacks.

This has always led to being released from my church callings. The last four callings I have had, I’ve been released when one of these episodes kicks in. They generally last around 6 weeks. I can understand the point of view that a church leader would want to help me by removing that burden from me, but it’s not such a nice thing to always see yourself letting others down because of something going on in your head.

The more it occurs I know there is a questioning or unwillingness to call me to something else, even if I feel better. What tends to happen is I have a chat with the Bishop when I’m in the throws of my anxiety and panic, I get released and then the Bishop doesn’t speak to me again, nor a counsellor nor a home teacher (that’s because the home teachers don’t come) or any other leader. It becomes nothing more than a handshake on a Sunday for several months after. I’m left without a calling and without any real form of church support.

I am not saying I want someone to pour out my soul to, but it seems like I am some kind of spare wheel now, so there’s no point in including me. It would be nice to have someone say to me ‘How’s things going, are things any better?’

I sense a great reluctance to ask me to do anything or call me to anything. I doubt I am even considered, because I’m the mental crazy one who’s unreliable.

With the latest developments of being told this I have OCD, there is only one ward leader who knows this, and a couple of close friends at church. I’ve not told any other leaders, because none of them have asked how I am. I’m not going to go and seek out someone to pour out my thoughts and ailments, but the opportunity has never even been close to occuring.

I guess I am in a unique situation. Not everyone has religious/morality based OCD. Even if I was to tell them, would they get it? I have previously told them what I question and doubt as my obsessions, but I didn’t know at the time that they were obsessions. That vital information clears up alot of issues. Without that info this obviously leaves them thinking I am just weak or I have sinned or I just don’t understand the Gospel.

I think I need a calling as a form of exposure and a way of retraining or replying to my negative thoughts. But I’m in limbo with no calling, no responsibility, no communication with leaders and I think a stereotype as the mentally ill one who must have done something sinful to be punished and tormented.

I have been told that my name has been put forward for callings to the Stake, but the answer came back ‘No, the Lord has other plans for him’ (whatever that means). It obviously doesn't include giving me a calling even to hand out hymn books.

If I was to tell anyone or everyone I had OCD won’t that just confirm to these people that I am a crazy nutjob rather than currently having them just be suspicious?

I’m feeling the ‘Why me?’ thing just now. Why have I got this? Why am I the crazy one? Why can’t I just be normal, instead of judged and ignored?

I guess it’s my pride that is hurting with this one. I feel dispensible. It’s almost like I have to be less active with  problems before anyone would be interested in helping. As my butt is on a church pew every Sunday, no one seems in the slightest bit interested.

I have learnt a valuable lesson, that just because someone is at church every Sunday  doesn’t mean they don’t have a problem that is too heavy to carry alone sometimes. I’m going to try to be there for others to help with their burdens - with or without a calling.
Thursday, 2 August 2012 0 comments

It's like a scab that I can't stop picking

There seems to be only one thing more scary that anxiety and obsessing, and that is not feeling anxious and obsessional.

For the last few days, I have been feeling a lot more grounded. I actually feel like I am in my own skin. Any sense of derealisation and depersonalisation have gone. My anxiety, sweating and general dazed state has greatly diminished.

It would appear that being anxious and overwhelmed has become the norm, and what I expect from my daily existence. It has been about 12 years that I’ve lived with anxiety and ruminations.

As I look back without the anxiety tinted glasses  there have been times that I have felt this relaxed over the 12 years, but it has been the exception.

I keep thinking

‘Should I be anxious about something?’
‘Is it ok to be this care free?’
‘What has happened to all my obsessive thoughts?’
'How do I feel about this?'

It is the strangest thing. I am basically free from the anxiety and obsessions, yet I seem to be left with the obsession to check where my obsessions have gone. I keep testing myself and how I feel.

You’d think I’d be jumping at the new lease of life I feel from, I’m guessing, the medication I’m taking but instead my brain is trying to find the very thing I was trying to get rid of.

I need something to fill the void the anxiety has left.

I have realised that this week I have stopped doing any writing of a journal. It seems like I have not felt the need to write anything down to help make sense of stuff as the anxiety has subsided. I also haven't exercised. If these have been two beneficial things, then I need to remember to do them even if I feel ok.