The Battle You Don't See Between My Logical and Obsessive-Compulsive Brain

From the outside and by society’s standards, I’m the perfect woman with the perfect life. I’m educated and have a great job in a major metropolitan area full of culture. I have an amazing husband and a cute cat. But what people can’t see is the battle waging in my mind every single day.

This battle, which has been going on for more than ten years now, is constant and permeates every aspect of my life. It’s the battle between my logical brain and my obsessive-compulsive brain.

Every day I worry I’ve hurt someone, done something illegal, betrayed my husband, screwed up at work and a myriad of other things. I even worry I’ve done things I don’t remember doing. These obsessive thoughts led to a compulsive need to exorcise my guilt by confessing my thoughts and actions to someone who will tell me I’ve done nothing wrong or that it’s not a big deal. That reassurance gives me solace until the next thought inevitably pops up, sometimes only seconds or minutes later.

I remember thinking in college, Will I still be obsessing about these things in a year? In two years? Five?

Unfortunately, the answer turned out to be yes. But after years of therapy, medication and incredible support from my family, it’s getting easier for my logical brain to drown out my obsessive-compulsive brain. I still have bad days (and weeks) during which the voice in my obsessive-compulsive brain is pretty damn loud. Those days can be brutal. And sometimes I still give in to the compulsions. On those days, I try not to be hard on myself.

But then there are the days when I resist. When I have hope and think to myself, This, too, shall pass.

All this has been going on for years and almost no one knows. My situation made me realize appearances can be incredibly deceiving. I encourage everyone to live by this quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via brickrena.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Girl closes her ears in depression

What OCD Obsessions Can Really Be Like

Editor’s note: If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. To find help visit International OCD Foundation’s website. It is nice to have a clean and tidy house. It is easier to find things, there are less [...]
Restless Sea

When Having OCD and Anxiety Feels Like Being Caught in a Riptide

Every morning I wake up I begin my ritual: grab my phone, check my emails, check my texts, check my Facebook. All before I am even out of bed. Then it happens. The voices, the endless voices, telling me everything I have to do, and worse yet all the things I forgot to do. I’ve [...]
Closeup portrait, hand washing technique,

The Side of OCD I Don't See in the Media

“Have you ever considered you might be OCD?” my therapist asked after about six months of seeing her. I laughed. “No way. I don’t obsessively wash my hands.” Little did I know, hand washing is just one of the ways that OCD can manifest, and I was indeed obsessive-compulsive in my behavior. It wasn’t honestly [...]
Drawing of a woman with a thought bubble. Inside the thought bubble are images of spiders.

A Must-See Documentary: 'Living With Me & My OCD'

A new documentary aimed to tackle the ongoing stigma of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) has recently been released online, which was directed by UK-based filmmaker Claire Watkinson, is one of the most powerful and realistic portrayals of OCD I have yet to come across. After watching the documentary earlier today, I felt compelled to not [...]