It Might Not Be A Good Day, But Have A Day

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When suffering with depression getting through the day feels like running a marathon, it’s draining. You feel physically exhausted, let alone the mental battle you go through, the guilt of feeling like you’re just lazy, the feelings of wanting to totally give up, I could go on. If you’ve  made it through another day suffering with depression, OCD, anxiety or any mental illness, give yourself a pat on the back. Stop being so hard on yourself for not having the most productive day that you feel you SHOULD have had or everyone else is having or asking of you . Even if you’re not suffering with depression and you’re simply having an awful day,, where events have happened so you feel upset and unable to take on the day, this still applies to you.

You might have days where you feel better  and that’s amazing treasure those, but don’t let the bad days take those away from you. I love this quote so much at the start of my mental health journey the good days were few, and I was always being told by people ‘do this and do that, it will help you get better, it will be a positive thing’. When you have depression the simplest thing to a healthy happy person seem like such massive task. So as the quote says I won’t tell you to have a good day but please look after yourself as best as you can.

The first thing I’d say is,  if you think you or someone else is suffering with depression then get them or yourself help, that’s the biggest step to getting better. You need to find someone to speak to and someone who can advise you on the best ways to help yourself get better whether that’s medication, therapy,  or both. If you don’t think you have depression and you’re just feeling down because of a negative event, or your just not feeling yourself, make sure you find someone to talk to aswell, venting and getting advice of a loved ones is always a good idea.

Now you’ve done that the next most important thing is to feed and water yourself as obvious as that sounds. As I said above the simplest of things can become a huge effort when your suffering with a mental illness and some people neglect themselves of the most basic things. Your body needs food and plenty of water, so if there’s one thing I insist you do it’s that. I’m not asking you to be a chef and cook up amazing nutritious meals (although nutritious food is known to help a blue mood)  but you need to eat and drink whether you feel like it or not.

So you’ve gotten help, you know there’s a problem and you’ve acknowledge that, that’s a big step. You’re feeding yourself because that’s a basic human need whether you’re suffering or not, that’s another step, even if these are your first achievements you feel able to do currently then that’s great. No matter how small the steps or achievements they are still positive and thats all that matters. If you’ve done those above things the next thing to try to do is clean yourself,  I’d recommend running a hot bubble bath that you can just lay in and get clean then put some clean comfy clothes on, you’ll feel so much better for it once it’s done. It’s another positive basic human need to achieve when having ‘your day’. The final thing on your list of goals for the day is to survive and not give up. Keep fighting through those awful days like I did, it can get better.

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop – Confucius”

If you have a day where you get up shower, eat, go to therapy, go to work and get something productive done then amazing be really proud. If the next day all you do is feed yourself  because you’re having a bad day and your mental health is bad then that’s fine to, your mental health comes first, never beat yourself up for this. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or taken a step back it means your surviving you’re doing what you have to, to get through the days. Recovery and getting better is not plain sailing, for a long time It felt as if I would never get better, and then just when I thought things seemed to be looking positive the next day it would all come crumbling down. Please don’t see this as failing everyday is a building block to recovery good or bad. I’m not saying settle for a life of doing the bare minimum always, I’m saying be proud of the little things you achieve when your suffering, that its ok and you don’t need to beat yourself up, but of course always strive to get better and don’t give up.  For some people with mild depression they may be able to function almost normally, for others it will feel almost impossible, everyone is different and it’s important not to make yourself feel bad for how you’re coping.

Please check out my other mental health blog posts for more self-help and information.

Need someone to talk to? Look in the contact me section, I’m all ears.

Hang in there,

Anna-Marie

A Letter To Yourself For When You’re Struggling

A while ago now I wrote a blog post on if I could write a letter to my younger self what I would tell young me from what I’ve experienced so far, you can read that HERE. It lead me to this similar idea that may be helpful for when you struggling. You can write a letter when you’re happy for when you are next down in the dumps e.g depressions getting you down, anxiety bad or OCD is being a pain, whatever the reason as a reminder that these feelings can pass and it’s not as bad as it feels right now, to give you hope when you’re lacking it. Little tips of things you’ve learnt/ know how to deal with but in that moment find hard to remember and turn to.

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Dear Me,

I take it you’re having a tough time as you’re reading this letter. As you are writing this you are feeling quite positive, you’re OCD isn’t that bad and you have been dealing with it really well. You’ve been succeeding in not seeking reassurance so much and that’s a really big step for you. I know you’re probably feeling like crap but what you’re feeling will pass. I mean those feelings aren’t that bad for you right now as you type this which means they can pass again. Remember everything you learnt at therapy and remember no matter how scary OCD is being, it’s just the disorder and you know how to beat it.

