Wednesday, August 24, 2016

GETTING BACK ON TRACK


'OCD + PTSD + stress + PMT' by Gemma Boyd

As you can see, I haven't posted anything on here for some weeks, but I have realized a few things: I think what's key to getting my OCD under control is the ability to nip an intrusive thought in the bud before the accompanying obsession takes hold. Also, I need to achieve a balance between 'normal' and 'OCD' behaviour, for example, it's normal (when in a rush) to ask my partner to double-check I've left the place in a secure state before we both leave the house, but it tips over into OCD when I get her to double-check that all appliances are off when she'll be remaining in the house to take care of things anyway.

Trying to give myself one full day off a week isn't working because I'm so used to subconsciously punishing myself every minute of every day for not having the energy to do all that I expect of myself, but last week after having found the strength to fight back against the 'HMRC' injustice, and in continuing to commit to my counselling sessions with T., my head was such a mash-up of thoughts, feelings and flashbacks, that something had to give and I had to take a week off performing as a musician on the London Underground. This helped, and I reminded myself that even though I'm not doing any ERP on my OCDs right now, I am still working hard on my recovery through committing to counselling to address past traumas which fuel my obsessive-compulsive and self-sabotaging behaviours.

Suffering from OCD has caused me to lose a lot of confidence in terms of feeling able to deal with people on a professional level, but I'm itching to move on and experience more success in career terms - and slowly but surely, I'm actively seeking to do this, for example, I'm about to publish my first book of poems, plus my continued daily yoga practice is helping me to literally walk taller.

My fairly new OCD; needing to seek reassurance from Jan that I won't have locked a cat in the toilet at the allotments, wasn't an issue just after I returned from my trip to Paris a few months ago (because I'd been able to widen my outlook and know that I'd never intentionally do such a thing, and what would a cat be doing in the toilet in the first place)?! At present, however, because my stress-levels are high (which in turn causes my PMT to be worse), I've gone back to checking about four times before leaving the toilet that there's no cat in there.

Since beginning to re-visit some of the traumas involving men from my past in counselling, my 'OCD' fear that when I'm alone anywhere with a man he will rape and attack and contaminate me, has intensified, but I'm hoping that once I've explored and laid to rest the emotions associated with these traumas, the fears will subside.

Monday, August 1, 2016

EXHAUSTED

A photo entitled 'Pansy at dusk' I took on my allotment last month: Life seems to be happening to me at such a pace that I have no time to just 'be'.

This week I felt unwell with a nasty mosquito bite, HMRC reckoned that they'd overpaid me (through no fault of my own) so I must now live like a pauper on the low wage I earn as a musician, and my counselling session with T. left me with a lots to process. As a consequence of this and of working extra hours to cover my bills, I've had no time for ERP.

I continued not to pander to the compulsions that accompany the obsessions I've already tackled, however, but some days it was easier to do this than on others.

With a couple of the OCDs I thought I'd got under control, I recognized that I still have some work to do, for example regarding my obsession that I could poison my cat's food and water, I hardly ever seek reassurance that I haven't done this anymore, but I do avoid going into the room where his food is and won't look at it for fear that doing this will trigger the intrusive thought that I've poisoned him without remembering I've done so. I must now do an exposure where I make myself go into this room and stay there until the anxiety lessens.

My plan to give myself one full day off a week in order to relax, is proving too hard to follow through with: I find not working so stressful, and in my head I'm always chastising myself for the hours I've failed to work because often I'm too tired.

I'm always on the go; performing, commuting back and forth from London, working on my allotment, practising my instruments, catching up on a backlog of writing projects... and now, despite trying to deal with my OCD and past trauma, I feel pressured to do even more to bring money in and all the time I won't be actually moving forward with my life. It all feels like too much...