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When OCD Leaves Me Tired

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I made sure when I moved in that my bed was pushed up against the window. This way I could always wake up to the sky. Blinking away sleep, dreading kicking off the covers, I would look up at the sky and wish I could drift away like a cloud.

Down here, it is dirty. The gutters are clogged with old leaves and litter. Up there, everything is clean and distant, airy and light. I wish I was a cloud or a single rain drop, suspended so that it never has to hit the ground.

Down here, it constantly feels like rain. Like, a thousand particles of the world, a thousand ideas, a thousand truths hitting me all at once. Pouring down my shoulders, while I walk to work, to class, to get groceries. I should pause to think, pause to think, but it hurts. I can’t think when it hurts. It hurts.

Down here, I feel lonely even when I am not alone. Down here, my hands are a burden. Touch this door five times, knock on that table five times. Nothing feels right to them. If I had wings, then I would brush it all away.

It’s starting to feel like every day is an ongoing argument with myself. To get out of bed, to get to work, to feel good, to not do this compulsion, to resist the voice in my head that tells me everything will fall apart if I don’t brush my teeth twice.

Nothing seems to come easy anymore. I can’t put my finger on when it started feeling like this, but I’m tired. I’m so tired. I used to tip my head back to look at the sky, now when I walk I just stare at the concrete. Shouldn’t I be doing better?

This feeling used to come and go. A week of the blues and then I’d be all right for another couple weeks. During those good weeks, I would stock up on happy thoughts for when I got back down. A fistful of flowers. A smile from stranger. I even got a permanent reminder: a tattoo of a cardinal on my arm as a symbol of hope in even the darkest of times.

Sometimes, when I’m lying in bed at my worst, I look at it and imagine it saying, “Why are you so unhappy? You don’t belong in the sky. Even birds come back to the ground to rest.”

I need a rest.

Image via Thinkstock.

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Originally published: October 27, 2016
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