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How do I survive Christmas

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How do I survive Christmas

Postby cirkusrat » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:14 pm

Hey you all.
I'm a 20 year old female and I have severe OCD. My OCD thoughts/worries/intrusive images are connected to my family, meaning I'm afraid of my family. I can't be with them and I can't visit them in their apartment (where I used to live with them before moving out into my own place), and I can't have them visit me in my apartment. That means if I want to see my family, we have to meet in the car or somewhere in the city like a café or something. And I can only wear certain clothes when I'm with my family, and afterwards I have to shower. It's so painful since of course I love them and I wish that I could have a normal relationship to my family like other "normal" people. I have so bad conscience because I know it's hurting them that they can see me only so rarely. It's almost a year ago since I last saw my sister, and half a year ago since I saw my little brother. I saw my mother a month ago maybe.

Now because my OCD is so severe, I can't celebrate Christmas together with my family. I can't go home to their apartment and they can't come visit me in my apartment. We live about 2 hours by car away from each other. I really want to see my family during Christmas, but I'm just too afraid to be with them for many hours which would be the case if I would celebrate Christmas with them. For a start, I think I can manage only one hour maybe two with them.

I think I will spend Christmas Day (24th December) at a social institution where you can join if you have no social network to celebrate Christmas with. It's a social service center kind of with volunteers and there is a nice program for the day. But still I feel so bad. I am so sorry for my family. I have so bad conscience. It's the first time in my life that I can't be with them on Christmas eve. Last year I celebrated with them in their apartment although it was hard since I was very afraid, and also I felt really bad afterwards because it triggered my OCD.

I'm so confused, I don't know what to do. I keep thinking that because I can't spend Christmas Day/eve with them, I could spend a short amount of time with them one of the other days around Christmas. But still I feel so bad about myself because - as if one hour is enough time with your family when you haven't seen them for such a long time.

I live in a dorm and everybody is going home for Christmas and asking when I'm going home.They are driving home to be with their families. Today, the last two people from my hallway left. It hurts so much because on the one hand, it reminds me how far from normal my life is, how ###$ up it is to be honest, I'm 20 and can't spend Christmas with my family. It makes me miss my family and makes me feel so bad about myself. And on the other hand, it means I'm all alone here which triggers my BPD.

I thought that maybe I should use this time to do good things for myself. But I'm feeling so down I can't. I don't want to get out of bed, I don't want to go out. It confronts me with happy people and happy families with joyful lives. It makes me feel so wrong. All this makes me so depressed I'm starting to wonder if things will ever get better. And why I should continue living this life. It's not really a life.

Is there anyone else out there spending Christmas alone? Any tips on how to get through these days? What should I do?
I really hope some of you can help me. If would mean so much if somebody took their time to reply to my post. Thanks for those of you who read all this. And merry Christmas <3
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby Parador » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:10 pm

I'm alone. But not because I have OCD. I have SA/ AvPD and have no family. Does your family know you don't see them because of OCD? Are you in therapy for OCD? Is there any med you can take that will settle you for a few hours and let you spend time with your family? I chugged half a bottle of Robitussin once before a dentist appointment and I felt no emotion for a few hours. NOT recommended for frequent use though.
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby cirkusrat » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:50 am

Thanks so much for your reply. I'm sorry to hear you're also alone because of mental illness. The thing is, I'm not in therapy for OCD right now. I am referred to psychiatric hospital, but my first appointment isn't before mid January. I so wish there was some kind of remedy that could provide some relief, but I don't think there is. Right now I don't take medication against OCD but I have an appointment with my GP soon who will probably give me some medication, but again it will take a lot of weeks for the effect to unfold if there is an effect, was on Sertraline for two years but it didn't help much. Actually had to look up Robitussin, it's because of the dextrometorphan, right? Never tried that for other purposes than cough though. But sounds tempting...
I'm so frustrated. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I so want to make the best out of these days, but then again most of the time I just feel so down and frustrated and so enormously tired of everything, exhausted. Today I got to a point where I could do nothing but lay down in bed and I fell asleep and slept for four hours straight. I don't want to go to bed because I don't want to have to get through another damn hard day.
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby cirkusrat » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:05 am

And what I forgot to mention, yes my family does know it's because of my OCD, and that my OCD is very bad now which is the reason I can't see them. But I still feel like such a bad person... Because my obsessions and compulsions, all of the anxiety of my OCD, is related to my family - it's them I'm afraid of. And I'm afraid to be with them. It's so absurd because they're my family, not murderers or anything. And I feel like nobody in the world other than me is afraid of their own family. And worst of all, I don't know how long this will last. It has lasted for a long time now. One part of me says therapy will help, but then the other part says things will never get better.

I'm the only person out of 15 left in this hallway of the dorm, and I just feel so alone. How do you manage being alone? How do you spend these days? Wish you the best.
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby Otter » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:05 am

Hello Cirk -

I'm sorry you are going this. I have severe OCD. Actually, I HAD severe OCD. It took me years but I have it under control for the most part.

But OCD interfered with me so much that I missed out on family events and such. I wasn't afraid of my family but other obsessive/compulsive behavior kept me from enjoying holidays.

Anyway, The best thing you can do in this period is the simplest answer - occupy your time, even if it's just watching TV. Do you have a social life online? Try and reach out to other, talk to people.

