Thursday, 14 March 2013 0 comments

Just stop it already

In my current situation, where I am on medication, I don’t have massive anxiety attacks but I still deal with the day-to-day anxiety that seems to invade every situation.

I still have the thoughts, in fact I can’t get rid of them, but I don’t have the crippling effects of full blown distress.

However, I spend all having the obsessive thoughts in my head. From the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep, everything is tainted with the obsessions.

I feel especially bad when I’m at work. It’s like my brain knows that I have other things to do and it’s fighting for attention.

My compulsion is to work out some way of finding ‘the answers’ to the doubts and questioning. Because I work on a computer all day I can easily indulge the compulsion to read stuff on the internet. Some days I can sit at work and get very little done, but the amount of pages online I can read is staggering. It makes me feel better but only for a little while.

There is one problem with the internet; everyone has an opinion. If you find one answer that helps you, the next minute you can find a diametrically opposed opinion to contradict the first. It’s not restricted to opinion either, it revolves around what people call FACTS, yet the facts are contradictory also.

So the internet can feed the obsession’s anxiety by reading something against what you want to hear, or by finding something that you do want to hear you are soothed and therefore reinforce the effectiveness of the compulsion.

What a bit of a minefield. I may be wrong but I think this compulsion is particularly difficult to deal with, maybe more difficult than other compulsions because of the double edged sword it appears to be.

I don’t’ want to start a fight of “my compulsion is worse than your compulsion” as having not experienced other compulsions I may be judging unfairly.

As I can generally get on with life despite the weight of the thoughts always encroaching on my headspace, there are those times where you are supposed to be able to enjoy yourself, let loose, ignore your problems for a while. Not possible!! The best I can hope for is to not be focused on the obsessive topics but have a feeling that I am ignoring a bigger issue or faking enjoyment.

There is never a feeling of contentment or peace or just being me.

All of my relationships are affected by these thoughts, even when they are not relationship OCD thoughts. It’s just that the obsessions affect how I view myself and how I am in relation to others. The obsessive thoughts circles around the things that I feel define me the most. If my self image is constantly in chaos then it’s completely understandable that my connections with others are screwy.

Frustration and the tendency to over emphasize imperfections ensue.

Ignoring the thoughts is not as easy as I hoped it would be.
Thursday, 7 March 2013 0 comments

It's about time I blogged something!

This has been the longest time between posts on my blog since I started last summer.

If you’re interested, I’ll bring you up to date.

Things have been somewhat better recently. I still have some serious compulsions to read stuff online and I also struggle to leave certain questions alone. There is a great deal of underlying anxiety going on, but it has not debilitated me.

I have been going to work, church, family stuff and have even enjoyed myself a couple of times.

One truly difficult thing I’m dealing with is that I have been given a new calling at church. I was called as the Gospel Doctrine Sunday school teacher.

That doesn’t sound particularly difficult in itself, but for someone who has religiosity/scrupulosity OCD. It makes me confront on a daily basis the very things I struggle with.

This has good and bad effects.

I recognise that it is almost like an exposure therapy for me. It is making me face the very things that freak me out. I use avoidance as a way of dealing with things, but of course this doesn’t solve anything. I would have avoided personal scripture study, but I obviously can’t avoid it when I’m supposed to be teaching it. I’m forced to look at the obsessive thoughts even at times when they are not triggered on their own and I have to work through them. I am reading a lot more about the Gospel and have actually learned quite a lot of information I may never have been drawn to before.

The bad effects are that, like any type of exposure therapy, it is a painful process. It still impacts my day at work. I am constantly desperate to search for stuff online. I have to try and get as much opinion, fact and detail as I can. Many hours at work I have been lost in the online world of gospel doctrine, church history and plenty of other stuff that relates to our human existence and planet. So while I have to address things and get exposure, it’s almost potentially reinforcing my compulsion. I have to find a way to take a step back from the compulsion but still maintain exposure to the difficult stuff.

The other bad is that every Sunday I feel unsure of myself and feel like I put on the all too common OCD mask where I act how I should and meet the expectations placed on me, but feel totally overwhelmed inside. This makes me feel a bit paranoid that I’m actually a terrible teacher and my lessons are never any good.

I have not been to see my therapist either. I had to cancel an appointment and then it never really got back on track. I feel bad about this and my wife is not pleased with the fact it’s stopped. I have to get back in touch and set up some appointments. I feel like things are progressing quite well, but I think I have to get the support as I don’t want to have a bit melt down again. They are not pleasant.

I have also stopped writing like I have been doing; probably the reason why the blog posts stopped, but I should start this again. It’s all about finding the motivation to do it and the energy.

Spending all day inside your head is a tiring business.

I’m slowly learning that the time to do things is NOW.