Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Myself on double bass, Eirik Zahl on guitar and Peter Conua on violin playing jazz and folk numbers in Montmartre, Paris - April 2011 (photograph by Jean Duchesne).

Well, I did it: Last week I was feeling desperately in need of a break from everything, and so I booked three weeks away in my beloved Paris. I've been visiting Paris on a regular basis since 2009 to work as a musician, writer and artist, and to just enjoy the vibe.

I'm uneasy about this trip due to the heightened threat of terrorism, and no doubt my 'checking of appliances' OCD will be in overdrive given that I've rented a whole apartment as opposed to just a room... BUT, as I've always done, I shall cope - and may even be able to go beyond that and begin ERP on my super-ingrained 'checking' OCDs. In preparation for this, I've been practicing checking my violin's in its case only once after a performance, and have invested in a yoga bible and mat in a bid to learn more about the art of relaxation.

This week I'd have liked to have begun work on another exposure, but have had some terrible migraines to contend with plus it's been a challenge keeping the OCDs I've already tackled under control. Happily - with only a couple of exceptions, I managed this, and my usual 'over-checking of important emails OCD' which flares up every time I'm about to step out of my comfort zone, hasn't been an issue.

Last night, however (as if to counteract this victory), an OCD I haven't suffered with for years reared its ugly head (the compulsion to check my body for signs of a life-threatening illness). Right now the compulsion to write down a reassurance to myself that there's nothing wrong with me is so strong. I'm trying to hold onto what my supporter and fellow OCD sufferer, David, said about how to contend with OCD trying to ruin everything, though: "Don't be beguiled; be a dancer, a martial artist. When it pushes, don't push back, just bend like a reed in the wind, reminding yourself that it's all just OCD lies... let it evaporate under its own steam."

Finally some more good news: I've been put on the waiting list for free 1:1 counselling with Nia; East London Rape Crisis, who are going to give me a call once a week starting on 19th June to see how I'm doing. 

Just so you know, I shan't be posting on this blog while I'm away in Paris but will be back after 9th June. Until then, take care, thanks for reading, and best wishes everyone!

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