Many times in my life I thought there was no way I was going to get out of the madness I was in (I also suffer BP and SAD) but I am here to tell you that you can and will get out of it. But you need to do a little work and yes, therapy is one of them - it will help. I don't know your background and don't have time to read your other posts - but are you taking meds?

And yes, I will be alone this Christmas, for other reasons.

Otter.
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby Parador » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:15 pm

cirkusrat wrote:And what I forgot to mention, yes my family does know it's because of my OCD, and that my OCD is very bad now which is the reason I can't see them. But I still feel like such a bad person... Because my obsessions and compulsions, all of the anxiety of my OCD, is related to my family - it's them I'm afraid of. And I'm afraid to be with them. It's so absurd because they're my family, not murderers or anything. And I feel like nobody in the world other than me is afraid of their own family. And worst of all, I don't know how long this will last. It has lasted for a long time now. One part of me says therapy will help, but then the other part says things will never get better.

I'm the only person out of 15 left in this hallway of the dorm, and I just feel so alone. How do you manage being alone? How do you spend these days? Wish you the best.

I have no problem being alone. I used to I guess. But people can get used to things. Being adaptable is important.
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby RottenFish » Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:05 pm

Due to my OCD I spent holidays alone too. I actually enjoy it. It gives me time to relax and replenish.

For example today I'm spending the day using my massage pad and foot bath I bought last year. All this while listening to beautiful relaxing music. It's like a day at the spa.

When I hear everyone's chaotic family Christmas stories, I'm more than glad I'm alone. Ther'e's no one around to ruin this beautiful day. :wink:
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby phoenix1 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:57 pm

I had onset of OCD in August of 2015 (virtually overnight) Christmas has always been a struggle. The first was the worst because I didn't know what was wrong with me. I literally would lay in bed and cry.

I have Pure O, and really tried to hold it together. I kept telling them I couldn't stop thinking of killing myself, or really violent things, it was awful. I used to get drunk as hell because it would slow down the thoughts, only to get worse when I was hungover.

One of the things I used to do, and still do, is make tea and coffee and just sit. I would read a book or whatever, and just mindlessly watch TV.

I guess the only thing I would suggest is be kind to yourself, IT'S OK TO FEEL BAD OR WEIRD OR BROKEN.

Also, stay off of or delete social media, because in reality no one cares and it's not real. They only post the best moments (or fake ones) me me me look at how awesome I am, etc.

Part of going through my OCD was realizing that I'm completely alone, on my own. No one is coming to save me, and I have to be content on my own, alone. It was quite the adjustment, but now I really enjoy it. No drama, no BS, I can bring what and who I want into my life.

You learn QUITE a lot being alone, it's a tough adjustment though.

Relax, take a bath or shower, curl up and watch a movie or do something that calms you. I personally enjoy music or documentaries or whatever.

Merry Christmas <3 :) It will get better I PROMISE.
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby cirkusrat » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:29 pm

Thanks so much for all of your replies! It means a lot to me - really. Seeing that I'm not the only one dealing with this is very comforting. And it gives me hope that things will get better. I'll reply to each of you separately now.
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Re: How do I survive Christmas

Postby cirkusrat » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:47 pm

Otter wrote:Hello Cirk -

I'm sorry you are going this. I have severe OCD. Actually, I HAD severe OCD. It took me years but I have it under control for the most part.

But OCD interfered with me so much that I missed out on family events and such. I wasn't afraid of my family but other obsessive/compulsive behavior kept me from enjoying holidays.

Anyway, The best thing you can do in this period is the simplest answer - occupy your time, even if it's just watching TV. Do you have a social life online? Try and reach out to other, talk to people.

Many times in my life I thought there was no way I was going to get out of the madness I was in (I also suffer BP and SAD) but I am here to tell you that you can and will get out of it. But you need to do a little work and yes, therapy is one of them - it will help. I don't know your background and don't have time to read your other posts - but are you taking meds?

And yes, I will be alone this Christmas, for other reasons.

Otter.


Hey Otter, thank you for replying. It's good to hear that you were able to get your OCD under control. Sounds like it was very disabling to you, too. Can I ask what helped you get better? Therapy? Meds? And by BP, do you mean borderline?

I think you're right about the "occupy your time" - thing. It all gets worse if I do nothing and have too much time to think. There's so many things I'd like to do, but either the OCD keeps me from doing it, or I'm feeling to down/depressed to "get myself together" and do it. For example, I know I'll have to go to the supermarket today, but it seems so hard to me. It's so hard to get out the door and just do it. And then of course there's the OCD that makes everything harder. I completely screwed up my sleeping schedule meaning I'll be up till 2am or later and wake up at noon. It's because I feel better in the evening/night so I don't want to go to bed because I know the next day will be so hard to get through. I'll be watching TV and Netflix at night, which can take me away from all the mess for a moment, and at that time of day it's too late to do anything productive anyway I tell myself. But I can't keep living like this. I do try to not completely isolate myself, e.g. I spent the 24th of December at a drop-in center. It turned out pretty ok, even though my BPD is often triggered in social situations. I used to take Sertraline but stopped this summer because there was no real effect, but this Friday I have an appointment with my GP who will prescribe some other medication for me.
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