I have decided to document my life with obsessive compulsive disorder here on the blog. So, every now and then I will post a chapter of my story. Not so people will feel sorry for me or pay attention to me, please don't. My life is good. I am happy and functional but just like you, I have a story to tell and lately I feel prompted to share. I can't promise full disclosure as there are parts of this disease that are still too painful/humiliating/impossible to put into words but I can definitely feel an outpouring of some authentic quesas-ness on the way. :0)
I'm posting just in case there is someone out there searching for help, or searching for answers, or maybe just looking for someone who knows what it's like to not be able to trust their own mind or understand what's happening to their body. Someone that maybe hasn't quite figured out where to begin their healing process.
Maybe if I share, they can find hope in the knowledge that if someone as very average and simple as me can put themselves back together time and time again, they can too. If that is you, welcome. I welcome you whole heartedly into my mixed up, at times completely broken brain. If that's not you, don't worry... posts about hot hubbies, cute babies and glue gun crafting will still be plentiful!
Chapter 1: One Crazy Kid
My earliest memories of OCD involve the classic symptoms; turning lights on and off dozens of times, shutting and re-shutting and re-shutting car doors because something just didn't feel right about the way it shut the first, second, third.... time.
I remember I was very young. So young in fact that most people around me probably attributed my strange little ticks to childhood silliness but I remember feeling very strange about the whole thing...
"Why when I turn off the sink does my entire body tingle and my hands feel like they will burst into flames if I don't turn it back on and try again to shut it off "right" this time?" I knew from an early age that I wasn't like everybody else.
Most parts of my early childhood are very blurry but I do remember vividly once walking in the mall with my mother, counting my steps (like always) and trying very very hard not to step on the lines in between the tiles. Because if I stepped on a line while my count was on an odd number my mother was going to die. At least that's what my brain told me and what 7ish year old argues with their own brain? It was absolutely distressing when I happened to make a mistake and step on a crack on the wrong number! I would have to go back and retrace my steps, beginning all over again, making sure I got it just right to protect my mama. I wonder if she remembers that. Do you mama?
In the beginning there was just a multitude of small, annoying things like that. Things that didn't necessarily debilitate me but left me feeling worried and stressed all the time. Like if I wasn't on guard every moment I could make a crucial mistake with my counting or tapping or switch flipping and literally kill someone.
Does it make sense that a seven year old turning on and off a light switch a certain number of times could end or save someones life? No. But ocd doesn't have to make sense to haunt you, hurt you and control every part of your life.
And that's how it started. I don't know why, or where it came from but one day it was just there. My thoughts were not mine to control any longer and the battle had begun. Many of the first chapters of this story involve me losing the battle to ocd, hanging on to my sanity by a thread and my mamas prayers. I suppose anyone so young, not having any idea who the real enemy was would be the underdog. But who doesn't love a good underdog story right?