Living with OCD (no.19)

This one is about setbacks.

So, having a mental health issue, an anxiety disorder, maybe OCD (like me) is always difficult. In the best case scenario you manage to have it under control and live with it in peace.

But an anxiety disorder goes hand in hand with life. And life can give you triggers (more than the “casual” ones of everyday). A tougher period of time maybe. Some challenges coming all together. Or maybe memories and anniversaries (or both combined, one hell of a combo that is!).

So, even if you have your anxiety disorder under control, there can be some setbacks!

It might be a compulsion that was gone for a long time. Or a more “messy/busy” mind. Or maybe it can get harder to overcome everyday triggers (because when you’re living with OCD you do have the triggers, actually lots of them, during the day, but you know how to get over/past them).

The basic thing you do in this is to stay cool. You and your mind are going to figure things out. And then, think about what causes the setback and the “new” triggers (you might need to talk to your therapist about them too, it would be a good idea). Oh, and remind yourself that this whole setback thing is only temporary, you have done so much work and there’s no way you’re going back.

Then, try not to pressure yourself too much. Do the most important things and don’t do too many during the day. Give yourself (and your mind basically) room to breathe…!

And keep tabs on how you’re doing.

As I said, it’s only temporary. The ups and down are like your heartbeat, and they mean you’re alive and living life!

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Living with OCD (no.18)

Everything is going extremely great with my OCD lately (more details in the next “living with OCD” post).

But the truth is that I have accepted the fact that with anxiety and mental health there is always the chance of a setback, minor or major. The good thing is that I’m prepared for something like that. I don’t have a plan, but I know what to do if needed!

So, everything is going great, until some stressers appear. Everything is going great, cool, calm, collected, until I start feeling a little more anxious. I’m spending the Easter holidays with my family, in the house where I grew up (for those who haven’t read any other post yet, my OCD is more focused in personal hygiene). Used to living alone/ living with three more people under the same roof for a few days, my OCD related routine of everyday life messed up (for example, I can’t easily use the same toilet with others, don’t feel comfortable not controlling my triggers, etc, etc), eating too much sugar (I have decreased the amount of sugar I eat daily to the minimum and it really helps my anxiety feeling calmer, but Easter cookies, and cake and all things sugary….), once more having nightmares and living through them very vividly (I have tried many things to stop having them, as I have been living with them for the last two years on a daily basis, and for the last couple of months journaling has done its magic). So, these are the main triggers of these last days!

But as I said, I’m ready for the setbacks.

Dear self, we will only spend a few days with the family (plus, I’m glad we have them all here, because there were chances they wouldn’t be here right now), and we’re doing great with having the minimum control over the triggers all around the house (actually we’re doing extremely great I could say), no more big quantities of sugar (get back on track with the sugar thing, balance is the key), and nightmares will continue going slightly through your mind after these couple of day (patience).

This is basically the way I’m talking to myself and my OCD, inside my mind.

I believe cooperating with your mind/anxiety/mental disorder, and working together with it is the best thing you can do! In everyday life all year long and in more difficult periods of time, when setbacks appears…!

Living with OCD (no.17)

There’s this question I’m asking myself sometimes….

If I could choose not to have OCD, would I do it?

And the answer is always the same.

No.

I wouldn’t change anything!

My mind has developed OCD, and I have learned to live with it, still learning! I have balanced things, I know how to go through hard days and I’m grateful for the good ones. And I’m getting the most out of my over-thinking, and my so anxious mind.

I believe that you can find positive aspects in every negative situation. You have to search for sometimes, but they’re there…! And having an anxiety disorder it’s a negative situation too, with its positive aspects.

Having OCD helps me being more organized. Maybe it’s because of it that I can be so concentrated sometimes (like putting everything in its place, in boxes). While dealing with so much anxiety I have learned MANY ways to overcome it, day by day, step by step. I know how to be functional while stressed.

Plus, I have been living with OCD my whole adult life, it’s part of who I am. I wouldn’t be the same person without it and I really like who I am.

So, a life without OCD?

No, thanks! Everything is ok as it is!

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! 

Just lifeĀ 

Lately, I think a lot about the “microcosm”. How it has changed over the years and especially how it has changed over the last months. 
Yeah, since it’s basically a personal blog, it makes total sense to change with time, exactly like life does! But, sometimes, I’m thinking if someone takes a look at the posts… is he/she going to understand what the blog is about?! 

So, I thought of writing a few words about… life right now. 

I’m a 28 year old artist, living in a colorful house (it’s an apartment, but I like the word “home”), in Athens (Greece). 

I’m practicing many forms of art (trying to make a career out of them and looking for a day job in the same time). I have three brands (one with colorful/ bohemian handmade jewelry, one with psychobilly/ macabre inspired handmade jewelry and one with my original artwork). I’m a photographer, and a crafter. I’m practicing, so I can do performance art someday.

I have ocd (I’m doing really well lately). And my mother has cancer (she’s doing well and she’s going to do even better).

So, the “microcosm” has every aspect of my life in its posts. 

I hope you like the variety! 

People are complicated and life is too! 

 

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.