OCD and Me
I plan to blog random thoughts until the cows come home, because that’s just who I am. Although, I prefer they show up in sets of two. I don’t want an odd cow with no buddy, why, don’t even get me started…
I heard the wisest quote the other day,
“Vulnerability is freeing.”
I was listening to one of my fitness faves, Chalene Johnson, who in the past has reminded me that, “I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.” And because of her video, I have not shied away from any topic in my blog. In fact, if it scares me, I write about it. Why, because I need to get the thoughts out, and someone may need to read it. Writing is cathartic. So, in an effort to remain transparent, I want to start this series with heart and shed some light on OCD.
I’m not referring to the casual OCD mentioned on Christmas shirts or Facebook posts about keeping lines straight and sides equal. I’m talking about gut wrenching, relentless OCD. The kind that sneaks up on you almost every minute of every day. In fact, as I write this, thoughts are swirling because I am wearing a set of clothes that my mind is telling me not to, and I’m fighting the thoughts to change. I know once I change, I will change again and again.
In all realness, I have dealt with this disorder since I was a kid. It has followed me through life, and it seems to have held on to life’s ups and downs with vigor. I remember touching door knobs eight times and walking across the carpet in sets and a myriad of other odd behaviors. I remember family members watching and thinking I was the “crazy” kid. I never quite fit in. Too bad, it wasn’t cool then, because now it’s cool to not fit in. But back then, I was the odd kid out.
If you asked me, I’d say I got it from my dad. He was always a little peculiar. And, I got my writing ability from him, so it all kind of fits together in a weird psychological way. Thankfully, I see no signs of this lonely disorder in my child. I’m pretty sure he thinks of me as his peculiar parent, and who can blame him, I have earned that title.
I blame OCD. I blame it for many reasons. I blame it for the fears that show up everyday. I blame it because I can only wear certain clothes on certain days, I can only buy certain foods at the store, I clean the apartment a certain way, I watch certain shows, I am drawn to certain colors, I basically live my life in a certain way, every day. Although, I take responsibility for how I let it control me. Over the years, I have learned to test it, to deal with it, to not let it have as much control over me. I use distraction and my own type of exposure therapy to find my grip. I refuse to allow OCD to control me all the time. OCD is real, it is exhausting, it is a mental reality that shows up physically. I have learned to hide that part of me to the outside world.
I think in a way, most of us have something that we hide. It could be anything that we do excessively like shopping, drinking, working, parenting or anything else that we do constantly because it not only makes us feel out of control, but it also gives us control. I count and overthink and rethink and recount, you get the picture. OCD is one of my hidden truths. I yearn to gain control, so I do another compulsion, and then another until I feel calm enough to let it go.
So as this series goes on, I will share my insecurities and vulnerabilities in an effort to find freedom in the journey. OCD is merely a part of me, it is not me. I will not hide. Let’s be vulnerable together, let’s heal.