Repost worth sharing again.
I came across a journal I wrote years ago. I remember being very hesitant keeping a journal of my ocd because only my doctor and a few other people knew about it at the time. I was terrified someone would find it so I hid that book and checked on it often to make sure it hadn’t been moved. I came across it today and thought I would share a little of it with you. This is what living with ocd is like for me, someone who lives with it daily.
These thoughts are always in my head, they never leave. Yesterday was extremely hard for me. It was one of my “bad” days. I vacuumed my house 10 times. I still feel like I need to do it again. My house isn’t even dirty but the thoughts won’t leave me alone When I say I vacuumed 10 times, here’s what I did: I plugged in the vacuum 4 times, vacuumed one room, went to the next room and plugged the cord in 4 times and vacuumed, moved on to the third room and you guessed it I plugged it in 4 times and continued to vacuum. But was I done? No of course not. I had to do the whole thing again and again until I vacuumed each room 10 times. I kept vacuuming until that bad thought went away. Well, actually the bad thought didn’t go away, but I somehow replaced it with a good thought and hurried outside and threw the vacuum in the dumpster. I had to throw it away, I couldn’t vacuum anymore, I was to tired, and already sweating so early in the morning. Last night I had to explain to my roommate why the vacuum was siting in the garbage. My explanation? It was broken. My ocd didn’t just stop at vacuuming though. It continued to torture my mind throughout the day. I gave into it and the more I did, the more I had to. Not only do I repeat things physically, but I have mental compulsions as well. I repeat things in my head all day. I count to myself. Sometimes I will count to 20, and of course I will repeat counting to 20, sometimes 8 times. I will repeat a saying, a quote, a verse, a prayer, or even a word over and over and over. I‘m so tired. My body is always hurting because of the things I do. Like today my arms hurt from all that vacuuming. My friends don’t know I have ocd. I really want to tell them. If they knew about it they would understand why I’m so tired all the time. They would know why I cancel or why I say I’m busy and can’t make it when we make plans. I want to tell them, but I’m super embarrassed.
When I wrote that I remember feeling so alone. I thought I had to keep my illness a secret because of embarrassment. Going through all that alone made me so irritable, I was grouchy and tired and frustrated oh and very sore. It was a very bad time for me.
I’m not saying things are perfect now, because they aren’t. But I don’t have to go through this alone. I told my close friend and then I told the world. It felt really good. I got help from my doctor and I see a therapist. I feel like a weight has been lifted. When I’m having one of those bad days I can now pick up the phone and call someone. I’m no longer embarrassed. I don’t need to be embarrassed and if you have a mental illness you don’t need to be embarrassed either. Reach out.
I have a mental illness. I have to live with it and I don’t have to live with it alone, and neither should you.
Speak up, speak out, you don’t have to go through it alone!