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!

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?!

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…!

Tired OCD self

For the past couple of years, I have become (some kind of) friends with my OCD. I don’t go against it and we work together.

I’m basically keeping a balance. For example, if a trigger appears, I try to keep my cool and think which is the best way to get over it, I try not to go full compulsive and do as few compulsions as possible. And this system is working pretty good.

For me this is a reconciliation. It’s OCD, it’s here, it has been here for more than a decade, so working alongside it it’s a very good idea.

And here comes the “but”!

Living with an anxiety disorder can be very compounding, for the mind, the body, the life, the person having it. Everyday life is much more tiring when you have to keep whole lists and a ton of checks in your mind. When you have to be careful even about what you touch inside your own house. And in case you’re someone like me, that never gives up, it’s even more tiring. I like to push myself and don’t let my mind taking control. I always try to keep up with my life no matter the OCD, in the best way possible.

But there are moments that I’m getting tired and I’m thinking that life would be much easier without the OCD. These moments have become very frequent for the past couple of weeks.

I’m imagining a life where you don’t have to have a shower before bed, using furniture and objects without first checking if they’re “clean” (sometimes the OCD-clean it’s a different kind than the normal clean, but that’s a story for another post), etc.

I don’t know where this is going to lead, being in therapy is a journey with a lot of unknown paths. For now, this is the fact: I’m tired of life with OCD.

Life with OCD

I think I need something fresh.

I have written so much about my OCD and mental health, but I feel the need of making some changes, refreshing a bit.

My OCD is evolving as fast as life does after all. My belief that each one of us should tell his/her personal story is stil here. One step at a time more awareness can be created.

Here I am; I have spent 13 years with it (unofficially), with only 3 years out of them being officially diagnosed. I live with it, I have created patterns, tricks, some kind of program so I can be functional. But one great truth is that living with OCD is never easy. In my case, an outsider might look at someone who’s figuring things out just fine, when in reality it takes so much energy to keep up with life sometimes.

Yes, I know that so many people, even without OCD have to deal with life. But imagine having to deal with it all and add to this a mind that’s constantly thinking, that constantly needs reassurance, that has to do certain things a certain way (always) and gets irritated and super uncomfortable if things don’t go as planned. It can get absolutely exhausting.

Well, this one is going pretty melodramatic already, so let me continue with some more positive stuff.

I never gave up, I never accepted my OCD and just sat down and waited for the next order from my brain. Yes, things have changed since my diagnosis, there are always ups and downs, but one very important thing is that I never gave up!

In this phase of my life my goal is to have a more relaxed and maybe OCD-free life in the future (long story short), a goal that has many many aspects.

So, I’m going to continue my “Living with OCD” and “Living with-out OCD” series of posts, but with a fresh attitude!