Coping Day to Day · OCD · Personal

A Ticking Time Bomb | Personal Update

If I was posed the question – ‘Ellen, how would you describe yourself?‘ I would say a ticking time bomb.

Emotional regulation is something I really struggle with. The roller coaster of different emotions I go through each day is exhausting and it can be really hard to predict how each day is going to pan out. For example, I can wake up feeling okay(ish) and within the space of 12 hours I can become extremely upset, then angry, then happy, then guilt-ridden, then anxious and then I’ll probably end the day extremely unmotivated and wanting to sleep for eternity. And the sad thing is that I can tell from the people who are frequently around me, that this is starting to take a toll on them. I can hardly handle myself, so goodness knows what it’s like for my family to deal with me. I am so frequently in some sort of crisis or turmoil that I’m really not that sure what stability is anymore…

I’ve also realised that I refrain from talking about anything too personal or negative on this blog because, in my eyes, I’m not helping anyone by doing that. I’ve ended up subconsciously setting the expectation that a post will only end up being helpful if I write it somewhat factually and straight to the point. Consequently, the post ends up lacking emotion and a personal touch. So, I’ve gradually lost some of the authenticity I once had here and it’s slowly driving people away…I guess I feared that if I was seen to be struggling then people would be internally criticising me for giving advice and trying to help others when clearly I’m not able to look after myself (hello paranoia). If I’m honest, I feel like I’m lacking a sense of identity right now, which is probably part of the problem. I am petrified about the future, how I’m going to cope at university IF I’m going to even get to university. How I’m going to manage the rest of

If I’m honest, I feel like I’m lacking a sense of identity right now, which is probably part of the problem. I am petrified about the future, how I’m going to cope at university IF I’m going to even get to university. How I’m going to manage the rest of sixth form, trying to deal with this beast of an eating disorder that is currently destroying my family as well as probably damaging me internally in ways I that can’t even see right now. Then you get the days where OCD just decides to cripple you out of nowhere, which is extremely thoughtful on OCD’s part. Thanks, OCD. And my situation in treatment is, let’s say, complicated. I know I explained it in the last post with regards to the new DBT scheme, but in all honesty, I’m really struggling with it all. Ties are being cut with my therapist I’ve seen for many years, which is hurting so bad. People’s roles have suddenly changed with regards to what I can talk to them about, so I’m lost as to who the appropriate person is to speak to right now and I just don’t know how to process it all.

Basically, I feel like a ticking time bomb and I’m scared. But…I need to accept that feeling scared is okay.

I just really want to take down the barriers that I’ve put up with regards to this blog. I just want to let myself document what it’s like to be a teen living with mental illness, encompassing every aspect of that. The highs, the lows, the processing, the achievements and the slip ups. To be honest in saying, yeah life is pretty shitty at the moment, but that’s okay. It’s a period of uncertainty for sure, but it can be processed through. It may take time and many more slip ups, but that’s also okay. It would be wrong for me to promote the ideation that everything will be hunky dory 100% of the time once you’re in treatment because that’s unrealistic for most people. Life isn’t a straight line from shitty to awesome and that’s totally normal. I’m honestly so sorry if that’s not what I’ve ended up promoting. Of course, I still want make the advice posts and more, (hopefully) educational posts on OCD etc, but not to solely hide behind them. I know I’ve become a bit of an infrequent posting robot, but I really want to turn that around…I need to stop hiding and it’s my own issues that’re causing me to do this, so I must challenge them. Yup, I’m scared, very scared, but I know the community here is so lovely that I’m willing to take that leap.

So yeah, this post has been an utter splurge of info and thoughts, but I hope that it makes sense and that you understand. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this and I hope life is treating you well. If not, here’s a virtual hug.

