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Intrusive thoughts

66Mustang
66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
edited November 12 in Coffee lounge
I’m not feeling too good at the moment - my thoughts are especially loud.

A family member - my main carer - has just gone to Africa for 2 weeks - very exciting and well deserved but that may be what has kicked it off.

Any ideas for distractions or what to do? :)

I am trying really hard not to drink the problem away as, I won’t lie, alcohol does make it better temporarily, but I have given that up now. This is, however, the first time the thoughts are bad since I’ve given up excessive drink so I will be really pleased if I manage to get through the night without drinking too much.

I feel a bit better just for writing this for some reason, maybe sharing it helps.

Thanks for reading. :)
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Comments

  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,610

    Scope community team

    edited November 12
    I'm sorry to hear that the thoughts are a bit louder at the moment @66Mustang. I can imagine that your family member being away could cause a bit of disruption.

    I find that really immersing myself in something I enjoy can help to block out these thoughts. This could be anything really, such as reading, writing, playing a game, or doing a puzzle. I recently completed a paint by numbers painting, which isn't something I've really done before, and found it really peaceful and relaxing. 

    I also find blasting music sometimes helps when the unwanted thoughts creep in. The negative thoughts can be loud, but my positive thoughts and the music can be louder :) 

    As for the drinking, I do understand that alcohol can sometimes make things feel a bit easier but, as you've said, it's not the most healthy coping technique. I think I remember you saying that you like your non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails, perhaps you could focus on creating some tasty new recipes? 
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  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 4,332 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 12
    Distraction helps I find, try anything which distracts you, something you have to concentrate on to do, like painting a model with a fin brush or colouring in or even stitching socks (one slip and ouch!) 
    you can always try meditation, as I’ve said before counting from one to ten repeatedly with  your eyes closed, concentrating on the count when you exhale.

    i hope you feel better soon.

    If everything's coming up roses it's time to call in a gardener

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Tori_Scope for the message.

    I like the comment about the thoughts being loud but the positive thoughts and music being even louder. :)

    I do agree 100% about the alcohol, but that’s why I’ll be pleased if I get through the night without using it as a coping mechanism.

    Currently I’m looking through these forums to try to distract myself but I might watch some clips of the old Top Gear on YouTube later as that often sends me off to sleep!
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you @leeCal for the kind words, might have to give the counting/meditation a try.

    You also reminded me of something else a psychologist taught me which is to imagine the unhelpful thoughts being washed away by a river so I might try that as well.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,702 Disability Gamechanger
    This time of year distractions are particularly difficult to find  due to shortening days and cold/wet outside.

    My biggest distraction currently is music, though I know you're not a big music fan.

    I'm also still searching eBay for small bits of historical interest.  Don't buy many items (generally get sniped at the last moment!) so it's not costing much but it's more about the chase than the catch.  I'm finding things I've never seen before and learning about them. 

    In the dark evenings I can't focus on screens so just watch TV, generally on comedy, science or travel.
  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 4,332 Disability Gamechanger
    England are playing live @66Mustang, that might distract you?

    If everything's coming up roses it's time to call in a gardener

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 12
    @OverlyAnxious thanks

    I agree about the dark evenings, I don’t know why but I’m often worse in the winter months even though I don’t go out any more or less in winter. I guess looking outside and just seeing black as opposed to other houses and stuff going on makes me feel more alone!

    PS I wrote out the following analogy in response to the music comment and then realised you are probably the exception to the rule as you have issues with food!! :# Will leave it up as it made me laugh. (PPS sorry if that causes any offence - didn’t mean it to!)

    I wouldn’t say I’m not a music fan - I would say music a bit like food - everyone has something they like, no one dislikes the whole thing.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
    leeCal said:
    England are playing live @66Mustang, that might distract you?
    I don’t have a TV but will follow it online, thanks for the suggestion :)
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 2,191 Pioneering
    @66Mustang you got this, as others have said distraction works well. 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Member Posts: 1,347 Pioneering
    Hi @66Mustang You can do this just believe in yourself. England playing football should be a distraction. Who is winning ? Just keep posting on here we will support you. Take care. 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
    @Teddybear12 thanks, that’s really kind

    I might head off to bed soon as I tend to sleep at around 9pm (life in the fast lane haha) but will be on here till I drop off, sorry in advance if I fall asleep and end up not replying to someone

    Currently England are well in the lead :smile:

