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Messages - Peace

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General Discussion / Re: Ready for Christmas?
« on: December 06, 2016, 08:18:43 am »
Awesome pouch Peter  ;D

Sometimes the smaller gatherings are nicer. Hope you have a lovely time with your family, Dragonfly. I'm sure you will, you sound close.

Sounds like you've found a way to cope well, Paul.

Maybe my daughter's boyfriend in the house will take the edge off the situation between my husband and I. I can hope, anyway.

General Discussion / Re: Ready for Christmas?
« on: December 01, 2016, 07:17:18 pm »
Quite the gift for your brothers, Peter.  :P

I'm slowly getting there. I did a lot of online ordering this year. Bought a lot of my stocking stuffers for my daughters, then my oldest daughter asked if her boyfriend could spend a couple of weeks here, so then had to find a gift for him. I've almost got his stocking stuffers finished. This is a feat because I have agoraphobia complicated by OCD.

I started decorating the house yesterday.

I'm anxious. My husband and I are separated, but live in the same house. I try to be upstairs when he's not home, but spend time in my small basement area when he's not. My health is suffering from that. He'll be off work over the holidays for 10 days at the same time my daughter's boyfriend will be here. My daughter and her boyfriend will be spending their time in the other side of the basement, but using my bathroom across the hall from my bedroom, and cooking in my area.

Change is hard for people with OCD, so having my husband home for 10 days, as well my daughter and her boyfriend in my haven during that time will be extremely difficult. As most of you know, I am an abused woman.

I'll do the best I can, though, to make this a nice Christmas for all.

General Discussion / Re: Our Voice
« on: November 16, 2016, 11:15:21 pm »
Thanks, Daniel. I'll send you a message with my whereabouts.

General Discussion / Our Voice
« on: November 15, 2016, 09:13:48 am »
Does anyone know who to contact regarding lack of mental health services? It's well known within mental health services within the area I live in we're drastically underfunded. I've tried making phone calls and writing emails, but haven't gotten anywhere so far. I'd like to continue, but feel I'm not contacting the "right" people.

All suggestions welcome!

General Discussion / Re: Margaret Trudeau - battle with bipolar
« on: November 15, 2016, 09:11:13 am »
Very good article, Peter. Thanks for sharing!  :) I'm going to check out Stigma Enigma.

General Discussion / Re: OCD group
« on: October 30, 2016, 06:54:50 pm »
Shoot. My primary diagnosis is severe OCD and it's impossible to get help for it where I live. I'd love to attend this group, but don't have a means to get there.  :(

General Discussion / Re: Ready for Halloween?
« on: October 12, 2016, 07:27:49 am »
Hey Peter  :)

We decorated and shelled out for years, but in our neighbourhood the houses aren't close together so the kids go to other streets where they can cover more territory in less time. We got between 5 and 10 kids each year, so last year was the first year we decided to stop shelling out.

I used to love buying different candy and making treat bags for the kids. Halloween is my oldest daughter's favourite holiday so when she returned to post-secondary after being home for Thanksgiving she took decorations back with her to celebrate.

Happy for you for having so much fun!  :)

General Discussion / Re: Looking for advice
« on: September 14, 2016, 09:10:04 am »
Hi momfeelinglost,

It's great to hear from you.  I'm sorry to hear what happened to your son.

For my panic attacks the biggest thing that has helped is healthy lifestyle. Being cognizant of what I eat and drink, paying attention to sleep hygiene, exercising, and practising relaxation techniques are key.

Healthy eating: one small piece of chocolate can trigger a panic attack because of the caffeine and sugar. One alcoholic drink will calm someone down for 2 hours, but the withdrawal from the alcohol will make them anxious for several hours. Reduce caffeine, sugar, and alcohol.

There's several places on the internet that will provide proper sleep hygiene techniques.

I find something simple like an hour walk a day greatly reduces my panic attacks, as well as helps me sleep better at night because I'm more active during the day.

I use the progressive relaxation CD by Eli Bay as my relaxation technique. It was recommended in two different treatment programs I attended. It walks me through deep breathing and tensing then relaxing my body. There's many other methods, such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, etc.

I am strongly opposed to doctors prescribing benzodiazepines to be taken on a regular basis (3 times a day, as an example) to combat anxiety, but many do. They are highly addictive and the person taking the benzo becomes used to it so the calming effect wears off, then a higher dose is needed for the same effect. I do have a bottle of lorazepam I use for special occasions, such as my daughter's graduation. It brings me comfort to know I have the lorazepam to fall back on should I need it.

I find when I'm having a panic attack or am in a high state of anxiety I tend to want to talk about what is triggering my anxiety, which is actually the worst thing for me because I end up becoming more agitated. The best thing in times like that is to distract myself or have someone else distract me from what is making me anxious.

I can't tolerate sound or over-stimulation at those times. I will ask my daughters to use their headphones or I go somewhere quiet until the panic and anxiety lessens.

