“Self-pity is easily the most destructive of non-pharmaceutical narcotics. It is addictive, gives momentarily pleasure and separates the victim from reality.”- John W. Gardner
As someone who suffers from a mental illness—I can tell you right now how easy it is to fall into the slippery slope of self-pity. It becomes almost second nature to compare your own brain function to how you perceive everyone else’s to be. You begin to make excuses for yourself, followed by self-loathing due to the realization that “other people have it worse,” or “at least you don’t have to face ____ issue.”
At least you don’t have to face the issue of the Syrian Crisis.
At least you don’t have cancer.
At least you don’t have financial complications.
At least you don’t have a poor relationship with your family.
At least you don’t have to face the darkness of unemployment.
Anxiety & OCD are difficult to understand, for some people. Reality is we all deal with it! One way or another we get anxious at some point in time. I have struggled with OCD & Anxiety for the past 5 years. It was a really big discomfort in my life, but I have such great parents to give me support and love.
There are many ways to overcome OCD and anxiety, my way was being around and feeling loved by the people I want to surround myself with only, and also by Praying. I prayed a lot and also had many people praying for me too. God helped me in many different ways to overcome OCD & Anxiety. But Of course patience is KEY! Now only Good Energy, good vibes! Now I do not get anxious anymore and my OCD is gone!
What I would like for you to know is, if you are struggling with Anxiety or OCD. There is Help! Keep yourself busy and maintain good thoughts. I hope this short post will help some of you, and remember always, have HOPE.-Haydee-
The things that I took away from the weekend were that OCD is just OCD
I will start by telling you that it seems like most of our stories start the same way. Something traumatic happened in our brain during a certain point in our life and we paid attention. That is the way I see my story at least and perceive it in others as well. I remember the time when my journey started and the thought that shocked my system. I remember all the thoughts and feelings that came afterwords but as I continue on my journey they are slowly going back to seeds in my subconscious and not the blooming garden of flowers they once were.
I will spare you of all the thoughts and experiences that I have had since that day 6 years ago. I will tell you that I have had GAD for most of my life and never thought much of it. These in my eyes were just fears that I had as a child/young man growing up that scared me. I will however give you an experience of a recent event that happened in hopes that it shows how OCD is OCD, an anxiety disorder.
Ever since the young man killed innocent or not innocent people at the movie theater in Colorado, I have had trouble taking my son to the movies. I remember taking my son to the new Star Wars movie only to have a thought of worry if someone was in there and would do the same. This thought would give any one anxiety but again most don’t pay attention. I’m sure your therapist has said that numerous times when describing how you’re normal. During that movie it was difficult due to the pressure the anxiety put on my chest to breath and sounds growing louder than normal because of the heightened since of awareness. There was a point when we had to leave so I could regroup, but I went back in and finished the movie. I had a choice and I know deep in my soul that to be defeated by a uncontrolled thought would take me in the wrong direction.
If you want to feel better you will need to face your fears
Hello I am 37 years old and have been struggling with OCD since 2012.
I have always been a worrier. Before I knew I had OCD, I would worry about almost everything. I remember trying to call my mother and she would not answer. In my mind I would think that something bad must have happened to her. Maybe my step dad must have murdered her. I would keep calling and calling almost every 10 minutes until she answered. I never knew I had OCD. To me it was just normal worrying. I would drop off my daughters (5 and 6) at school through the drive through drop off and I would drive around school to make sure they made it in. If for some reason I would not see one of my daughters in school after dropping them off, I would worry and feel as if I would faint. I would then call school to make sure that my daughter was in class.
One day in summer I was overwhelmed and really stressed. I had taken a vacation to spend time with my daughters and booked the whole week with activities for us to do. One day we were scheduled to go to the pool. The heat was terrible. I didn’t drink much water that day. That day I started feeling sick, my body was weak, but I still kept going. I remember the sweat running down my back. Later that afternoon I decided to go to the gym, I took my dauthers with me and left them at the kiddy day care. One of my daughters was thirsty so I gave her my water bottle. After the gym we went back home and it was time to cook dinner. The AC in my apartment was not working, my apartment was like 90 degrees. I still decided to cook. While I was cooking I began to feel the sweat drop down my back. I soon started to feel dizzy and confused. I told my husband that I was not feeling well and he told me to take a nap. I laid down in bed and felt my heart palpitating really fast. I didn’t know what was happening. I began to get scared. I put my girls to bed and drove myself to emergency.