    I really appreciate the kind words and support everyone, don’t want to sound sentimental but it honestly means a lot that people would give up their time for no reward to post and make me feel better.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 11,025 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 12
    Hi @66Mustang - I'm sorry you're not too good at the moment. I agree with most of the suggestions here as distraction (after exercise!) is the thing I use the most to help with my chronic daily pain......in fact you were the reason, with your thread about what happened when you were in school, that led me down a youtube wormhole this afternoon, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In the 6th form we were allowed to go out at lunchtime, & some 4/5 of us frequently went to this girl's house nearby. One of the other girls used to play the piano there & sing, mainly blues & jazz, which I hadn't heard before. I looked online, & found she became, & still is, a professional songwriter & singer some decades (I won't say how many) later. So thank you for that. :)
    It's interesting what your psychologist said, 'imagine the unhelpful thoughts being washed away by a river.' I use something similar, which I 'think' may be a visualisation technique. I imagine I'm lying on a warm sun-drenched beach, & that the sea gently washes up the lower half of my body, then recedes taking the pain away.  It certainly helps me, & I use it often.
    Lastly, as ever, I agree with leeCal & concentrating on your breathing, tho disagree ever so slightly in counting to 10, as I feel your natural breathing rhythm is best. It seems, perhaps, that some coping mechanisms may help with both physical & mental pain. So, please look at the following link, where you'll see leeCal's meditation advice, & mine on 'diaphragmatic breathing,' which I use every night to help me relax (& often many times during the day).
    Drat, I can't find it, & will ask the Scope team about this as I think the links that were put together remain helpful to many. Here's the link about diaphragmatic breathing: https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/therapies/abdominal-breathing.pdf    & I hope @leeCal may be able to give you a link to the meditation he's found helpful.
    Wishing you well 66Mustang....you can do this. :)
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
    @chiarieds

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed going down the YouTube hole! :) That’s awesome to hear about them becoming a professional.

    I find it intriguing that a similar thought exercise helps you with pain - I can understand why it helps with something that’s entirely in the mind but for it to help with physical pain is interesting. Is pain supposed to be partly psychological, and that’s why it helps? I’m not doubting that it should help at all, just interested!

    Thank you for the link, I will have a read.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,632 Disability Gamechanger
    @66Mustang sorry to hear you aren't feeling great, do you read? I find reading a great distraction when i'm not at my best.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 4,332 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 12
    This link isn’t the original one I posted but it describes a method of meditation which doesn’t involve counting.
    https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-meditate/

    If you find counting a very distracting or calming device then simply count on the out breath without altering your normal breathing pattern of course. Only count up to ten then restart from one, if you lose track of which number you’re on simply start again from one.
    hope it helps 🙂

    If everything's coming up roses it's time to call in a gardener

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 11,025 Disability Gamechanger
    I 'think' @66Mustang , nay believe, that physical pain & mental health can be intertwined. For example, altho I would say I don't have mental health issues, I find that any sort of stress increases my pain; so perhaps psychological in part. In some of those with pain, it can be seen that there's an increased sensitivity to pain as perceived by the brain.
    Now recently an orofacial specialist said that I had a high threshold to pain; in other words I can withstand a lot of pain. Yet, tbh, any increase in my 'normal' levels of pain, & I'm a wimp. I can cope with what I normally endure, but 'extra' is difficult.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 13
    Well I got through the night and am feeling a bit better today :) hopefully it was just a one off and I wont get worse again come night time today.

    Sorry for not responding to the last few posts last night as I managed to get to sleep :blush:

    Thanks everyone for the help :) It really did help me and I hope I can repay it in some way in the future.

    @chiarieds that makes sense to me - I don't have a pain condition but if I have a headache or toothache or something, that does get worse when stress is worse. Your last sentence sounds very similar to the family member I have who has osteoarthritis - they can cope with the "every day" pain but have a threshold that when exceeded (due to for example doing too much the day before) they suffer. Have you found that heat helps your pain? One of the reasons my family member has gone to Africa is that the heat there makes them feel a lot better and gives them a couple of weeks of respite.
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,416

    Scope community team

    Glad to hear you managed to get through it @66Mustang and that you are feeling a bit better today. Speaking of the England game, the second half of that would be enough to make most people feel sleepy.

    What are you going to get up to this weekend? 
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,770 Disability Gamechanger
    We are just about to take the dog out for a walk in a few mins then I’m not sure what for the rest of the day :o maybe some World of Warcraft!

    What about everyone else?

    The comment about the England game made me laugh!

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