OCD Ocd Ocd Ocd Ocd......I had to write that 5 times to make it right. There's three letters in 'OCD', so 5 x 3 = 15. 15 = a good number. But 5 + 3 is 8... not a good number. Crap. That's going to bug the hell outta me.
That, my friends, is just a typical thought in my brain from day to day. Every activity is questionable, whether it's going out with friends, putting on clothes, or just scratching an itch. It all has to be 'just so'.
If it isn't 'just so', I have extreme anxiety. I have a morbid fear of vomiting, which may have been caused by my bullemic (sp?) aunt making herself throw up in front of me as a very young child. Either way, I feel as though if I don't act on my OCD tendencies or quirks, I'll throw up. Sometimes it could be that I'll throw up in front of people, or I'll throw up at work, or that I'll throw up ON someone... and I know with every part of my soul that it's nonsense to think that way, and nothing like that will ever happen just because I don't count something the right way, or itch something a certain number of times. But for some reason, my brain will not let me fight it. It's like a magnet pulling me to the area I didn't count correctly. (My OCD also involves sexual things, but I won't go into those things quite yet.)
In case you're interested, here's some of my habits. Of course, these only skim over the many things that go on inside my head:
- When doing anything, whether it's putting on clothing, or just walking through the house, anything I touch has to be touch in a downward motion (so as not to make my food go in an 'upward motion').
- If I succeed in doing this, that's great... but it has to be done a certain number of times. I can't just go back and retouch something once. Two is a bad number in my brain (because I threw up two times a few years ago when I was sick), so if I touch something once, and touch it again, I have to do it again and again until it lands on a good number.
- I count my footsteps in different parts of my house. When the carpet goes to tile, my footsteps will have to have landed on a good number. If not, I have to go back and re-walk where I just was.
- I switch words and letters around in my brain from 'bad words' to 'good words'. Example: In my head, the word "up" is a bad word. So I'll have to counteract it with a "good" two-letter word. In order to counteract it, I'll say in my head, "just joking, I meant to say "to". (Almost never outloud, unless I'm by myself and I'm "stuck".) I have a series of "good" words to counteract the "bad" ones, all ranging from one letter to 15 letters.
Again, that only touches the edge of what goes on in my brain. To some of you, that might sound scary. To others, it might sound mild. I know my case of OCD isn't the worst, and it isn't the mildest either. Some of you have it much worse than I do. I feel for you! ;) I know what I go through is hard, I can't imagine it being worse!
Here's some history...
I've dealt with OCD ever since I can recall. My quirks have changed over the years, as they do with almost everyone with OCD. I've gone through spells of anxiety, so much so that I've contemplated suicide. When I was 9, I started having severe panic attacks, triggered by the slightest tummy-ache, scared to death I was going to puke. And I would get myself worked up so much that after much screaming and banging my fists and scratching at myself, I would eventually throw up and I'd be fine. My panic attack would be over.
My parents spent many sleepless nights with me because of that, and I am so thankful that they have been so supportive. They had no idea what was wrong with their little girl. But instead of freaking out, they researched the problem, and got medical attention for me as soon as they could. Fortunately, I don't have those attacks anymore. They stopped when I was about 12. Like I said, my quirks change from day to day. I never know what my brain will try next.
Unfortunately there's no cure for OCD, just medicines that might take away some of the quirks. But then I get immune to them, and it starts over, and I have to change the medication again. It's an endless cycle.
I've gone from job to job, trying to find something that won't interfere with my OCD. I've finally found that working as a waitress has the least effects on me. The environment is so fast-paced that I don't have time to think about my quirks, and I'm moving around constantly, so my brain kind of shuts the OCD part down for the time being so I can concentrate on my customers. I love my job, it's very fulfilling. I meet so many interesting people. It's so much better than sitting at a desk for hours letting my mind take over.
I got married March 17, 2007 (almost a year ago!). I'm so glad my husband, David, supports me. He helps me through things. If he sees me "stuck", he'll try to help me out of it. Even though he's done research and heard stories from me and my family, he doesn't understand it fully. You can't understand it unless you have it. However, he knows that whatever I'm going through must be stressful, and because he loves me, he takes care of me. I love him so much, and I'm very lucky to have such awesome people in my life. I think I would be very sad and lonely if it weren't for them helping me.
I know this story has been long, but to those of you who have read it, thank you so much. If you want to message me, feel free. We can exchange stories, tendencies, quirks, whatever. If you even have questions, I'll be happy to try to answer them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. :)