“Can’t you just think about something else?”
Well, yes I can. But the problem is that every time I try to think about something else, it just comes creeping back again. It’s like the theory about the pink elephant. The more you try to not think about it, the more vivid it becomes in your mind. I try to explain this by asking if they have ever broken a body part. If they have, I ask them about the pain they had when it was broken. “It hurt very much” they always said. Then asked them what they would feel if someone had said to them “Just keep walking. You’re not in pain. It’s all in your head.” Then they get irritated and tell me it’s not the same thing. It is though. Only the difference is that you can’t see that my nerve paths are hung up. The only way they could see it for you, is that you have a cast to show for.
“It doesn’t seem like you have OCD. Maybe you’re just a tad of a control freak?”
Oh, I dare you to step into my mind for one day. Maybe then you would understand that I don’t like to have so much control, but rather that I’m being controlled. The reason why you can’t see my OCD is because you don’t see the world through my eyes, my thoughts and my worries. Also, I’ve become a true experts of hiding my compulsions or explaining away my actions. “Oh, the moisturizer was a bit to sticky for my taste.” It seems like everyone would gladly believe that, because the truth would be much harder to handle. And I’m really tired of making other people feel comfortable about a disease that isn’t even theirs to worry about. Also, a lot of my OCD are thought related obsessions like counting a certain numbers a certain amount of times or repeating certain phrases to ensure my magical powers are charged enough to prevent something from happening. You can’t see or hear my thoughts, ergo, I don’t seem OCD enough for you.
“Everyone has a little OCD, don’t they? I don’t think you should exaggerate the situation.”
Well, it’s true what you are saying. Everyone has about 5% OCD in terms that you sometimes would feel the need to wash your hands one more time because you can feel a smell, or you wan’t the remaining color to go away. You just need something to be a certain way, or you check that extra time that the stove is off because you’re afraid of fires. These are all OCD related compulsions. The difference though, is that when you did your compulsions your day continued like nothing ever happened, and when you get in that kind of situation, you’re not overwhelmed with fear and anxiety about something. People with OCD are bad at regulating fear and anxiety and therefore do compulsions. It’s like a broken record that won’t stop nagging you until you do the thing that relieves your anxiety. And when you do it, you get relief, but only for a minute or an hour, because the broken records skips to the next track/obsession, and starts repeating itself again. It just won’t go away.
“You don’t have OCD. You just have bad habits.”
Your room is messy, you organize things wrong. You just don’t plan for enough time, you stress to much. Well, first off. Some people have organizing OCD, Cleaning OCD or contamination OCD. I for one have Cleaning OCD and I’m afraid of dirt. Not that I’m afraid of diseases or contamination. I’m just afraid of dirt. I’m not a tidy person at all. My living room table, my room and my bathroom are overfilled with everything possible. It’s like the mecca of useless things, paper and all things imaginary. Part of the reason for being messy is that I just don’t care about it enough. It doesn’t bother me. Part of it is that this has been a week where cleaning and tidying has been hard and I feel that everything is dirty after a trip I took last week, and I have to clean all at once, and I will when I wake up. I’ve always been messy and I see structure in my own mess. I always plan for enough time, but I just cannot anticipate when Mr. Satan decides that something’s not good enough or something is scary enough for me to have a express cleaning session of something. If I should plan enough time to get out of the house, I must have started last week. And that’s just not a way to live for anyone. And of course I stress too much. My OCD makes me stressed. But I am not my OCD. I am me, and myself are actually very calmed and together. OCD is a disease, and you can’t be a disease. Therefore, OCD is stressing, but I am not a stressful person.
“It’s all in your head!”
Yes? Of course it’s all in my head. You don’t need to tell me that. I’m painfully aware that my brain is broken. You don’t wear OCD like a purse, and it’s not a zit on your face. Of course it’s all in my head. A lot of people with OCD wish that they could turn their brain of for minute, but that would be sacrificing your whole life. Because the voice of reason and the OCD share the same house that is my brain. Everyone with OCD knows their intrusions are ridiculous and irrational. If we didn’t, we would be psychotic. But like I wrote in a previous post. Knowing the problem doesn’t make it easier though. It’s like always living on the edge and scared that someone or something will push you over and into insanity. It feeds of your anxiety. “If you don’t touch the doorstep with booth big toes 5 times each after each other, you will be dirty for the rest of your life.” That’s not really rational thinking is it? How could me touching my doorstep with my big toes prevent me from being dirty my whole life? Well, it can’t. And I know that. And with time and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, I’ve come to peace with knowing that everyone will always be a little bit dirty. The healthy amount of dirty. But on hard days, it’s more exhausting to live with that. Because I’m afraid of dirt, but dirt is everywhere, and I can’t do anything about it. So, yes. It’s all in my head. My mind is broken, but it’s beautifully broken and there’s always a method to the madness.
I could go on and on about all the statements people have about me and my OCD, but that would make for a really long blog post. So I will save it for another day.
I hope you liked the read, and that it made you a little more aware of the things people with OCD have to tackle on a daily basis, both from within and on the outside.
I’m a prisoner of my own mind, and I can’t get out. I’ve gotten help and I’m much better now, than I was a year ago. But relapses happen, and hard days exist. I’m calmed each day by knowing that I have my own voice of reason. Me and my logical thinking. Maybe I won’t silence Mr. Satan for all eternity, but we sure learned how to scream back, and scream louder. We together, learned to say no, and together we made Mr. Satan more an more quiet. I love my voice of reason, and I praise it for existing every single day.