Facing Time

Exposure therapy, for me,
Is not giving into the compulsions,
When I start to feel the time slipping away,
And my life and whatever its potential,
Evaporating into space;

I keep doing it to myself,
Through doing the compulsionsβ€”
The usual response,
Is to throw myself into a deep black hole,
Is to throw myself under a bus;

It’s laughably irrational, right!?
And the only thing that’s worked for me,
Is not doing them, and not thinking about that fact,
Even if it’s a conscious effort,
For it becomes easier and easier;

I keep going up and down,
Some days I’ve managed it well,
Maybe 2 or 3 in a row,
Then I slip back again,
And I’m scrutinising everything for another week;

But exposure and response was never going to be easy,
It’s always going to be uncomfortable, initially,
That is the game;

Is losing ever an option for me?
Losing is dying,
Even worse is not trying,
I’m good at winning games,
I always seemed to win at The Game Of Life πŸ˜†.

Photo by wilsan u on Unsplash

πŸŒͺ

31 thoughts on “Facing Time

    1. Thanks, so much!! This was one of my most inspired things :D. It’s totally raw, it came out like this with very few changes :).

      So nice to have the feedback, thank you for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “I always seemed to win at The Game Of Life.”
    I love that line, Robin.
    And, so you shall win, with determination and skill and a good mindset, it shall be your destiny!
    Wonderful last verse! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I honestly did used to always win that game, lol. I’d always end up a millionaire πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ. But not a zillionaire πŸ˜‰. And with far too many kids packed into my car.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oops!
        You were referring to the board game, I misunderstood! Silly me!
        Well carry on mate! LOL
        You better go take care of all those kids and give them some of all that money for ice-cream! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha! I always mean the literal meaning firstly, but the double meaning was intended too :D. It was mostly meant more jokingly, because winning at life doesn’t make any real sense to me, other than to overcome these personal mental health struggles. I wanted some comedy relief at the end :).

        Hahaha! Thanks mate! I’ve traded them in for life insurance!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ok, I get it!
        I really do!
        Traded the kids for life insurance and I was planning on making a big batch of cookies and sending them across the pond! LOL
        That’s ok though as all the more cookies for moi! πŸ™‚

        Like

    2. It’s definitely been helping, since I wrote that poem. πŸ™‚. And I already feel a lot better. Just need to keep it going :).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, my breathing actually is usually deep and relaxed. But these mental routines have a much greater effect than just breathing, and also part of what I’m doing is self-sabotaging any feelings of relaxation or satisfaction from things. So it’s a battle to not do that self-sabotaging whilst doing things which should be relaxing (breathing deeply, eating, driving, reading, writing).

      The time OCD is a big trigger for doing those self-sabotaging things, and has by far the biggest effect on how good I feel, out of the things within my control.

      The stress that the housemates can create is also another huge trigger, but that’s relatively low at the moment, thankfully. I’m also trying to reduce my reactions to things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a great paradox and something I just have to figure out for myself, because I’ve ended up with some very complex and unique habits of thought which other people can’t relate to in detail. I have all the knowledge I need, I just need to overcome these feelings of guilt etc which prevent me from applying them.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. (Guilt and self-sabotaging actions). I’ve been doing a lot better since writing this poem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They (whoever they are) say that we are conscious of our actions only 5% of the time and are controlled therefore 95% of the time by our subconscious programs written during our early childhood. Therefore, somehow we need to rewrite and/or modify these programs through meditation, faith, or whatever. In my opinion, therapy and meds mainly treat the symptoms!

        Amateur psychology at its worse!?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, meditation is very helpful :). Most of the time I can’t even get down to it because of the time OCD/perfectionism/feelings of guilt. So I see the anxieties about time as the more fundamental thing. I am already starting to feel more like meditating again.

        I agree, I’m sure therapy will be extremely helpful, especially if I am able to have a good therapist. And possibly a higher dose of the medication I am currently taking. I am taking medication for OCD but not at the typical therapeutic dose for OCD. If it’s possible to increase it now, I’m not comfortable with doing that without the constant feedback and guidance from a therapist.

