What Is OCD?

This is a re-post. I wrote it when I first started this blog. Since I mainly write about life with ocd, I figured I should explain it in better detail. This post is meant to educate and spread awareness.

First off, I am not a medical professional.  What you are reading is what I have either personally researched or have personally gone through.

I decided to write about this because I recently relized that not many people know what OCD is.  Also, I have heard the phrase “I’m so OCD” about a thousand times.  Usually by someone that doesn’t quite know the meaning.

As most of you already know,  I am a longtime OCD sufferer.  So in my opinion, who better to get a finer understanding of the illness then from someone who lives with it?

Some people think OCD is when a person has to have things done or placed a certain way.  They think people with OCD have a hard time when things aren’t perfect and are out of place.  They also think people with ocd wash their hands a couple more times than others do.  Even though this may be correct,  I’m here to tell you it is also much much worse than that. 

I’m going to try and explain it in my own words, plain and simple without all the medical terminology.  Once again, I am NOT a medical professional.

Ocd stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, images, or urges.  Compulsions are the things we (someone with ocd) do to get rid of the thoughts.  These thoughts are usually accompanied by extreme fear, doubt, and guilt causing us to do things in a repetitive behavior.

To give a better understanding or an example,  an OCD sufferer may have a “thought” that something terrible will happen to themselves, or a loved one, if they don’t “tap” an object a certain number of times. That thought is so strong and so intense, they will continue to touch or tap until the feeling lessens or until it “feels right”. They can continue with this behavior from 2 to 100 times……or in some cases, more.  Others may make their bed a number of times.  Some may need to wash their hair or hands repeatedly in order to feel clean. 

Giving in and doing these things is usually referred to as “rituals“.  Another great example of ocd behaviors are the mental compulsions.  Someone will repeat a “good” thought, a single word, even picture an image, over and over in order to get rid of the bad thoughts. 

Some OCD sufferers like me for instance , engage in these behaviors throughout the day.  The more I “give in” the harder it is for me to resist it the next time.

Anyone can get OCD, it does not matter your age, sex, or race.

Keep in mind that those are just a few examples.

OCD Sub-Types

There are many more varieties of OCD.  From what I have learned through my own research and experience is there are different categories with OCD.  Some experience contamination issues, some struggle with health related OCD, there’s also religious, and even harm OCD.  Some of us have “good” and “bad” numbers. There are many more sub-types.  One may struggle with one form, and others may struggle with all.

I know you might be wondering why can’t we just do things one time, or why can’t we just ignore the thought.  It’s just not that easy.  The thought is so powerful and extremely strong and very very irritating. 

Deep down we know everything will be ok,  we know doing something repeatedly doesn’t make sense and its not going to change anything, but the OCD tells us otherwise, and that makes us unsure.  OCD sufferers can’t handle unsure or uncertainty.

Some people spend a few hours, and some will spend all day giving into the OCD or the “rituals”. It causes a lot of stress and anxiety in someone’s life. It can be extremely exhausting and in some cases even debilitating. 

In my case, my OCD is there all day. Meaning, all day I’m doing rituals. All day I repeat, repeat, and repeat, leaving me very tired and sometimes irritable.


In my opinion, the best way to treat OCD is with medication and therapy.  The most effective type of therapy is called Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). More specifically, the best type of CBT is called Exposure and Response Prevention.  (ERP). 

ERP is usually done with a licensed mental health professional although some people like myself have tried it on their own, which I don’t really recommend unless you think you don’t need a professional.

There is so much more to know and learn. I just gave a small definition. If you or someone you know has OCD, or if you want more information, I highly recommend checking out the International Ocd Foundation (IOCDF) website.  https://iocdf.org/ as well as speaking to your medical provider.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.


Happy Monday!

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by. Just wanted to say Happy Monday and I hope you have an enjoyable week.

I’m working on my next blog which I will be posting this Friday. Hope you come back and check it out 😁

In the meantime, please leave me a comment about your weekend. I would love to hear all about it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.

Together we can make a difference.

Checking In/ Taking A Day Trip

Happy Friday everyone! How was your week?  Mine sort of flew on by, which is a little strange considering I didn’t do much besides my daily activities.  My same boring, daily routine.

Our weather here in California has been much cooler.  We had a couple days of high winds but other than that our weather was in the high 70’s low 80’s.  Much better than the 90’s and 100’s we were having.

Since I did a whole lot of nothing all week, this weekend I’m taking my pre-teen on an hour drive to the mountains. Just one road all the way up.  It’s such an easy drive, not much traffic,  and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. I use to take this drive  a couple times a month, back when my anxiety was barely making an appearance.

Last night my anxiety kept me awake, tossing and turning.  I was worried about leaving and being so far from home. I kept going over worse case scenarios over and over in my head.

I’m scared I will have a panic attack.  I’m scared I will have one when I’m on the country road. What if I have one while at the restaurant? What if I have one on the way home? What if I have such a horrible panic attack and it causes me to pass out? What if there’s nobody around but my son? Will he know what to do?  Will he be scared?  Those plus many more are the thoughts that kept running through my mind, causing me to lose sleep. Causing my tiredness today.  Those are the thoughts that someone with anxiety experiences.   Thoughts that can keep, and have kept, someone like me a prisoner in my home, to afraid to leave, to afraid of the “what if’s ” that circle my mind.

I already told my son about our little trip. I don’t want to cancel it. I have canceled so many times before due to my anxiety.  I don’t want to disappoint him again. He is very understanding and knows about my anxiety, but I can’t keep backing out of things with him, I can’t let my anxiety win.

