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OCD Was My Friend

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) has been a force in my life ever since I can remember.

When I was a young girl, OCD was always with me. She would talk to me, dictate my behaviors and control my thought processes.

However, OCD and I lived harmoniously together. I had no reservations or negative feelings towards her because she would even play with me. Being a thoughtful, quiet and serene child, I often felt misunderstood, but OCD was very kind to me and garnered my trust.

The only requirements she would demand from me were to play the same games over and over again, do the small little meaningless tasks she told me to do, and most importantly, I had to abide by her rules. I was sometimes lonely, but she was with me unconditionally and held my hand wherever I went.

OCD was my friend.

We charted the choppy waters of the school years together. Whenever a storm would come our way, she would always send me to the back of the ship. She would give me an inconsequential task, like counting all of the nails in the ceiling, in order to occupy me and take my mind off of the wrathful weather and swaying ship.

She gave me the ability to disengage from any uncomfortable or frightening situation because she herself would take over. I knew she would sound the alarm when danger presented itself. In those situations, I let her be my captain and listened when she would tell me to go hide. With her steering and in control, I didn’t have to face my fears.

With her in charge, I felt invincible.

OCD was my protector.

She made decisions for me about what I liked (obsessions) and what my rituals were (compulsions). I latched on to what she would whisper in my ear, and my life would revolve around it.

She was always very careful not to be seen by anyone, she knew where to draw the line and cover her tracks. No one was aware that she even existed… including me.

OCD was my guide.

Over the years, I started to get tired of her antics and felt like she was holding me back. I didn’t understand what this invisible force was, constantly keeping me in chains even though I wanted to be free.

I didn’t want to do everything she told me to do, so I started trying to resist. My efforts were powerless against her strength, the only outcome of rebellion was to suffer. She had been feeding off of me for my whole life, and no matter where I looked, she was there, waiting to dominate.

OCD is my warden.

After I started trying to take charge, she soon realized the best way to get the power she craved back into her hands — was with fear.

As soon as I would get the inclination to disobey her, she would sound the alarm just like she did when I was a little girl when we were faced with danger. There was no arguing with the fear instilled in me from hearing that alarm. I would immediately snap back to doing the things she commanded.

OCD is my dictator.

Her abuse of controlling me with fear was gradual. She controlled the alarm, but she wanted me to be fully trained under its spell. Every once in a while, she would up the volume of the alert, slow enough that I wouldn’t be able to hear it.

I was her slave. She made me do tasks that weren’t useful to me, or anyone else, just for the sake of feeling her power. I developed a predisposition to do everyday actions that were nonsensical.

On some level, I knew these labors were irrational. But the fear of not doing them was the most disturbing part.

Sometimes I would try to defy her and block out the noise of the alarm, but the only way I can describe that feeling is that it’s as if I would be tethered to that one spot, that one thought, that one emotion, unable to continue. I would get stuck, and the only way to free myself would be to go back and do her bidding.

OCD is my helm and my anchor.

The more powerful she became, the more conflict I started to feel in my mind. OCD has made every day start to feel like a constant battle, a battle of which I don’t want to fight.

Living with OCD is living with a broken alarm system. An alarm system that goes off even when danger isn’t there. Residing under a faulty alarm system makes you live a more paranoid, distressed and anxious life.

OCD makes you fear, fear.

OCD is fear itself.

When you have OCD, you see fear everywhere.

OCD once made me feel invincible. But there is a very fine line between feeling invincible — and feeling powerless.

Follow this journey on Haley’s site.

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Lead photo via contributor