A new era for my OCD

If you follow the Microcosm for a long time you already know that I live with OCD for 13 years now (since I was 17, 10 years undiagnosed and diagnosed for the past 3 years). Actually it will be 14 years this year.

I started therapy during a very critical point of my life, when I had a mental breakdown, after all the years being untreated about it my mind had enough, I had depression and reached the point of suicidal thoughts. And that’s when I asked for help (not recommending asking for help when you have reached your limit, if you need help ask for it before things get too hard and before it’s too late).

For the past 3.5 years I am in therapy and for 2.5 years out of them I was in antidepressants. Life hadn’t been easy, not only because of my mental health issues, but also because I had to move back in my family home for some time due to financial reasons, had to care for my mother while she was sick, while in the same time my father almost died. Now my father is weekly doing dialysis and my mother is healthy again. And me…, I keep having OCD and keep working on myself, with ups and downs.

One of my resolutions for 2020 is for this year to be the last year with OCD as a huge part of my everyday life. Of course you can’t be sure what’s coming in the future, and it’s not easy to overcome something that’s a habit after so many years, but it’s time to let go of the coping mechanism that was created so long ago.

One of the things I’m keeping from previous posts is the “good” relationship I have with my OCD.

I believe it’s a bad decision to go against it, and a very wise one to become a friend of it, show compassion towards it, there’s a reason it’s been created in your brain, and you need to take it easy with it, until it’s time to move on.

And that’s where I am right now!

One photo a day (9/366)

This one isn’t the best art photography example of my work, but it represents perfectly the everyday aspect of my project! It was taken around 7.30 a.m. this morning, at the kitchen of the home where I grew up and where my parents live.

First post of 2020!

Happy/healthy/bright 2020 everyone!

A great chance for a new beginning starts today, with a brand new year (and decade).

Lately I haven’t been so active here. There was a lot of working and creating going on (my art and jewelry mainly) and a lot of working with myself as well.

For some time now I wanted for this blog to enter a new era, refresh the content a bit. And I finally came up with a couple of ideas (and many more to come)! I will continue sharing my mental health story and add some more personal stories as well.

Plus, I have many more creative projects in mind for the new year. One of them being the “one photo a day” project/challenge. Each day, I will be taking a photo and posting it here! 2020: 366 day, 366 photos! I won’t go with a prompt list, I want to be a diary of everyday things. And maybe I will add a little caption to each photo/post.

So, that’s all folks, for now!

Have a great day & a wonderful year!

P.S. The cake in the photo is the traditional Greek New Year’s cake. A cake that has a little coin inside and is considered a good luck charm for the one that gets to have it in his/her piece! It wasn’t in mine, but the cake was very tasty!

It’s not a wonderful world (diary)

No photo for this one. Because I believe that there’s no match. Not 100%.

Lately, while reading articles online, looking around me, or listening to stories and news, I feel more than ever that this isn’t a wonderful world.

I have started to believe that we live in a world that goes through a massive crisis. Wars, people that run for their lives away from these wars, more and more poverty, violence, rapes, murders, fourteen eyes for one. It’s no big news, but I get the sense that things are getting a turn for the worst day by day.

All this seems so sad and scary. Seeing all the hate that grows in people. Instead of humanity becoming better, it becomes worse. Instead of the majority of people working on becoming better, we become more irritable, focusing on our image, hiding what’s not convenient, and even if we talk about important matters or taboo themes, we do it in such an intense way.

Personally, when I see and think about all these, I try to see the other side as well, the good things, the beauty of things. But it’s not always so easy.

Sometimes this idea stucks in my mind: why is the world going so wrong?!

Things that help with anxiety

flat lay photography of white mug beside green leafed plants
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Living with anxiety on a daily basis can get really overwhelming sometimes. Each one of us finds his/her own ways to cope. There are plenty of lists online with suggestions of things to do when you feel extra anxious, however I thought of making a post about the things that work for me. So, here it is (in no particular order)!

  • Journaling.

Putting the mess on paper helps to feel calmer and seeing things written down makes it easier to process thoughts and reach to conclusions. Plus, I believe that writing by hand is the best way to keep notes/a diary, typing on a computer doesn’t feel the same at all.

  • Breathing exercises & meditation.

Exercising your breathing is crusial when having anxiety, it’s a whole new world when you’re able to control your breathing. Personally, I have studied singing so it comes naturally to me know and controlĀ  my breathing. But if this isn’t the case for someone, there are plenty of online courses and videos that can help. And now that I’m thinking about it, IĀ  should write a post about breathing.

Meditation is kind of the next step after breathing exercises and mindful breathing. It’s a deep relaxation and good breathing has to come first in order for meditation to work. And even then it takes lots of practise (also a post coming soon)!

  • Food.

Not talking about over-eating or “eating your feelings”, I’m ttalking about the healthy version of eating. A snack or a beverage makes a full stomach, and a full stomach always makes a brain calmer and happier; everything seems better with a full stomach!

  • Taking a break.

It can be a 10-minute break, a vacation, or anythingin between, the idea is to give yourself and your mind some time to relax. It won’t make the anxiety go away, but it’s going to relieve the tension for a while.

  • Move, be active.

An active everyday life or/and frequent exercise is really helpful for a body that goes through huge amounts of stress.

  • Water.

Drinking water can’t only help you in moments of extreme stress/anxiety, like an anxiety attack, it calms down the resperatory system. Plus, keeping hydrated is nothing but helpful when you suffer from anxiety.

  • Being creative.

Doing something creative, making art, is a great way to express your feelings, and looking at the bright side of things and the beauty that can exist in the world. Coloring, drawing, knitting, crocheting, doing any craft project is a good idea!

So, this is all folks (for now)! Take care of yourselves and breath in and out.

The thing with the things

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As I have written before, I have been decluttering my home/art studio for some time now.

I have given away a lot of things, donated some, gifted some other to friends. There were ( and still are) much to give away: clothes that don’t fit me anymore, things I haven’t used for a long time, some other items that it was time to move on from.

Meanwhile, while going through all these stuff, I have started thinking about the real value of objects.

What’s the real value of an object? The price? The sentimental aspect of it?

Are we the one’s that give value to an object?

Is our need for owning things real after all?

For now, I have reached to the conclusion that the main real value of an object is the way it makes us feel.

As long as I can remember myself, up until this day, I really get attached to objects, so reevaluating all this it’s a big deal for me. But I have realized that in the end of the day, material possessions are not the most important thing in life.

I do have a lot of things, I’m a maximalist, have always been and probably will always be. I like a maximal living and working space. But, I have reached a point where I can choose some things to keep and let go of some other. And this is an ongoing process. I’m trying to find a new balance in my life.

My latest step is to let go even more things. And I had the idea of finding them new homes by selling some. Apart from the earning some extra cash aspect of reselling some things, I’m thinking that when someone is paying to buy something means that he/she really likes it and the object can continue its journey.

I love the idea that something I have worn/read/enjoyed will continue living and being appreciated in another house, in someone else’s life.

So, let’s see where this new project will lead…!