I can acknowledge that I am not my thoughts. I am not my obsessions. I am not my compulsions. I am NOT my OCD.
I’m *so* OCD.
No, really, I am. Not like that Target sweater. Not like Monica from Friends. I mean, have you seen my room? It’s a war zone. I hardly have the mental fortitude to organize items by type, let alone by color and alphabetical order. Not like Billy or Suzie who claim they’re *so OCD* about X, Y, or Z when what they really mean—and lack the eloquence to articulate–is they’re human. Because as humans, well, we have quirks.
OCD has been my beast of burden, my shameful monster, since childhood. Back then, I had absolutely no language to pinpoint what these weird obsessions or compulsions were that dictated the real estate of my brain. Swallowing a certain number of times. Knocking on my head as a substitute for wood when I felt superstitious about something; that act would in and of itself become a new compulsion. Checking my heartbeat to make sure I hadn’t been scared to death (after reading a ghost story aptly called, “Scared to Death.”) Playing the same piano chord after every piece I practiced. Just to feel right. Looking behind me at my, um, rear end, to make sure I hadn’t sat on any mud lest classmates think I’d pooped my pants. LAUGH all you want! Ha. I do in retrospect, too! But these were real, very real, compulsions and obsessions that I couldn’t break away from. And, twenty + years later, I still get locked in my brain.
For all the turbulence OCD brings, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully describe its impact, you never get a better opportunity to learn about the mind and indeed yourself.
Crouching down in the corner of the pub, my back to my group of friends in a bid to conceal my strange behaviour, I focused my eyes intently on the cigarette-end lying on the wooden floor. Squashed flat, it couldn’t have been further extinguished, but still I reached down and picked it up, holding the cigarette-end at eye level and slowly rotating a full 360 degrees, pausing to check at every angle for any signs it was still alight.
Satisfied it was dead and posed no danger I hauled myself to my feet, pausing to mentally replay the sequence of events to ensure all bases were covered and any possible dangers averted. The situation is dealt with, I told myself, repeating it over and over again in the hope the mantra would eventually stick. My increasingly lively mind had other ideas, urging me to just run through the inspection one more time, just to be absolutely sure.
As I stood frozen to the spot, I tried desperately to ignore the urges, pleading with myself to head back to the bar and forget about it. The obsessive and catastrophic trail of thought grew in intensity, quickly overwhelming me and attacking my ability to think rationally – years of obsessive thinking had gnawed away at the line between rational and irrational thinking anyway. Just check the situation one more time, the mind urged me, put the matter to bed and get on with my night, and my life! Powerless to resist, I bent down, resting on my haunches and once again placed the cigarette-end carefully between my thumb and index finger, rotating it 360 degrees, pausing again at each turn to ensure every angle was covered – this time longer pauses with more intense scrutiny. A couple of minutes later, I finally placed it back down in exactly the same spot I found it and turned away.
My therapeutic journey has barely begun but I feel more positive than I have in years.
I have wondered many times when my OCD story started and I have to conclude I always had a propensity to over-analyse and fixate on things from a young age, but instead of growing out of it and becoming more confident and learning the crucial art of letting issues go, I let my feelings hang around and fester. I learned to live in fear with the expectation of the worst outcomes.
I don’t ever remember not being afraid. I was always terrified, I felt I never fitted in and I was socially isolated. I stuck to routines in order to preserve a feeling of security; when I was at school it involved arriving at the same time every day, using the same routes to get to lessons etc. As an adolescent my symptoms were the worst, I felt extreme anxiety in doing things my peers did, like going to the cinema. I had a brief period between the ages of sixteen to eighteen, when I felt more optimistic and I felt accepted by new friends at a new school where I took my A-levels.