I make an effort to not explain to people who have proven to not understand panic attacks or who make detrimental comments such as "think positive", "chin up", "be strong". If it was that simple we would have done that a long time ago and it's highly degrading to hear those things. I've learned who I can talk to and who I shouldn't when I'm in a high state of anxiety. I have a list of distress line numbers I can call and from that list have eliminated the ones that don't work for me. What works for some will not work for others.

For me, anyway, knowing my sister is worrying about me makes me feel worse. It's natural she would worry, but I now make an effort to not tell her everything to lessen her own anxiety. When you talk to your son let him know how much you love him and are there for him, but if you can try not to tell him excessively how this is affecting you.

Warm thoughts for you and your son.


General Discussion / Re: Check In
« on: September 12, 2016, 07:33:33 am »
Hello Peter  :)

Great to hear from you. I read some of your other recent posts and think you're doing marvelous! A trip to the CNE is quite the feat considering the crowds and sounds.  We went frequently when I was growing up and you just triggered happy childhood memories.

Good luck on Tuesday with the retina specialist.


General Discussion / Re: Check In
« on: September 10, 2016, 06:41:53 am »
You weren't too wordy at all, Dragonfly.  :) It's lovely to get an update and hear how your family is doing.

I asked twice for demotions at work when the stress was too hard. The first company listened and never tried after that to put me in positions I wasn't cut out for (management). The second company did not listen, which was a contributing factor to my current condition. It worked out very well for me the first time I asked for a non-management position. Not everyone is cut out for it. I think your son made a good decision.

Your children and grandchildren are very fortunate to have you. It's obvious how loving and caring you are.


General Discussion / Check In
« on: September 09, 2016, 09:40:04 am »
How is everyone? Missing you all. Would love to hear from everyone.

I'm struggling. Some ceiling work and painting going on in our home to be able to sell it, and it's become quite chaotic. Trying to fight off guilt when my soon to be ex-husband tries to get me to pay for things I don't feel is needed. He just buys, submits the receipts to me, and if I hesitate to pay, manipulates me. He called me a disgusting monster when I separated our bank accounts after stressing too much over watching it drop by $20,000 twice in one year, and having absolutely no say in the spending. He convinced our daughters I'm "cheap", when in actual fact all I want is some money in savings, partially due to both my parents running out of money.

Anyway, change is hard for many, but with OCD being severe it's exceptionally hard. As an example, I wasn't able to go for my walks when I visited my sister because I'd have to turn to the left when I walked out her front door in order to go to the area with the least traffic and noise, when at home I always turn to the right every time I walk. Not being able to turn to the left is an OCD issue. The last time I stayed at my sister's I did go for one walk and turned to the right (I was feeling good that day), and I was very proud of myself. My long way of explaining why the changes to the home to get it ready to sell are affecting my health negatively.

OCD when not managed is extremely debilitating. The proper treatment for OCD, ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) is not covered by OHIP, or at least I haven't been able to find OHIP covered treatment. The one psychologist in my city I found who treats OCD is $215 per hour, and not located somewhere I can get to.

Sorry for the book, obviously what I call a "bad OCD day", making it difficult for my mind to turn off.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone else.  :)

General Discussion / Welcome to Strength and all other new members
« on: September 09, 2016, 09:27:32 am »
I saw the posts in the Introductions thread. The thread is at page 4 now, so I didn't want the new members to go unnoticed as a result, hence a new thread.

We've been a bit quiet here lately, but it really is an awesome place to come for support, with a lot of very caring members.

Welcome to everyone  :)

General Discussion / Re: unsure
« on: August 25, 2016, 09:33:04 am »
That's wonderful, Sadkitty!! I'm glad it went well and congrats on finding the courage to go.  :)

General Discussion / Re: Anybody here off work on LTD
« on: August 09, 2016, 09:05:12 am »
Hi piano321,

I'm on LTD, and have been for a while. I first "broke" really badly to the point of being psychotic due to sleep deprivation.

My official diagnosis are severe OCD, agoraphobia with panic, PTSD, and depression.

I took 2 weeks off of work and returned. All the symptoms came back in that time and I was hospitalized after 3 days. I attended a day treatment program for 8 weeks. I didn't feel ready to return to work, but my social worker through that program told me I was avoiding by not returning. My sister told me she knew both times I tried to return I wasn't ready.

The 2nd month back to work on a graduated return basis I relapsed and was hospitalized again. I kept saying over and over to myself that I had failed, then tried to change my thinking to that I had tried.

I went through a period of feeling horrible for being on disability. People with OCD seek reassurance, and I asked family and friends several times if they felt less of me for being on disability. My spouse (in the process of separation) didn't help. He told me if I returned to hospital the 2nd time he'd divorce me, even though my family doctor was the one sending me back to hospital and I was laying on my bed crying over not being able to continue working. He told me a number of times I was setting a bad example for my daughters by not working.

The best advice I can give to anyone is to not return to work until you feel you're ready, and to take it as slow as possible. Your health is number one priority.

Good luck!

General Discussion / Re: Not doing well continued
« on: July 22, 2016, 05:58:53 am »
Thanks Amanda and Peter  :)

It really means a lot to have your support. It also reinforces to me the need to advocate and continue trying to explain in the hope changes can be made at some point.

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