Discouraged and angry with myself

Feeling very angry and frustrated with myself today. It seems that I make a bit of progress with ERP/ CBT then go into a sort of denial about the fact that I need to keep working on this stuff. I get all busy, do difficult treks, apply for jobs, stay busy busy busy, until the trek, or the job, or the busyness stops and I find myself back at square 1, or that’s how it feels anyway.

It scares me how easily I go from working on stuff to total denial/distraction. It’s like I shouldn’t have bothered working on stuff to start with. Whenever I come back to it after being distracted or busy for some time, I feel worse than ever because I’ve done it again: not kept up with the work I know I need to do, gone along with things because it’s easier to keep up appearances than to say ‘Stop. I’m struggling and I don’t need to be doing this right now, I need to be prioritising my recovery.’

I think it’s partly because of a lack of support: I don’t have a therapist specialising in ERP, I’m travelling alone and therefore any sort of routine or stable friendship group is out of the window, and there’s nobody (e.g. a therapist) giving me homework and telling me to spend a certain amount of time each day on this stuff. I feel like I’m alone with it, and that’s really hard. I’ve tried to find someone online but haven’t been successful, and just feel like it’s too much to do all on my own.

Feeling really discouraged right now.


  1. To quote David’s guest post: ‘There will be days of great progress and days of deflation.’ And you’re absolutely not alone.


  2. Just wanted you to know that I really appreciate your website. I really appreciate all your posts and I especially love the drawings. The smiling monkey makes me happy. Is your sites title taken from the Indian saying that the “mind is like a drunken monkey”? Also, I enjoy your use of British English and your experiences dealing with OCD and anxiety as a Brit, since I’m an American. Also, the picture of the runner on your What to do When Travelling post looks like a photo of the sunsets and terrain of coastal California where I am. It was nice to see. Allright, thanks! All the best and as you Brits say Cheers!


    • Thank you! Yes, the site name is vaguely from Buddhist teachings that I’ve heard… the monkey mind, etc… 🙂 mine is more like an extended family of them! Just one I could deal with!


  3. Just would like to add that it seems with all Anxiety Disorders what is at the root is the need to be so especially cautious for one’s own sake and the world’s. It seems that learning all possible strategies for doing that is what can be the most helpful. For example, seeing over time that what we think is going to be so harmful actually isn’t usually helps. This is something that time can do a lot to heal, tho’ I certainly know how compressed time gets for those suffering from Anxiety issues. I used to get really distressed over breathing exhaust from laundry machines because of the chemicals in most detergents and dryer sheets. I can be somewhat chemically sensitive. In the end, I gradually got over it, because while I’ve continued to use natural detergents, most of the rest of the world still doesn’t and I’m still fine. In fact, when I think back to my college days when I was the most part a normal functioning college student I myself used regular cleaning products of all kinds and I was fine. Also, the transition to having my own separate washing and drying machines to using laundry mat ones has forced me to relax a lot too.

    So, after all that sound and fury, I had to relax and let myself live with the rest of the world as far as that goes. I’m still struggling to do so in other ways. I’m glad you’re in Nepal, the home of Siddartha Buddha where you can get in touch with the Enlightened One who realized that most human suffering comes from attachment, hence the remedy being the practice of Non-Attachment. That seems to be something we could all learn to work on. I hope I didn’t take too much space on the comment section. I want to leave room for others. Maybe you could share more of your thoughts about Buddhism in one of your following posts. I realize the need to be careful here since excessive religiosity can be a part of OCD. I’m just talking about the more practical side of Buddhism. Thanks again for your website! Chip, Chip, Cheerio! (We Americans never say that.) Peace and Blessings.


    • Hey Damian, thanks so much for your words. I have to say, although I’ve enjoyed Nepal in parts, it has occurred to me several times here that anyone with a contamination obsession would not be happy here. I’ve had food poisoning twice in one month now and the streets etc are all pretty busy/dirty/dusty etc.

      Anyway, luckily that isn’t my type of OCD. I agree with you about getting to the root of why it is that we feel so responsible and guilty about things. I don’t know what the reason is for me, but I feel a lot of guilt, shame and self-dislike in general, which most certainly feed into the OCD.

      I’m pretty sure nobody in the world says chip, chip, cheerio (apart from maybe some really posh English people in the 1950s) hahaha.



  4. I meant to write in my second post in the second sentence that it seems that learning all strategies for getting at the root of the need to be so cautious and concerned about ourselves and others can be the most helpful way to heal. I realize abstaining from compulsions is critical and may be the best way. My point was just that maybe if we understand why we feel the need to be so much more concerned about certain things than others, then maybe we can abstain from our compulsions more easily. Just some thoughts. Sorry for any confusion.


  5. I just wanted to help you with some resources since you said that you don’t see an ERP specialist. I really related to what you wrote in this post so much because it was exactly what I went through at the beginning of my journey when I didn’t have a therapist. Finding a therapist really helped me so much.


    I also know that Kerry Osborne from theobsessiveoutsiders.com provides coaching. Mark Freeman has really informative YouTube videos. Lastly, Robert Bray at OCDtreated.com is an OCD specialist (with a really cool Instagram!) that provides online 1:1 sessions.

    I hope that something works out for you and you find more support! Keep moving forward and remember it’s not always a step-by-step process! Life is going to keep happening while you do these changes and it often feels like one step forward and two steps back. I love your blog and the work you are doing here. 🙂


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