My stomach is in knots, and my brain is full of “what if’s”, but I AM GOING. I am going to take my son on a beautiful drive to the mountains. I am going to have lunch, I am going to explore the town, and I am going to spend some much needed quality time with my son.

I will do my very best to live in the moment.  I will do my very best to not worry about the future or things that may or may not happen. I will be okay.


If anyone is reading this and has similar issues as I do, I know how scary it can be. But we can not let out mental health control us, we can’t let it stop is from enjoying life. Step outside your comfort zone. Live in the moment. Don’t be a prisoner in your mind. Live life and find your joy, even if you have to take baby steps. One step at a time. We can do it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.


Have a fantastic weekend!

The Casino And My Dang Ocd

Re-Post Sharing Again

Back when my anxiety wasn’t as bad as it is now I use to be able to take about an hour drive before the fear would kick in.  An hour was about my limit, my anxiety wouldn’t allow me to go much further.  I have never been one to enjoy long car rides so driving a short distance was just fine with me.

It was such a beautiful day so I decided I would get out of the house and go for a ride.  Driving on the crowded freeway didn’t sound like an exciting time so I decided to take a country drive up to the casino. The scenery is gorgeous on that highway.  The recent rains made everything so green and looking up in the distance you could see snow on the mountains.  Simply beautiful.

As I was driving I said a little prayer asking God to please help me enjoy the day without having any panic attacks.  My dang OCD made me repeat my prayer so I said another prayer asking for forgiveness for repeating myself.  Even during prayer OCD wouldn’t leave me alone.  I told myself I wouldn’t let my OCD ruin my fun. I was going to “fight it”.  I would not give into it.  I tell myself this daily but for some reason I thought this day would be different.

I arrived at my destination, found a parking spot, and parked my car.  Soon as I got out and shut the door I automatically checked the handle 4 times making sure it was locked, and headed inside. Dang OCD got me again.

After walking around a couple times I finally found a machine to play, well at least I thought I did. Dang OCD.  Ended up sitting in front of 4 different machines until it “felt right” and I  was able to sit.  Now I know some of you don’t understand about OCD but trust me when I say I couldn’t just sit down at the first slot machine.  It “had” to be the 4th one or according to my OCD, something bad would happen.  Good old OCD, couldn’t leave me alone, not even for a few hours. 

I noticed that some people were rubbing the slot machine hoping for good luck.  I seen a person sitting a few chairs down doing this and I figured I would give it a try.  I really don’t think rubbing the machine will make me rich but I gave it a try anyway.  Dang OCD.  I couldn’t touch the screen once.  Nope I “had” to touch it 8 times, with both hands fully touching the screen, and saying to myself  “no bad “.  I say this because when fighting my OCD I would usually tell myself  “Nothing bad is going to happen so stop”  well that is a really long sentence to tell yourself numerous times a day so I shortened it to “no bad”.  I know it doesn’t make much sense but it worked for me.

I sat and played for a bit and noticed the man next to me was getting annoyed.  I could see in the corner of my eye that he kept looking at me.  He would make a grunting sound every time.  I couldn’t blame him.  Who would want to sit next to a person that kept slamming their hands on the machine 8 times every couple of minutes making sure all 10 fingers touched the screen. He must have gotten enough of my craziness because he gathered his things and walked away.

After that little situation I was a little embarrassed and figured I would get up and walk around a bit. I found another machine that caught my eye and made my way towards it.  Trying to not “give in” to the OCD by looking for 3 other machines, I hurried and sat down. The woman next to me smiled and wished me good luck.  I was grateful for a friendly face and hoped my weird ways wouldn’t scare her off too.

Once again every few minutes I place all 10 fingers on the machine 8 times. 10 fingers, touching the machine, and repeat a total of 8 times. While doing this I’m telling myself “no bad”.  Well I caught my neighbors attention because she looked at me, smiled, and said, “does it help touching the game like that? Have you won anything?” I’m completely embarrassed. I have no idea what to say.  I know I must look like a nut. I just smiled back, let out a little laugh and kept playing.  I mean what else was I supposed to do?  I surely couldn’t tell her I had OCD. Dang OCD

I was really trying to enjoy myself despite my OCD driving me crazy.  The woman I was previously sitting next to eventually left and now I was sitting by another woman. We shared mild conversation while we played.  I somehow convinced myself I only needed to touch the machine 4 times instead of 8. Don’t ask me how I was able to do that because I have no idea.  I pushed the play button put my hands on the screen and said “no bad”. I don’t know how many times I did this I just know it was alot. I then noticed the woman staring at me. I looked at her as I was saying “no bad” and just then I realized I was actually mouthing those words, not once but over and over.  The woman gave me a terrifying look like I did something horrible to her. She grabbed her things and was gone.  Oh my gosh.  To say I was embarrassed was an understatement.  Poor lady looked so scared.  Did I really look that bad? Did I really look like a nut? Dang OCD

Driving home I kept playing the situation over and over in my head. I pictured myself sitting next to someone that did the things I had done. Slamming hands on a machine mouthing no bad repeatedly while staring at people.  I started laughing.  NOT because I scared the woman but because of how I must have looked. I was laughing at myself. Yes it was embarrassing but it was also a little funny. So instead of driving home feeling awkward and embarrassed like I have felt so many times in the past, I decided I would just let it go. Why worry about it. I worry so much all the time and I didn’t want to worry at that moment. So instead I turned on my 80’s music nice and loud and sang as I continued the beautiful drive.

My Journal/ Ocd

Repost worth sharing again.

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

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.

Dated 08/04/14

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. Im 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!