This blog was made to be a platform and outlet for the struggles of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety. It is in no way intended to be a self-help guide (sorry for the misleading title, but read on, it makes sense later, I promise) or a medical/therapy reference of any sort. Instead, I hope it will serve as a comfort to those that are suffering; that there are other people out there that are going through the same thing, and that there are people out there who understand you. I found that simply reading the experiences of other people with the disorder, and shouting “OH MY GOD THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT ITS LIKE / YES THAT’S SO ME!” at my computer a couple of times, was some of the best therapy I had, and I want to make that possible for other people. So here we go.
I’m not even going to pretend to be an ambassador for OCD, because the nature of the disorder is unique to the individual. Mine is focused on disease and contamination, and so I’m going to be writing about that a LOT. For others, it is religion, or money, or tidiness, or appearance. Popular culture has distorted the public view of OCD to a “picky” personality, a person who likes things “just so”, which is so unfair its almost mean. You wouldn’t write-off an individual with crohn’s disease having an “upset tummy”, or pneumonia “a slight cough”, because it reduces the disorder down to its barest, but most socially-tolerable characteristics. It erases the suffering, the pain and the frightening aspects, and then sneers at what is left. Understandably, it can be seen why mental health disorders trigger such patronising responses; the lack of physical symptoms and attention required are akin to a child faking illness to get out of school, but just because a bone isn’t broken, and you can’t see a scar, doesn’t mean the person isn’t hurting. OCD is not a love of orderliness. It is a crippling, paralyzing, and sometimes terrifying misperception, that makes the whole world your own personal hell. It can be controlling, it can drive you away from your loved ones, and it can make you afraid of yourself, but most importantly, it can be overcome.
In this blog I will be exploring and sharing my experiences from predisposition, to development, to denial, then to acceptance, and finally to treatment. It not a fun story, but its an important one. You could get all romanticised about it and call it a life-lesson, a story, or a journey, but for me it’s just learning how to be ok.