This afternoon, the neighbour kid wanted to come over to play, and my brain went nuts.

I’m afraid of him playing in our back yard, because it’s messy.

I’m afraid of him playing in our front yard, because it’s near the road.

I’m afraid of him getting hurt.

And bleeding.

Or his parents blaming us.

But mostly the bleeding.

The kids just want to play. And have fun. I used to know how that felt.

The kids played. And had fun. I stressed out and made the husband check on them a lot.

They were fine, of course.

I really don’t want to stifle my kids because of my fear.

I’m tired of being UnFunMum.

Permalink Friday, 22 April, 2011 5:34 pm, by Mamma Email , 115 words, Categories: Anxiety & stress, OCD ,

How OCD is better than depression (postnatally)

Please note: this is a light-hearted reflection on my own personal experiences. I know what both OCD and depression feel like, and would not wish either on anybody. I am not in the business of minimising anybody else’s pain.

  1. When I had postnatal depression, I didn’t lose the pregnancy weight. I just kept putting it on.
    With OCD, the weight has fallen off (must be all the stressing and pacing - does thinking burn calories?)
  2. There is no more. Apart from the weight thing, they both suck. BigTime.
Permalink Tuesday, 19 April, 2011 10:55 pm, by Mamma Email , 87 words, Categories: Anxiety & stress, Health, OCD ,

ANTs in the attic

Mark Hyman, in his book, “The UltraMind Solution”, uses the acronym ANTs (actually, he writes it as ANTS, but I think “Automatic Negative Thoughts” abbreviates better my way!) to refer to the “beliefs, attitudes, and ways of thinking and being that move us away from wellbeing.” He doesn’t limit it to the obsessive thoughts of OCD, but I’ve decided to adopt the term my own way. He says “my head is full of ANTS”, but I prefer to think of it as “ANTs in the attic”, kind of as a way of reminding myself that they’re not “bats in the belfry” — which would mean I’m crazy, which, allegedly, I’m not.

In Jeffrey Schwartz’s “Brain Lock”, one phrase used to reinforce a coping technique is “It’s not me, it’s my OCD” — meaning “I’m not really the kind of person those horrible thoughts are telling me I am, it’s just a thought”.

Another favourite phrase I’ve been repeating lately is from Matchbox 20’s song “Unwell” — “I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell/impaired”. OK, so I’ve been drawing on Rob Thomas songs a lot in general. P!nk has some good things to say too. And then Billy Joel is always a great standby.

Sometimes the ANTs are distracted by the songs, and sometimes the lyrics help me to reflect on how I’m feeling.

I am starting to get more glimpses of improvement. The ANTs are still there, but they seem to be a little easier to chase away.

Baby steps… or maybe ant-sized ones.

Permalink Tuesday, 12 April, 2011 12:39 pm, by Mamma Email , 252 words, Categories: Anxiety & stress, Music, OCD, UltraMind ,

Starting over

I had high hopes of blogging my six weeks of following my new plan, and suddenly it’s over. And I’m about to do it again.

It’s possible that there’s been some slight improvement, but I can’t see much. The other night I had the mother of all anxiety attacks. I’m still not completely over it.

About the only thing I did “right” was to stick mostly to the right foods and add some vitamin/mineral supplements.

Since I’m breastfeeding, I’m playing it extra cautiously with the special supplements.

I was supposed to do 30 minutes of exercise each day. I’ve done a lot of pacing, and I’ve carried the baby around the house a lot, but I don’t think that counts, somehow.

I tried to do the special breathing techniques - on waking, before meals, at bedtime - but those things have often been done hurriedly and I forget to do the breathing.

I’m supposed to be trying relaxation or meditation. See above.

I’m supposed to eat at regular intervals, sitting down and not rushed. Not always easy with a baby.

So anyway…

I’m trying again.

Wish me luck. Or pray for me. Or something. I’ll try to update this time.

Permalink Sunday, 20 March, 2011 5:19 pm, by Mamma Email , 200 words, Categories: Anxiety & stress, Health, Food, OCD, UltraMind ,

Afraid of getting better

I had a thought today… OK, well, considering my brain, that’s a pretty stupid, or at least redundant, thing to say, right?

I thought about all the times I feel like I’ve made a little bit of progress, then another obsessive thought steps in and tells me I’m wrong. Like when I’ve just washed my hands, and I think “yes, I finally believe they’re clean"… and then my brain says “what if they’re not???”

And so it goes.

Then I start to wonder: what happens if/when I start feeling better, and these thoughts start to fade into the background? What if I start acting like a normal person again? Does that mean I’m more “normal”, or just that I’m not caring any more? Is that OK? Is it OK to care less about the things that are bugging me now? What if my thoughts really are protecting me, or my family, or my friends, from something that’s worth worrying about? What if getting better means I’ll be less observant and miss something? What if everybody else is missing something important?

“What if?” - welcome to my world.

What if I’m afraid of getting better? Does that make me one of those people who doesn’t want to get better? Am I addicted to being unwell? Is it OK for me to go through this stage on my way there? Is that normal too?

Permalink Monday, 7 February, 2011 2:23 pm, by Mamma Email , 233 words, Categories: Anxiety & stress, Big questions, Addiction, OCD, UltraMind ,

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