livingwithocd

Join the Conversation on
329 people
0 stories
52 posts
Note: The hashtags you follow are publicly viewable on your profile; you can change this at any time.
Newsletters
Don’t miss what’s new on The Mighty. We have over 20 email newsletters to choose from, from mental health to chronic illness.
Browse and Subscribe
What's New in
All
Stories
Posts
Videos
Latest
Trending
Community Voices
JBurn

Living with OCD #livingwithocd

I always knew I was different. I was a sensitive child. Some of my first memories consist of coming home from school and thinking about my day and all of the
things I had done badly, incorrectly, or the ways in which I had failed to be the daughter my parents would love. As a result, every day without fail I would get a huge knot in my stomach that wouldn’t go away. The only way I figured out to make it stop was to accost my father as he came in the door from work and to blurt out to him all the things I had done during the day that were wrong, and then to
ask for his forgiveness. I was 5. The pattern lasted for years.

I remember being a pre-teen. My mind was full of thoughts, most of which I was sure would damn me to hell. I prayed. I repeated my prayer each night, in the same order, the same number of times. My prayer saved me. My prayer protected my
family from imminent harm.

My mother got sick. She went to the hospital and I was a mess. All I could think of was to write down all the things that happened each day and to recite them back to my mother when I was allowed to talk to her in the evenings. I remember with clarity writing “my brother threw a dirty sock at me.” I knew my lists were trivial and that my mother didn’t know what to do with my confessions but the pattern continued.

I didn’t like my parents. My father was a strict disciplinarian. Each second of my life was controlled. I was a puppet in my parent’s puppet show. I longed for control and eventually found it by cutting. By my teen years the battle in my head was raging on. I could not voice the things in my head for fear of rejection or condemnation, so to make my mental pain subside I would find razor blades or
anything sharp and would cut to make the pain physical. Physical pain was much more feasible to me.

I was a troubled teen. I was living in my head. I started counting things. I started not stepping on cracks. I thought these were just “things people did” but soon my behaviors progressed.

I met my first boyfriend and he was the personification of everything that was not my father, everything that I wanted to get away from. I loved him for accepting me as I was. My parents did not know about my boyfriend. All of a sudden I found myself having the thought that my boyfriend
was “good” and my Dad was “bad.” By thinking so, I tried to keep the two separate. I could not bear the thought that the good would touch the bad because if that happened the good would become contaminated. I would come home from
dates with my boyfriend and before I knew it I was washing my hands every time I touched something my Dad had touched. I lived in daily fear of cross-
contamination. I started wiping things down. I started touching things a certain way, I started flicking light switches seven times. Seven became my number.
1of2

2 people are talking about this
Community Voices
Nola
Community Voices

How do you control the obsessive thoughts? Why do I constantly need reassurance.?

For awhile now I've avoided relationships completely. Let's just say, it's easier that way. But I'm testing the waters again and it's the same thing. No matter how hard I try, sooner or later my mind has a complete melt down and declares war on itself. I then need to be reassured 100 times a day that she loves me. I know it bothers her but I serious dont know how to stop it or make it manageable for a relationship. Then add the bipolar and BPD.. is there really any hope?
#OCD #BipolarAwareness #MentalHealth #relationshipswithbipolar #livingwithocd

2 people are talking about this
Community Voices

How do you guys deal with the day to day struggle that this is a disorder, that can get better, but one that will never fully go away?

2 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Separate to me

I view it like a computer screen that has a few programs running at once the main screen is what i choose to think about anx focus on. The other screen/s running in the background are left to do their own thing.
#livingwithocd

1 person is talking about this
Community Voices

OCD manifests itself in a part of the brain called the Amygdala that has nothing to do with trying to reason with ourselves over the irrationality of our obsessions/compulsions. This is why it doesn't help or relieve the suffering no matter how well we reason with ourselves and realize how unrealistic and irrational it actually is. It continues to "feel" like it's real in spite of everything we may know about it and convince ourselves it's not. Simply put, OCD is a disorder that can't be reasoned with.
   However, I have been practicing mindfulness and paying close attention to my thoughts and my reactions to them, documenting them as (irrational) or as our own "non " ones and learning to automatically recognize them and write them down. At least this can help us to separate who we really are as opposed to our image of ourselves, and allows us to tell ourselves "it's not me, it's my ."
     Mindfulness has proven to be an effective tool for me to get to know myself and has helped in several areas my life, but most importantly it's given me some relief through my obsessing periods. It's one  of those things I had to keep doing over and over for a time before I started to feel any benefits from it. But eventually and right up to now I have been feeling a gradually growing sense of relief, which at this point isn't huge or even really big but it's considerably more than it was when I started and it's not small either. It's been growing, and that's the important thing. And I can definitely feel a difference from what it felt like when it started.
     I also would like to mention that I went 14 years without having any serious episodes from 2003 to 2017. Back in '03, after reading a book called "Stop Obsessing" by Edna Foa and Reed Wilson, I had come to a decision that I wasn't going to let my dictate my life anymore and I was going to live my life to the fullest of my abilities in spite of it. And I pulled it off. My life took a 180 degree turn and I gained confidence in myself and got 3 raises and 2 promotions at work within 6 months. I also had a social life and made friends and started dating and was doing things I had never believed I could do before in my life. This, in so many ways, was the best period of my life. But then after 14 years without it, it crept back into my life and now I'm dealing with it again. It's not even nearly as bad as it was before 2003 but I'm still having to deal with it again.
     I hope this is helpful. I am 57 years old and have been struggling with since I was 13. So it's been a long and grueling journey. But I have learned some valuable things along the way. I think it's mostly important to know that we are NOT our and to learn and understand this disorder so we can focus on ways to make it better. Disorders like this one and depression never actually go away, but we learn to live with them and react differently (in a positive way) Thanks for reading my post.

2 people are talking about this
Community Voices

What we should know about OCD

2 people are talking about this
Community Voices

I wish people would understand that I’m not exaggerating. If I ever say that my OCD is kicking in, say like when I check to make sure I have my wallet with me for the tenth time, or brush my hair every few minutes, I’m not just saying that to sound funny or whatever. I really do have the urge to check things, over and over again.
#livingwithocd

3 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Theres different types

It wasn’t until i saw a program on OCD that i found out theres different types and my repetative thoughts were OCD. After that i Let them run like When a computer Runs a second program in the background while you focus on another one.
#livingwithocd

1 person is talking about this
Community Voices

The tip of the iceberg

It's hard tot make people understand, because of what they've seen on TV or the movies, that there are as many kinds of OCD as there are people struggling with it. My OCD is not hand washing or obsessive cleaning. It's a different kind of perfectionism, my brain always insisting that every thing I do, every choice I make is wrong. I echo the thought about loneliness. It's hard to live inside a head that won't let you rest, that makes simple decisions torture. What people see is only the tip of the iceberg And it's hard to make someone else understand what that's like. I know it can be frustrating to deal with, which makes me feel guilty or isolate myself rather than bother people. But the thing is, I can't turn it off, can't hang up the phone and be done with it for the day. This is how I live. I've lost two nephews to suicide. And for a long time I only write about them and that experience. I just started writing about my own and it is terrifying but if I am silenced by my shame and fears that people will never understand what this feels like and so many other people will be left as lonely and isolated as me. When we put words to this struggle we recognize ourselves and know we are not alone, or broken. I wish I had spoken more to my nephews about this, not let me shame stand in the way. But I am doing it now so that other beautiful, bright young men and woman know that there is a place for them in this world, just as they are.
#livingwithocd #voicingmytruth

2 people are talking about this