OCD and Me

I have OCD.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Intrusive thoughts that can take over my whole life at times.

I thought I was going crazy.

I spent months lying there night after night, wondering what the fuck was wrong with me.

Why did I feel like this?

Why did noises and movements and textures make me want to curl into a ball and scream and pull my head out?

Why was I waking up every half an hour to check my baby was still breathing?

Why was I convinced that if I didn’t reply to Graham’s text message he would be involved in a horrendous accident?

Why did I no longer want to go to the playgroups I used to love so much or meet my friends for a coffee?

Was I going crazy?

I didn’t tell a soul. Not even Graham.

You see, I’ve always been pretty good at putting a bit of a brave face on and pretending everything is fine, that I’m ok.

I wasn’t ok.

My OCD is subtle. It was subtle enough that even I didn’t recognize it. But it was also so big in my head It was taking over my life.

One day, it broke me. I couldn’t keep it in anymore.

I told Graham and my best friends first, who thankfully encouraged me to go to the doctors.

Did I have anxiety? Depression? What was wrong with me?

OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

But – isn’t that wanting to wash your hands all the time, or turn the light on and off seven times before you leave a room, or have all of your tins facing the right way?

No.

I become so focussed on something, with that crumb on your cheek, or that slightly furry sticker on the floor, or that sound in the background, that nothing else matters.

I become so obsessed with my baby stopping breathing that I don’t sleep so I can check.

I become fixated on the fact that something will happen to someone if I don’t do something that I panic.

For weeks, I didn’t sleep because my neighbour bought a windchime. It was all I can hear or think about until they got rid of it.

For weeks, every time I made a coffee, I cleaned my cooker top, even though it hasn’t been used in the two hours since I last did it.

I’m now on medication to keep these intrusive thoughts under control. They have made such a big difference to my life. Things aren’t perfect. When I’m tired, I feel those thoughts creeping back, and some things are still triggering, but generally, I’m calmer, happier and more excited about life than I have been in many years,

Do you know what has helped the most though?

Talking.

Telling the people that I love how I felt, that I needed help, and talking to them when I feel like I’m going to have a meltdown. It doesn’t stop the meltdown, but it reminds me that I’m not crazy and that I’m not alone.

That’s what’s made the biggest difference. Talking. Opening up.

2 thoughts on “OCD and Me

  1. Brilliant post, my love. So glad you’re sharing this and talking about it now, keep talking to us. I think it’s also great so that people know that OCD isn’t just checking the cooker’s off ten times. Love you xxx

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