Reflecting

OCD & Me — Part One

Can I just start off by saying that it is freezing effen cold tonight? It’s like 36 degrees and I live in Northern California. I mean, NorCal is significantly colder than SoCal but still. 36 degree’s is insane here. The next time I endure this much cold it’s going to be snowing, seriously.

Tonight is one of those nights where my OCD is acting up. For no reason. I didn’t feel stressed or anxious or anything. I feel fine. But I don’t feel like touching anything I don’t know FOR SURE is “clean” and I don’t want anyone touching me. My husband tried to rub my back after I got back from the shower (after shower time means extreme-clean-only time) and I freaked out because I didn’t know if his hands were “dirty” since I feel like he didn’t disinfect his phone right and he touched his phone.

I’m not going to go in depth into the mind of someone with OCD. I’m just going to introduce the topic since I haven’t yet.

I think, to an extent, I’ve always been a little OCD my whole life. But I brushed it off as quirks. I remember playing the “yes and no” game in my room, by myself when I was a kid and I thought to myself what if the devil asked me a question and I wasn’t aware he was asking me and I accidentally said, “yes I’ll go to hell when I die”? so I “made sure” to say yes and no at the “right time”. One example is that if I shut something off (the radio — esp if it’s a button to push or shut a door or if I switch OFF a light switch) I had to say the word “no” in my head. If I didn’t (esp if I said “yes” instead) I would have to do it over. Same thing goes for if I open something or flip a light switch on (assuming it’s being flipped up) I have to say “yes”.

Fast forward to the end of 2004 and the beginning of 2005. I was going through a really rough time and one day I woke up from a nap at my boyfriend’s house (who’s now my husband) and I saw his brother stepping on the pillow I just slept on with his shoes on. It was totally normal, in that household, to walk on someone’s bed with their shoes on and I had not been aware of this and I freaked out. That was the first night I remember having to absolutely take a shower (and extra wash my hair) before going to bed. The next day I washed my bedsheets just to be sure. After that, it was more little things that started happening. It went from having to shower every night before sleeping to vacuuming then taking a shower every night until I had a full on ritual. A ritual that in the beginning took about 20 minutes to do before I could even get in the shower (now a days it takes me less but the ritual is still pretty much the same). Gradually my OCD got worse and worse and I started getting anxiety attacks but at the time I had no idea what was going on. Just that I felt bad and like I was going to explode (anxiety) all the time.

I had always thought that OCD was this disease that people on hard drugs get. Like you know, you see those commercials of people on Acid and they’re scrubbing the bathroom floor with a toothbrush type of crazy. Or the people who obsessively wash their hands for no reason. I never thought that I could end up with OCD. Me. The girl who LOVES to sit on the floor/street/side walk. Nah, couldn’t happen to me.

In 2006 my OCD was literally taking over my life. I was battling both OCD and Depression and it was just awful. My emotions, my thoughts, my feelings were completely out of my reach. I started fights with M because I didn’t know what else to do. I had so much built up hate and pain and confusion. I had no idea what the fuck was going on, I just wanted it to stop. I wanted to be normal again. I didn’t want to worry about these stupid little insignificant things anymore. I hated thinking that everything was “dirty”. I hated that I restricted myself from touching certain things (like my bedroom wall or the door frame… I would have to wash my hands if I did) and M hated these “rules” he had to live by suddenly and I hated that he didn’t understand. It got to the point where I didn’t even want him to come over anymore. That’s how bad it got.

By the summer of 2006 I couldn’t take it anymore and I looked into therapy. I never thought in a million years I would go to therapy. My mom use to poke fun at me that because of my depression, she’d send me to the therapist and they would send me to a mental hospital because I was “crazy”. So I had a bit of a fear of the thought of therapy. But I didn’t know what else to do, OCD was getting way too hard to battle on my own at this point. I met with one therapist and all she did was push medication on me. She asked a few questions but mostly tried to talk me into medication. I remember asking her if there was a way to treat this without medication and she flat out said no. Ditched that and went to find another therapist and he was amazing! He didn’t pressure me into medication after I had refused it the first time. He didn’t make me feel dumb and he actually listened. For the next two years I went to both group therapy and one on one therapy. And it helped.

Then my insurance ran out and I couldn’t go anymore. I do plan on seeing him soon. Even though it’s been about four years.

So yeah, that’s pretty much the “introduction” part of this. I don’t know why I’m bringing this up… besides that it’s a very huge part of my life. And because I sort of want to bring awareness to it. OCD usually isn’t what people think it is and for people like me, it’s hard to find people who understand. I want other people with OCD to know they’re not alone and that the struggle while hard isn’t impossible to beat.

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