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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.”

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Thinkstock photo via brickrena.

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