♥ Remember anxiety and panic can’t hurt you, it feels awful but it’s just a chemical reaction in your body. Try to stay calm and If you can’t it will pass, you’re not losing control, your panicking.

♥ Remember Anna ‘the more you think, the deeper you sink’ – Sharon Davies from The OCD Treatment Centre. You can ruminate about that scary, uncomfortable OCD thought you just had but you’re only going to make yourself feel worse, feed OCD and never come to an answer on whether that’s your true self speaking or if it was just a random OCD thought. You cannot think yourself into inner peace, inner peace comes through living in the moment.

♥Remember to practice Mindfulness, to calm you down when the anxiety is too much.

♥Remember there is no such thing as the thought police, there is nothing wrong with the thoughts themselves, it’s the belief you have attached to the thoughts. E.g certain thoughts mean you’re a bad person, if you don’t do such and such something bad will happen.

♥ Any compulsion you feel compelled to do relating to your OCD’s topic, ignore, it WILL be OCD. No what if’s, buts or maybe’s it will be. Any thought that makes you feel anxious relating to your OCD topic, will also be OCD, no ‘what if this time it isn’t OCD’ that is OCD speaking. A thought, followed by anxiety, followed by feeling the need to do something a certain way, seek reassurance or ruminate WILL be OCD.

Remember everything you’ve been taught and try to teach everyone else,  you can get through this.

Love from,

Positive and  currently at peace, You.

A Poem: OCD Doesn’t Define Me

I found a poem on Tumblr that I really liked and wanted to do my own version of. Mine will be nowhere near as good but It gave me the inspiration I needed. My poem is basically about not letting a mental illness, in my case OCD, define me. It’s easy to forget all the little details about yourself when your day-to-day life becomes filled with OCD and it’s symptoms. It’s important to remember who you are and the fact that although your mental illness has become a huge part of your life there is so many other things about you. I hope you like it.

The Tumblr poem..

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My poem…

OCD Doesn’t Define Me..

I am my big blue eyes,

The music that makes me inspired,

The way I get too attached to people too easily,

I am who I am when I’m truly comfortable around you,

When my personality shines through.

I am my love for animals,

I am the way my dog lights up my eyes,

The way I sometimes talk too loud,

I am what makes me tick and laugh,

I am the perfume I wear.

I am the DVDS that I own and want to see,

I am my childhood photographs and memories,

The way I crave all things sugary,

I am the ornaments and trinkets I keep in my bedroom,

I am my tiny hands and feet.

I am my sense of humour,

The way I smile and the facial expressions I pull,

The way I walk, talk, sleep and breath,

I am the way I like to take long baths,

I am my style and the way I do my make up.

The jewellery I wear, how I style my hair,

I am my likes and dislikes,

The way I hate leaving an argument on bad terms,

I am how much my family mean to me,

I am the way I draw and the way I write my name.

The shape and colour of my lips,

I am my quirks and habits,

I am my clumsy nature,

I am my creative brain,

The way change frightens me.

I am diagnosed with OCD,

But there is more to me,

I won’t forget all the other details,

OCD doesn’t define me.

 

Downloads

My Other Poems

A Poem Little Poem About OCD

A Poem: If OCD Had Its Own Identity

Anna

OCD .Vs. Being A Perfectionist: What Is The Difference?

A while back now I wrote a blog post called ‘The Many Misconceptions Of OCD’ which you can read HERE. I wanted to do a follow-up post about this as It’s a  topic most people with OCD will relate to and I think its important to spread awareness about. I often see people saying ‘I’m a bit of perfectionist when it comes to such and such’ followed by then saying they are quite OCD. Another thing that is very common is when you tell people ‘I have OCD’, they don’t take it very seriously, I’ve had people say ‘I think everyone is a bit OCD to a degree, I am about such and such’ And although it’s not their fault they don’t understand it’s still annoying to hear when you have suffered with years of being in the grips of this terrible disease. So what is the different between OCD and being someone who’s particular about the way they do something, or a perfectionist or very organised person?

 

Perfectionist/Being Particular Examples

 When someone finishes tasks to a very high standard because they like to do so or like to achieve the best results they possibly can or they will feel agitated with themselves.

Liking things straight because you find it irritating if things aren’t.

