I haven’t given a quick update in a while and I thought it best to write something small.
Lately I’ve been quite a mixture of things. Exhausted being the main one. I am trying to improve my sleeping pattern, especially as it’s winter and the coldness outside seems to make exhaustion quite easy.
The more I try to catch up on sleep, the less I seem to get. I’m considering doing a technical lockdown, so that I cannot access my laptop or phone after 11pm, which might help to stop distraction and let me doze off. Reading has been useful, although I do tend to read mystery novels when I’m not reading factual books, and the mystery novels are too gripping to put down to sleep. Perhaps I should invest in boring books, as opposed to appealing ones, so that it encourages me to sleep.
In relation to intrusive thoughts, they still come. I doubt they will ever quite leave, so I’ve accepted that I cannot just have a lobotomy performed to remove areas of the brain which cause this. If only it were that easy.
These intrusive thoughts have circled around death lately. Tiredness and fogginess do tend to make one quite irritable, which makes having such intrusive thoughts even more bothersome.
It makes me consider things. The body is supposed to work for you; to protect you from that which would do it harm. Some people blank out memories which are distressing to them subconsciously, a coping mechanism. While it is tragic and harmful to the person in the long run, it must be understood that it is the body and minds way of protecting that individual from those memories which would cause severe distress.
So why then, does the mind not block out these intrusive thoughts to protect myself, and others in the same position, from distress? Is this my minds coping mechanism? Or is this a symptom of something faulty in the brain? Overactive brain circuit, a faulty switch circuit, imbalance of Serotonin, dysfunction of the basal ganglia?
Was the cause nature or nurture? Or nature and nurture?
Truthfully, there have been a various different causes for different people. I’ve read of people getting these intrusive thoughts, and OCD, from strep infections, or even from the flu.
With my thoughts circulating around death, things feel quite edgy. As the planet seems to get sicker, as diseases and harm seem to spread, I consider at times how humanity got to this point. How humanity let so much damage happen around them, while turning a blind eye to it unless it interfered with their daily lives.
I also consider why it is that we must suffer.
The monster emerged last night as I tried to sleep. The monster in my mind is always there, however, he seemed to be making a point of not being locked behind the door that I shove him in.
The monster is the character I have made to represent the OCD. The monster who whispers, but the whisper echos in your head so that you can’t ignore it. I was particularly annoyed last night about the state my room was in when I went to bed. I had spent a while before work tiding it up, and had made the beds for myself and my sisters so that everything was neatened. It allowed me to feel relaxed and I was quite proud about how nice I had managed to make things.
I was looking forward to just cleaning into bed, without having to fold clothes and pick up shoes etc. I had managed to keep the room tidy for a full day the day before, and I was aiming for two. Although, with such clashing personalities, between myself and my younger sister, things never work out in my favor.
She had only been in an hour and had strewn clothes everywhere, she left her soggy socks in the middle of the room, her clothes from that day kicked off onto the ground, and her shoes tossed at the foot of my bed. Among the usual carnage she creates. One hour of her being in the house was all it took before she had make a landfill of stuff on the ground from clothes she had picked out and dismissed for the next day.
As one can imagine, I was very irritated. I hadn’t spent my morning and after work hours tidying for her to mess things up again. So I picked her clothes up and tossed them in her wardrobe. Which isn’t a big deal to me, but she did start screaming the house down at one in the morning because I hadn’t folded her clothes and instead, just tossed them in.
I went to bed in a sour mood. Then the thoughts came. I had thought, as sometimes we do in anger, that I should like her to leave the house and never come back again. The landslide came after that. That thought moved onto: ”Well, if she does that and she dies, it your fault, really. You wished for it. Your fault if she dies. Horrible person. What if she stops breathing? Can you live with the thought that you caused that?”
Escalation carried through and resulted in a sleepless night, in which I needed to read articles as a distraction. It works somewhat, but not entirely. The thoughts still linger, and with it, tiredness of having them.
Yet, life must carry on and I mustn’t let it get to me, even at times if it feels like I’m being consumed by the fire of thought. Each morning is the mark of a new day, and with it, the chance for new opportunities.
My mission in CBT was to change the way I think. I struggle not to relapse. A lot. But the key thing is that trying will help, as opposed to just suffering in silence. Challenging yourself is key, and even though it’s harder than fighting a lion, challenging yourself is something that needs to be done.
If you change the way you think, there’s potential to change the neuropaths within the mind. To rewire it to lessen distress. It’s just getting the rewiring done, which is the challenge.
So hopefully the monster can be tamed some more. Baby steps are still huge leaps, in this context.
Now, I’m feeling tired. Exhausted and drained. But I’m holding onto some hope that I can fix the chaos which has been made and to live life for the living experience and not for the control that I desperately try to keep hold of. To understand that it’s not my job to save the world, but to be the best that I can be and to implement the good that I want to see in the world. That’s the most I, and anyone else can do.
I will leave my ramble there for the day and hope that my mind clears up. Any suggestions on relaxing or something therapeutic to help, would be good if anyone has some. Until then, I will focus on programming.