        But yes, I really need the help of a therapist who specialises in OCD, that would be such a relief.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My wife had anorexia in the mid 50s before it was not known as such. She spent years in therapy and in and out of hospitals. She was cured of the eating disorder and gained back her weight but then suffered from OCD even to this day.

        Therapy? One of her therapist followed her around and then committed suicide. Later on, another doctor was drummed out for sexual abuse (not with her).

        I was being treated for years for bipolar disorder and had negative side effects with all the meds. The last med I took sent me to the hospital with Lithium toxicity. I almost died and required dialysis to recover.

        I dropped the meds and now only see a family doctor. The meds I still take are for A-fib and high blood pressure.

        I am almost 80 but look 60 or less according to everyone that meets me. And based on my medical history I should be dead.

        How? The mind may be the best doctor and lifestyle the best meds. You are in part what you eat, drink, think, do and do-do.

        My opinion and experience only!

        I don’t believe I was really bipolar. Mainly I suffered from a case of Tourette Syndrome undiagnosed!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I thought you were saying just now that you think medication and therapy are the most useful?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. If you read my replies, I said I dropped the meds except for heart and HBP. Lithium almost killed me and doctors seem to know little about the meds, side effects and interactions of drugs. I had insufficient kidneys and I luckily attended a doctor who knew of a possible interaction between two of my drugs. I stopped one per his instruction and have not had any kidney problems since. He knew of the interaction based on experience not drug reaction literature!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ohhh, no hang on. You meant that medication and therapy mainly treat the symptoms, as opposed to the underlying cause. Sorry, don’t know why that meaning wasn’t obvious at the time. My brain by default doesn’t read between the lines! Usually I manage to with that sort of thing.

        My gut instinct is in agreement with you to some extent. There are definitely cases of medication being prescribed with no proper plan to treat the underlying cause, and the medication is just treating symptoms. Or medication is over-prescribed. But I do also think there are genuine cases where medication is necessary in combination with other things.

        But I think that everybody needs to be conservative about taking medication by default, and for it to be a mutual decision between patient and clinician, with no absolute pressure for the patient to take the medication or else. I really object to thatβ€” the way that somebody not taking medication can be held against them. Everybody has the right to decide what goes into their body.

        For me personally, I managed to take ADHD medication and get off it with no harmful effects, and I experienced a lot of benefits from taking it, with not really any drawbacks. I would like to try taking it again, it’s just a matter of availability. I was paying for it before, but the NHS should eventually be offering it to me.

        Now I’m taking Sertraline, and I’ve had significant benefits with it. I’m definitely happy that I’ve got it right now, it’s definitely helping me with lockdown and with my general limitations. It’s really helping me sleep properly for the first time in years and years. It’s helping to make up for some of what I’ve lost by not having the freedom to exercise, in terms of my mood.

        “doctors seem to know little about the meds, side effects and interactions of drugs.”

        I completely agree there. You just can’t scientifically test everything, and as soon as you start combining medications, then the multiplicities of scenarios grow quickly. Patients need to feel free to be skeptical. Personal research definitely pays off, but not everybody has the skills to do that, and to know what information to avoid etc, so they’re at a disadvantage. It’s a very messy situation.

        I’ve definitely heard of more horror stories with medications from before the last 10-15 years or so. They’ve definitely improved over time, so that is a factor. I’m sorry you and your wife had those negative experiences, they really sound scary and traumatising. I can see what you meant the other day that you shouldn’t be alive! It is amazing that you’re so healthy considering all that.

        Sorry your wife’s been suffering from OCD too, that’s not nice!! Thanks for sharing all of that!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Haha, thanks! Yes I guess that would be an interesting subject to investigate and write about.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. There are medical apps that will give you a list of the side effects and negative interactions of the meds they are taking. I feel that doctors should have this printout in their patient records!

        Liked by 1 person

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