Organising clothes in colour order or in a certain order because you like how it looks/makes you feel.

 Wanting to clean the bathroom daily, because you like it being clean. but if it HAS to be left you can leave it without much discomfort or distress e.g late for something important, so you leave the cleaning!

Your need for doing things in a particular way isn’t a must its a want to do so, and doesn’t affect your quality of living and interfere with your day-to-day life.

 

The Same Examples In Someone With OCD

Having to finish tasks until they ‘feel right’ because something terrible will happen if you don’t. Making you very anxious, frightened and most importantly you feel like you HAVE to, not want to.

Having to immediately straighten wonky things, because it causes a great deal of anxiety if you don’t, it doesn’t ‘feel right’ like that. If you leave it like that something terrible might happen!

Organising clothes in colour order or in a certain order because you feel like you HAVE to or that dread that something bad might happen and anxiety will not go!

Having to clean the bathroom daily, because if you don’t you and your family could get ill and the contamination could spread to the rest of the house etc. It cannot wait for anyone or anything, it must be done before I do anything else or you will become extremely anxious! Cleaning the bathroom is no longer a want or should, its a HAVE to or else.

You have to do compulsions and certain things in a certain way or something terrible could happen. This must to do things exactly as your OCD wants is effecting your quality of life and interfering with your day-to-day life and your general happiness.

 

As you can see OCD is based around feeling like your keeping you and someone else safe from something you consider bad and makes you incredibly anxious. It’s not a want it’s a NEED to do these things.These are just a few of the examples I could think of, there are so many symptoms and different forms of OCD. You can learn more about OCD and get more tips on how to deal with your own OCD in the ‘OCD, Anxiety & Depression’ category HERE, where you can see all the other posts related to this topic. Like I said in the related post I wrote a while ago, this isn’t people like me with OCD being bitter about having OCD, taking life too seriously or not being able to have a laugh about it. It’s about the illness not being taken seriously and knowing how it can affect us and others suffering with it. It’s about spreading awareness, so people understand these things and don’t misuse a serious illness as a word for an everyday quirk or habit.

Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting or liking my blog post, it means an awful lot to me!

Anna

 

 

A Letter To My Younger Self

I’ve seen videos relating to this on YouTube, so I thought I would write a blog post about it. I’m basically going to write a mini letter as if I was writing it to my younger self. Things I wish future me could tell young me and things I wish I knew back then.

What would you of told your younger self?

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Dear younger self,

Where do I start? There is a few things I would like to tell you and reassure you about before things spiral out of control for you. I know your worried about germs and washing your hands and always have been growing up, but I just want to tell you to not let this worry rule your life. Being sick isn’t very nice but honestly the next time you are it will expose you to this fear and you will be fine I promise you. I also want to warn you that later on you might notice weird feelings of NEEDING to do certain tasks, you will feel like this will stop you from being sick and also stop bad things from happening. When this happens I need you to stay strong and not give in. Carrying out tasks until they feel right and counting things etc won’t help. In fact you will thank me later if you don’t do the things. What you do can’t control if your ill or if something bad happens, trust me. You will go through 5 years of hell trying to beat OCD if you let it in, you’ve got to get control of it before it controls you. Try and get help as soon as you notice symptoms, educate yourself so you know about it. I know it feels really scary but you can do it.  If  OCD does take over your life for a while you will be ok and you will come out the other side, so hang in there please. Another thing that is going to really bother you when your older is your weight and eating habits. Please listen to people when they tell you not to over eat, this will become a huge problem for you and your confidence one day. Try to keep a healthy relationship with food, this will save so much time later on when you have to try to lose the weight to become confident again.

Another thing is, don’t grow up too quickly, your only young once and being grown up isn’t as fun as it sounds. Enjoy being young and don’t take school for granted, some of your fondest memories will be from within that school building you wish you didn’t go to. Which leads me to another thing, I know your naughty at school but try harder to behave. It doesn’t seem important but eventually you will end up on a 3 hour time-table barely seeing anyone, doesn’t seem like a bad thing? well you will drift apart from your friends and leave school feeling slightly out of the loop with people who you were once close with, leaving you feeling slightly alone.  When you first start going to party’s and drinking, try not to drink so much, I promise you will only wake up with regret and guilt, although you can learn from these mistakes just go easy!

