Living with OCD (no.5)

ocd

Since the first session I had with my therapist, she noticed that apart from the problems that were created by my OCD, it also helped me in my life, to have a system, to create. In the past, before going into therapy, I had similar thoughts. 

Back then I only believed I might have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Having all the compulsions in my daily life, sometimes I was thinking “what I would do if they would go away at some point, I was used to them, living with them”.

So, my therapist was right. And, from the start, the plan of my therapy was to keep a part of my compulsions. I ended up cooperating with my disorder, and this really helps me. 

I’ve found an ideal place of cooperation with my OCD, while trying (daily) to overcome, little by little, my obsessions and compulsions. 

At this point I’ve managed to have two or three mini-victories over my anxiety, daily. I have started feeling “normal” (having an OCD-free daily life), a feeling that I basically never knew, since I I’ve had OCD my whole adult life. 
Living with OCD, but by having it under control… and cooperation is the key. 

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Too close to home

These past months two musicians have committed suicide, due to mental health problems. The news hit too close to home both times, so I decided that it was time to write about it. 

Well, I have been there, not too long ago. About one year ago, after years of untreated OCD, my mind got really tired and started giving me suicidal thoughts. They were coming when I was really stressed, or even out of the blue. Believe me, when your mind tells you even the way you could try and kill yourself is one of the weirdest moments of your life. 

The one thing you MUST do when these thoughts come, is ask for help from a psychologist/psychiatrist! With the help of an expert you see things how they really are. Suicidal thoughts is your mind talking nonsense, your mind being tired of certain problems, your mind trying to cope with untreated mental health issues. Killing yourself is never the answer! 

Many people may say that “you cannot do this to your family”, but I say that YOU CANNOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF. In life, hard times always appear and (mental) health isssues appear as well, but there are doctors and experts for it, to help you cope and get healthy, fight, survive and move on from bad times. 

Each individual has hers/his burden/past/memories, but there’s nothing you cannot deal with eventually. It just takes help, time and willpower. But it’s all worth it. Because you cannot lose life, all the happy times that are going to come, all the love, the people, the nice things, the moments, the everyday things, everything, because your mind told you so at some point. 

Suicidal thoughts are about problems with your mental health, and though it’s still some kind of taboo (in 2017), mental health is still HEALTH. When you get psychically sick you go to the doctor, it’s the same thing with mental health, your mind gets sick and you need to go to the doctor. After all, your body works because of your mind/brain! 

So, don’t ever give up, if you have suicidal thoughts it might seem logical to turn them into action. But it’s not! In the end of the tunnel you’re into there is light, there is life, there are good things you can’t even imagine right now. Difficult times definitely come in life, but definitely go as well. And you must be breathing to meet them! 

Trust me, because I’m a suicidal thoughts survivor! 

Livind with OCD (no. 4)

The photo (by Sylvia Duckworth) above sums up the daily life with obsessive compulsive disorder. For me at least. 

I have been asked by others if ocd is something you can get over completely and what you have to do to get better. I, too, had these questions in the past. Well, psychiatry and psychology don’t have de facto answers for these questions (yet). But after conversations with my doctors, a lot of thought and quite some experience with mental health, I reached to the conclusion that the most important thing that helps coping with mental illness (and in my case ocd) is the honest desire to get better. 

This desire is the one that brings you to the door of a specialist. This desire is the one that starts the procedure of therapy. This desire is the one that keeps you on taking your medication. This desire is the one that makes you get outside your comfort zone when needed, so you won’t fall in the same circles that your mind tells you to. 

And most important of all, this desire of getting better is the one that keeps you fighting each-single-day. Because not all days are good. And if you don’t try as much as you have to one day, is enough to get you back to previous stages. 

So, this is the conclusion I have reached. With mental health there’s no black and white. You have to accept the problem(s), go with the flow and work together with things, which eventually  will lead to real change. 

One step at a time, many steps each day.

Try. Work. Fight. 

The asnwers and the results will come in time.  

Living with OCD (no.3)

OCD is about anxiety. OCD makes you feel uncomfortable, almost all the time. 
But there comes a time, or at least it came for me, that you have to make peace with it.  It’s always better living with a friend than with an enemy.  

That time came for me after a trigger. At that point I decided to work together with my OCD.  In a kind of collaboration.  

The trigger that was followed  by this idea was a taxi that didn’t pass my “OCD test” (well,  you can’t  live in a totally clean big city after all…!). Instead of freaking out, I managed to stay calm (my pills help a lot in this),  not having a anxiety attack. Then I decided to open my sketchbook and start drawing trigger-inspired pieces,  with shapes that reminded me of stains. By the way I hate stains, even as a word. 

The experiment worked really nice and I’m  still working with it. It helps me get more comfortable with dirt,  stains and triggers, and prove to myself  that I can create some kind of friendship with my anxiety disorder. 

Living with OCD (no.2)

For me (because for everyone is quite a different thing), OCD is….

….the damaged skin of my hands, caused by excessive washing,

….all the spots in my home that I avoid,  because they are triggers,

….all the years that I had OCD,  but didn’t have a name for it,

….all the panic attacks caused by triggers, 

….the fuz inside my mind, that sometimes is like a million voices talking all together in the same time,

….the way sometimes even small, every day things, seem so difficult to do,

….all the unpleasant thoughts and images in my mind,

….that feeling of losing control,

….the number 4. 

Living with OCD (no.1)

ocd

At first there are the ideas, the thoughts. Then the actions. And all these come again; and again; and again. And they keep coming for days, weeks, months, and if you don’t get help soon enough, years.

After some time a part of your daily life is filled with obsessive compulsions. So, life continues with a companion; an almost constant one. You get used to them and that’s a good thing and a bad one in the same time.

The best thing to do is to get help. So, you can have the best possible control over your obsessive compulsions and get better eventually.

It took me some years to reach a point where i was depressed and suicidal, and that was about the time I started getting help.

Now I’m learning to live more properly with my OCD. One day at a time.