-Ellen

 

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15 thoughts on “A Ticking Time Bomb | Personal Update

  1. This is a brilliantly-written post. You are so much more self-aware and so good at nailing feelings than I was at your age when I started blogging. As for worries about lacking a sense of identity: that’s common for anyone facing big changes in life, especially for those of us who are predisposed to anxiety and depression. One of the most useful things I’ve learned through life, and from others, is that identity isn’t some epiphany moment where suddenly everything clicks. How you define yourself and what you want from life changes as you go through it. The people and things that define me at 32 aren’t the same as when I was 22 (thankfully…) and they won’t be for you either. That doesn’t mean mental health problems go away but the way you manage them changes and adapts. This year I ran a Marathon for Mind; ten years ago I was about as likely to voluntarily do sport as fly a plane! You are already managing yours so much better than so many people, even people who are a lot older than you. I was in a similar position to you before I went to university: frightened and unsure I would get there, unable to say “when I go” without adding “if…”, either silently or openly. I had my blog but hid the full extent of my anxiety from my readers much of the time. I made it there, kicking and screaming (almost literally…). I know it’s easy to say from the other side but I have every confidence you will too. And if it doesn’t work out, you will still be an awesome writer; and me and all the many people who care about you will still have your back. Xx

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    1. Thank you so much Maxine. I try to get my words across in the best way possible. The prospect if university is definitely scaring me, but as you said, finding yourself is a process and will take time. One day at a time as they say!..:) xx

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      1. Indeed 🙂 If ever you feel scared about uni and feel venting would help, feel free to drop me an email whenever. Obviously I’m not a therapist but I’ve “been there” (metaphorically and literally) so am happy to listen and help where I can. When I was a fresher there was no such thing as social media or clever phones so I mainly relied on blogging and my music collection as comforts in the first few weeks…the disadvantage being that you couldn’t really do them “on the go” (I didn’t get my first MP3 player til the summer vac of first year…) so there was generally a straight choice of “comfort versus socialising”. I think it would have helped to have the familiarity of Twitter/FB in my pocket while I was out and about doing things. Durham’s tiny so finding my way around wasn’t much of a problem but I’d have struggled in a city without Google Maps! X

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  2. Hi Ellen 🙂
    I’ve been following your blog for some time now and I just wanted to tell you that I deeply admire your strength and your courage to write and tell people about all the things you are going trough and I also admire your ability to accept that life is really bad sometimes.
    Your words helped me so much during my bad OCD moments.
    Keep strong!
    Greetings from Austria

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind message Katharina. I’m honestly so glad that I’ve been able to help you through the tough OCD moments, they can be seriously tough!
      Hoping you are well and sending positive thoughts your way. x

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  3. Hi Ellen. Thank you so much for sharing honestly. I understand that pressure to seem like you’ve got it all down and that all is going well; I’ve questioned myself, as well, about how I can write a blog about OCD if things aren’t improving here or if we have other things, like depression, taking precedence. And I’ve even wondered how I can treat OCD in my psychology practice when my own son struggles so. The thing is, it is your honest struggles, triumphs, and even the middle of the road stuff that keeps us all reading. So appreciate your bravery and willingness to share. Here’s a virtual hug for you, too!

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  4. I so appreciate your honesty and bravery when writing about what you are dealing with, and I think sometimes the posts that show our vulnerability are far more helpful than the ones when “everything is fine.” Each one of us struggles in one way or the other, and to know we are not alone, and that others have struggled but are still moving forward is so beneficial.
    I have always felt you are wise beyond your years, Ellen, and at the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, I have to say I truly believe you will be fine. Life isn’t always easy, but you are so self-aware, so open to accepting help, and so committed to living a good life, that you can’t lose. Sure there will be struggles, maybe even setbacks and twists and turns, but you will get through them with shining colors! Transitions can be especially difficult and I’m sending you lots of positive thoughts as you continue your journey!

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    1. Thank you so much Janet, you don’t sound like a know it all at all. Your words are very reassuring to me, so I do really really appreciate it. I’m always so grateful for your support and kind words with my blog, sending positive thoughts your way. x

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  5. I actually am most helped when people are honest about their struggles cause it helps me feel like its okay that I am struggling because I’m not the only one! Thanks for your genuineness in this post!

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  6. “We all have an unsuspected reserve of strength inside us that emerges when life puts us to the test.” Isabel Allende

    Hope that this great aforism by Isabelle Allende can help you to fight the battle. Never, never give up. And the gratis work you are doing here is not wrong or not enough. Keep believing in it and don’t allow these problems to influence what you are and, in the future, what you want to become. A strong hug!

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