Back to some things related to anxiety. I know you probably have already, but you  will have many more times to come where you feel scared of doing things. Scared that your going to embarrass yourself, please try to realise that you will miss out on things if you let the fear stop you. Try and face up to things that make you scared and try not to let the fear of what others think of you stop you. The more you do this now,  the more later on in life you will be likely to do things! Also, growing up doesn’t have to be so scary, talk to people around you about your worries but also talk about your normal problems and concerns everyone goes through growing up. You will grow to be able to talk about your problems openly and I promise you will wish you hadn’t been so embarrassed and shy about everything. Your parents will become your biggest support through any problems regarding your anxiety. You will be able to talk to them about anything you need to, so why not start now?

I just want to tell you everything is going to be ok, but to also tell you that things should be a lot easier now you know the things I’ve mentioned above. Keep being wonderfully weird, funny and creative. Last but not least don’t let OCD rule you, I know its scary but its harmless, so don’t even give it the time of day. The sooner you realise that the better.

Love from, an older, wiser version of you

 

Letting Go Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Care

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Something I’ve struggled with for a long time now and still do is letting go of scary OCD thoughts. I feel like if I just let go of OCD thoughts or rituals where I worry something bad could happen, it must mean I don’t care about the consequences or if I can let them go easily it must also mean I don’t care. I am starting to accept and learn that this is not the case and you have to give yourself permission to let go of things, it doesn’t mean you don’t care. Easier said than done right?  When your emotions are telling you letting go of certain thoughts and worries is bad and if you let go you’re a terrible person it’s really hard not to listen. I know OCD will try to do anything to try to keep me sucked in by it, because that’s what OCD does it wants to control people. Which is exactly what it’s doing by making me think if I let go and don’t perform a ritual that I don’t care and also that something bad might happen.

The reality is as soon as you get that thought ‘If you don’t do such and such something bad could happen’ and you then feel anxious or worry about not performing the ritual, that is the sign you do care. The fact you’re worried about letting go of that OCD thought or ritual, means you care if you didn’t you wouldn’t be thinking about it or worrying about it. You don’t need to carry on thinking about the subject or perform a ritual to know you care. You need to allow yourself to let go and become free because you deserve it. You can acknowledge the fact you’re feeling anxious about not performing a ritual or feeling anxious about not trying to work out what that bad thought you just had meant about you and accept that is you caring.  You don’t need to torture yourself any more than that, you’re  allowed to move on, you just need to let yourself.  Thinking about things more and more or performing rituals is keeping you stuck in the place you are right now, stuck being controlled by a pest called OCD in your head. One of the steps to freedom is to know if you’re worried or upset about letting go you care, but you don’t need to hold on to things or perform rituals. Allow yourself to fear letting go and allow yourself to recognise you care. Then let go because you don’t need to be afraid you don’t care because you have proved to yourself  you do.

Stay Strong,

Anna

A Poem: If OCD Had Its Own Identity

 

If OCD Had Its Own Identity

 Just another little poem I wrote about OCD. Hope some of you guys can relate to it and understand it from an OCD sufferers point of view. I wanted to think of what OCD would be like if it was a person or had an identity rather just a name of a mental illness. Like I said in my last poem post, I’m not a pro poet. I’m never sure what exactly makes a poem a poem. A lot of people say its different to everyone, different words and poems speak and mean different things to different people. So I hope you like it and let me know in the comments what you think!

 

Evil eyes that look straight through you,

The feeling it knows you, oh so well.

It knows your fears and it uses them against you,

Stripping you of confidence with each tear.

Powerful and stocky build, looking down upon you.

 

Enticing voice to make you believe it’s all for your own good,

Power craving attitude, wearing an intimidating hood.

A bully who persuades you he’s keeping you and your family safe,

You’re the puppet and its the puppeteer.

Dark sunken features and grey gloomy aura.

 

There’s no point in running, it can run faster,

The stories it tells are nothing but nightmares.

Injecting your veins with fear,

Faster than anything that can be explained.

Throwing its toys out the pram when it doesn’t get its own way.

 

Feeds of your thoughts and handcuffs you to a chamber within your brain,

Like an unwanted companion, a stalker that sucks out your strength.

Grabbing your attention like a whiny child,

Deep down it’s as insecure as you, if not more.

Manipulating you to make itself feel mighty.

 

Look a bit closer the hard exterior gets weaker,

Stocky build no more, When you close it’s door.

Its bark worse than its bite.

Remove its ugly disguise,

See what reality in fact lies beneath.

 

A evil but cowardly and feeble beast.

That’s got nothing on you.

 

Other poem I wrote

A Little Poem About OCD

 

Anna