The Hole I Got Into

I just read on an OCD forumβ€”
Do something which requires your attention and you’ll soon forget about the obsession;

The hole I fell into over the last few years was that I can no longer do that;

Always exercise was the miracle cureβ€” the endorphins, adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin left my head clear and all the worries and irritations cast into insignificance;

Later I had trouble with the exercising due to the knee injuries;

Then, in my late twenties I discovered that learning and playing musical instruments did the same job…
(Well, not quite the mental clarity, but the OCD instant cure);
This was a total revelation as never in my life had any other activity besides exercise provided so much relief,
But playing a musical instrument and singing along to it in rhythm and harmony is a powerful sensation beyond measure;

Of course then OCD robbed me of the ability to do the music,
And stressful life circumstances and trauma exacerbated it all,
To the point where even exercise was lost to me;

The continuing stressful circumstances have kept me in this holeβ€”
I cannot deliberately focus on what I want to do and take my mind away from OCD because of the OCD;

It leaves me bouncing between a state of having some low-level function or being stuck and then having to rest from the effort and frustration of it all;

It’s not always obvious to others what constitutes a low level of functionβ€”
Sometimes for me it really is barely more than eating and washing over an entire day,
But on top of that we each have differing bars to cross for what we consider for ourselves to be ‘high-functioning’ and healthy;

Anyways, the point isβ€”
There are still occasionally situations where I am forced to focus through all the noise for some sustained period of time,
And those situations do show me that the OCD quietens, and that it’s still possible;

Afterwards I then have a renewed clarity and ability to do things I want to again,
For a time;

Reading that line was useful because it was encouraging and gave me the strength to focus on doing something over the obsession which was stopping me from doing anything at all.

πŸŒͺ

3 thoughts on “The Hole I Got Into

  1. I don’t remember the last time I focused on something 100%. My mind just wanders, I have songs in my head 24/7, and then more I try to concentrate the more nervous and scatterbrained I get. Are there any sorts of exercise can you do in your apartment, like calisthenics?

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    1. This is kind of how it feels for meβ€” I see it as my trauma-adapted brain having developed a level of dissociation, and that trying to focus through it is difficult but reveals why dissociation happened in the first placeβ€” the situation/environment were too stressful to be fully present, and it was a survival mechanism, but trying to unlearn it is necessarily uncomfortable. That’s how I see the nervousness aspect. Chronic pain can definitely cause this too, which is one reason I prioritise minimising knee pain.

      The scatterbrained feeling I associate with brain fog, which I get without exercise and going outside, or from using my brain a lot. I do sometimes notice something like what you mentioned beforeβ€” it being harder to recall things, or taking longer to think of a word. I put this down to the intensity of the OCD and the lack of variability/intellectual challenge over the last few years.

      All of these are fully consistent with some chronic mental health issue, anyway, and sometimes medication (as you know!). My medication is adding some brain fog, but I can deal with it at the moment. But then my demands aren’t very high, thankfully.

      Well there’s not much room in here since it’s not an apartment, haha, just a single room. But it’s a relatively big room by British standards and I basically have a floor space which is long enough to lie down along the length of 1.5 times, what with all of my possessions stacked around the edges πŸ˜‚. It’s kind of like a cabin in here. I’m not somebody who can do too much static exercise, though, which other active people can relate to. I need to move through space and be outdoors. But I do pressups and dumbbell exercises which give me an instant mood boost and stress relief, it’s just not very long-lasting. I have a weights bench. So with those there’s a variety of strength exercises I can do, and chaining those together can make it pretty aerobic. I’ve had the dumbbells for a year and they’ve vastly improved my quality of life! As well as making the medication work much better.

      Something that I also thrive on is spending time cooking, moving around the kitchen, I find that pretty physical and combined with the making of food it leaves me feeling amazing. Of course at the moment I’m limited to using my slow cooker in my room. So besides the things I physically can’t do, there’s things I could do which would seriously help if I had an actual apartment. *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can relate a lot to this, with the fog and poor recall (but not the exercise and cooking). The type of seizures I have are very much like extreme disassociation and depersonlization. My meds help get rid of them but they make me a space case. The fact you’re able to do all that stuff in your room us very inspiring to me, leaves me with no excuses.

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