Friday, September 2, 2016
THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!
Brett Larkin's 'Guided Meditation for Anxiety and Obsessive Thoughts', which really helped me go a small way towards overcoming my worst OCD of all; my obsession that any lone man I encounter could rape, attack or contaminate me.
Last month I slipped on my yoga mat and injured my elbow, so because the niggling pain still hadn't gone away, I decided to do some yoga meditation for the first time.
Over the course of three days I practiced the above meditation, focusing on my obsessive fear of lone men, plus two other of Brett Larkin's meditations; 'Self-Love Guided Meditation' and 'Meditation for Anxiety and Rushing'.
On leaving the house to walk to the station having just done the 'Guided Meditation for Anxiety and Obsessive Thoughts', a lone man passed me and instead of immediately compulsively seeking reassurance that he hadn't hurt me, I was able to stay calm and present, and to trust deep down within myself that I was safe instead of allowing fear and panic to override my senses. Later on, I had to give into the compulsion to seek reassurance, but just having been able to stave off this urge for quite a substantial amount of time, felt like a huge leap forward in my recovery - and the best 41st birthday present I could've wished for.
Whenever a disturbing sound or image and an intrusive thought collide in my brain, however, I can't help but follow through with my compulsion to seek reassurance from Jan or to write down that I'm safe: I was cooking in the kitchen when I heard a gunshot on the TV the other day. Being as the back door was open, I simultaneously had the intrusive thought that a man had come in and raped, attacked or contaminated me. Even though I tried to distract myself with mindless TV, I couldn't help but call Jan so she could tell me that I was fine.
My counsellor, T., suggested that instead of giving into my compulsions in moments such as these, I should try to sit with the feelings (that are rooted in my abusive past), and eventually they will dwindle. In addition to this she said I might try employing a 'grounding' technique: When passing a lone man in the street, I could try distracting myself from the obsession that he'll hurt me by noticing the pavement firmly beneath my feet, the colour of the sky and other things that are around me so's to bring myself back into the reality of the moment; that I am safe and quite capable of protecting myself.
Yesterday I convinced myself that a strange man had got in the house on being triggered by the sound of keys jangling near the side entrance at the same time as watching a harrowing I Survived documentary (maybe I should stop watching these inspiring documentaries while I'm confronting my own traumas)? I was able to sit with the feelings of anxiety and terror this obsession brought up and to focus on objects in the room around me as a way of grounding myself. Once again this felt like progress, until eventually had to ask Jan for reassurance that I was safe when she came home: Baby steps...