All I Want for Christmas as Someone With OCD


I gave my mom a list of gifts I want (expect) for Christmas. It’s atypically short this year. I think that’s because what I actually want can be neither bought nor wrapped.

Here’s what I actually want for Christmas this year:

1. To no longer be called lazy.

I want you to know how hard I work every single day. My effort may not manifest itself in the way it does for a typical 25-year-old. My effort doesn’t show up in hours worked or tasks completed. Instead, you may see it in a trip to the store (no matter how short), an invitation to hang out, a bus ride without biting myself or a two-way conversation.

2. To tell you what I really want to say.

I want to tell you the truth when you ask how I’m doing, and not automatically respond with, “Fine. How are you?”

3. To not live my life in a permanent state of “DVR.”

I feel like I’m stuck rewinding and re-watching every disruption to my routine, every non-scripted conversation and every time I miss a moment.

4. To not be controlled by compulsive behaviors.

This includes constantly checking nothing bad has happened or that I haven’t messed up, picking my skin or cutting my nails too short.

5. To not be controlled by my obsession with fear. 

Fear of harming myself or someone else, fear of not being careful enough, fear of causing something terrible to happen.

6. To not live in a permanent state of anxiety

which recently seems to be creating unwanted new behaviors.

7. I want my medicine to be well-managed.

In an attempt to help manage some of the above.

8. I want to be confident in who I am.

I want to be proud of myself every single day because I know I do my best.

9. I want you to believe me when I say I can’t try any harder.

Believe in me. This is my best effort.

Mostly, I want to know that OCD and anxiety won’t win. I want to know that I am not alone and that I can do this.

Follow this journey on Erinmmckinney.

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