This Is What OCD Feels Like to Me


I have OCD. This makes me feel like a human juxtaposition. I feel happy, yet also sad. I want freedom but, at the same time, I want control. I want to be alone, yet surrounded by lots of people. It’s a constant conflict in my mind, two opposing feelings, two opposite desires for life.

What’s often tricky is trying to choose which feeling to listen to, or if I should actually listen to any at all. Are these emotions just working in tandem at this moment in time? Is there anything I can do to separate them? Or should I try to analyze my emotions and make a cumulative decision on how to get myself out of this mindset? It’s like my emotions get mushed together until they’re shrouded in fog. Undefinable.

The best way I can describe this is by imagining emotions as paint. Happiness is white and sadness is black. Sometimes we feel them as separate emotions. They are easily definable, simply black or white, but sometimes they can mix together into a convoluted mess of color. The black and white form grey; the happiness and sadness form almost nothingness. That middle color–is it more white or is it more black? Which color outweighs which? Am I actually happy or am I, in fact, sad? Do I accept the fact that the primary colors cannot be reversed? Should I just let my emotions be? Or do I analyze this grey?  I’m not suggesting either of these methods is the “right” one. Emotions are complicated.

Conflict in our minds is a daily battle. Unfortunately, it’s going to happen regardless of what we do. “Intrusive Thoughts vs Rational Thoughts – The Prequel” (aka my life); however, they don’t always cause us distress. For example, there could be the conflict between which coat to wear. Does it go with my outfit? Is this jacket too warm? What if it gets sunny? But what is it gets cold? Every day, discussions arise in our heads without us even realizing.

Thoughts can have us jumping from emotion to emotion and, sometimes, even no emotion at all, but that’s OK. At this moment in time I have no real advice about what to do in these situations, other than understand. I really hope my explanation above was somewhat understandable too…It’s OK to lose grip of your emotions, it’s OK not to understand your emotions, it’s OK not to be able to define your emotions. It’s really tricky, I know, but this feeling (or non feeling) will pass. You’re not alone in this.

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This post originally appeared on Ellen’s OCD blog

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