Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Don't Give Up...

Don't give up in confronting the bully of OCD when your symptoms are stubborn and your anxiety high.
Realize OCD can and will lessen in your life. You are stronger than you think.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Can't Emphasize Enough-

We are what we eat indeed.  Whatever we ingest can make us feel better or worse.

I myself, love Starbucks Chai Latte made with coconut milk, but it has to be an occasional treat because the caffeine and sugar rev me up, and a person with OCD doesn't need to be revved up. So, I make my own Chair Latte at home with coconut or almond milk, and use Stevia as a natural sweetener that doesn't
mess with my blood sugar. 
Ironically, most of us drink beverages with caffeine and sugar to perk us up, not to calm us down.
But in our case, we don't need the extra jolt. This is not to say we do not feel sluggish in the morning or at mid day and could use some extra energy. So what then?
Many of us, myself included, do not drink enough water. It's important to stay well hydrated. Try for six glasses of water a day. Upon rising each morning it's a good idea to drink one full glass or even two, of plain cool water. Freshly made fruit juice is a good refreshing pick-me-up beverage also...pure juice, not ones with added sugar. Or fresh vegetable juice.
At work or after school, try a crisp sweet apple for an afternoon snack and skip the doughnut, candy bar, or any sugar-infused product. And now that the warmer weather is upon us, there are more colorful sweet fruits to choose from, such a luscious sweet strawberries, plump blueberries, rich deep pink sweet watermelon as well as delicious peaches and nectarines.
As with any food, it's best to not overeat. Fruit contains natural sugars that do not jump start our adrenalin and blood sugar, so it is a healthier choice. However, the sugar is still metabolized in our bodies. So, it's best to eat a moderate amount of fruit, one or two pieces and not overindulge, even though it is a better option.
Avoid all soda, even the sugar-free kind. The artificial sweeteners are no better than sugar. A good choice as a substitute is fruit flavored sparkling water, like the kind made by Poland Spring. No sugar or artificial sweeteners are added and they have a nice fruity taste in various flavors.
 The better shape our nervous system is in, the better able we are to face and fight back the 'OCD bully.'


Friday, May 22, 2015

Words for the Weekend-

Remember, OCD is a common disorder and it can be tamed and beaten. Have hope. Be positive. None of us with OCD is crazy or lacking in character because of it. That's the OCD bully's lie.
So, enjoy this holiday weekend, despite any symptoms that might be happening. You can do it. OCD doesn't define who you are. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hump Day Boost-

    If you are trying to fight back the OCD bully by not believing the threatening
thoughts and/or temptations to do rituals so as to keep your fears at bay, then you might
be feeling somewhat weary and anxious from all the 'exposure' to what the
OCD riddled brain perceives to be dangerous and risky.
     A little encouragement might be in order.

    Today, why not list all the things you've done that were courageous and positive
despite the anxiety and fear of doing them (or not doing certain non beneficial things such as rituals...rumination, etc.)  No matter how small it might seem, it is progress.
1- Went to the movies with friends. Felt uneasy the whole time, but liked being with people and doing something that felt like fun.
2- Ate healthy meals and took walks in the park after work.
3-Did the OCD 'talk back and exposure' exercises each day.
4-Played with my sister's baby even though I was afraid the baby might be sick.
    Of course, these are just examples, they might not pertain to your particular OCD issues. So, add yours to the list. Even it it is simply reading the posts on this blog and attempting to follow the suggestions.
     And if you could not face the bully this week as you had hoped, give yourself credit for trying or 'wanting' to do so. It's a start.

     Happy hump day! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Don't Listen...

                                     REFUSE TO LISTEN TO THE OCD BULLY TODAY.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Moving Forward Despite Anxiety-

  This is the hardest part of fighting the OCD bully...coping with the anxiety that accompanies the effort.
    The good news is that eventually, it lessens and goes away.  The more we do something we need to do but causes fear, or the more we don't do a ritual or compulsion, also spurred on by fearfulness, the better our brains and emotions adapt to this new behavior despite the anxiety. No, it is not pleasant to feel anxious and tense, and very tempting to give in to the OCD bully's trap of rumination, rituals, and compulsions, that in a strange sort of way, make us feel safe. We might have gotten accustomed to hiding from our fears and/or doing certain rituals to ward off anxiety. But deep inside, we know it is not a happy nor beneficial way to be.
    So, pick one of your fears and.or rituals that brings a moderate level of anxiety if you have to face it - maybe a 5 ( from a 1 to 10 rating.) As an example...if it means getting on a train or bus and you are petrified of doing so, then take the train or bus only for one stop this week whenever you can.
     If it means not counting how many steps you walk up or down...then don't count any for one time today and increase that to three times by the end of the week.
    You WILL feel anxious facing down the OCD bully's prodding to stay stuck in obsessive behavior, but it will get better as you get used to facing what seems scary and threatening.
    Remember, the kinds of fears, thoughts, and rituals, are many and vary from person to person, so it is difficult to list examples of all of them here. You know what you are struggling with this week. Hopefully you can apply this exercise to your particular fears and/or obsessions.
     When we face a fear or resist a compulsion, it is a personal victory that will spur us on to gain more freedom from the OCD bully.


Monday, May 4, 2015

OCD Strategies for the Week-

 "Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together."
-Vincent Van Gogh-

Usually by the time we seek help for this disorder we are drained and beaten down by the constant rumination and anxiety the OCD bully has trapped us into. We do not feel ready for much of the routine of life, let alone gearing up for a show down!
We need to get the proper rest, relaxation, nourishment, confidence, and courage, and gently ease ourselves forward to the starting line to reach our goal of gaining control again.
Here are some suggestions:
1-Think of a 'name' for the OCD bully. This will help separate the disorder from your identity.
2-Rate the level of anxiety from each obsession in a notebook as you try to face the 'bully.' If the anxiety is high, then rate it a 10 - if not too bad, maybe a 4, or a 3, etc. Then work on the obsessions with a low rating first, by facing the 'bully' and doing things despite the fear. When the level of anxiety reaches a 1 or zero, work on another one with a higher level.  This takes time.
5-Pray and/or meditate (despite intruding thoughts. Consider them pictures and sounds from a TV screen in the background.)
6-Eat well and exercise. (Cut out sugar, caffeine, and processed foods - walk more or do a short exercise routine a few times a week.)
From the book: Confronting the Bully of OCD

Friday, May 1, 2015

Weekend Words...

Note:  Keep hope alive and don't give into despair during a spike in OCD symptoms. Continue talking back to the OCD bully, and move forward in  what you want to do this weekend, despite the threats, fears, what-ifs, pull to do rituals or compulsions. Let them be there but do not give them importance. We don't want to make the 'OCD bully' feel important.
More on fighting back the OCD bully in the book: Confronting the Bully of OCD