OCD

I’m standing. I’m living.

I write this to tell My story. To let others know they are not alone.

When I was young I’m not sure of the age but little. I used to kiss everyone of my beanie baby animals at night. It sounds sweet right? Well it wasn’t for me– I would kiss each one the get into bed. After I’d get into bed I would wonder did I really kiss each one? What if I didn’t- I would start to feel heavy in my chest and my body uneven. I would get up and kiss them all again (I had a lot), crawl back into bed. Sometimes I could be ok with just that but often times I would kiss them until my lips hurt and I was crying, or until someone in my family said to go to bed. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I would wake up thinking it all was silly until I would do it again the next night. I remember certain rituals. Feeling like one of my fingers was “bad” I would have to touch something with my other finger Two times for every one time I did with my bad finger. I would get stuck in one place for so long touching back and forth. I’m unsure anyone noticed. Maybe they did. Maybe they worried or joked about how I was just a weird kid, maybe OCD wasn’t a topic back then. But I remember feeling stuck in my head a lot.

I was fine a lot of the time, no one would of noticed, as I am now pretty functional outwardly. My teenage years were hard. College harder. I had an eating disorder in high school that I can see now was based entirely on OCD. I would pick out certain foods and amounts that were ok to eat. If I didn’t eat them at a certain time of day or I ate more than allowed I would get panicked. Would I get very fat? Would everything fall apart? Everything about being a teenage girl seemed to revolve around my OCD. Much like when I was little I had a ritual every night of doing sit-ups. 100. But if I miscounted I thought I would start over. I see so clearly the color of the carpet in my bedroom, feeling dizzy, upset- thinking if I could only get through this it would be ok, I would feel even. College is when I finally realized what was wrong with me. I started having weird thoughts. Worried I would stab someone I loved with a knife at night. I would get physically ill over it. I’d tell my then boyfriend at the time. He was a good guy, he would laugh it off say it’s ok. I would tell him so much it felt like sweet relief to say something until I thought it again. I looked up these thoughts online— intrusive thoughts. A glitch in the brain. It helped me to know it didn’t mean I wanted to hurt someone, in fact it meant quite the opposite I was so sickened by my thoughts I couldn’t let them go. I went on Zoloft. It failed, I felt sick and zombie and fat. I always said I could get through anything by walking. And honestly I think I did. When I met my husband he use to say I was in my “hole” when I got down. I couldn’t get out he would say unless I went outside or got out of the house. God he pulled me out of that hole so many times. The man is a saint really, he doesn’t hear it enough. And he prob didn’t know when he married me that he would deal with my mental illness so heavily.

When I became pregnant and then later miscarried twice, a switch went off. I became obsessed with getting pregnant and later staying pregnant. My first pregnancy started off with normal new mom worry but it got dark pretty quick. I can’t begin to explain the darkness that ensued. I had a great midwife who literally saved me. I would smell gas at a gas station and think I killed my baby. I would see mouse shit and think I contracted some disease to my unborn. It went on and on. I cried myself to sleep from exhaustion, from washing my hands hundreds of times, from trying to prepare food for myself and throwing it out over and over again. When my first baby boy came our perfect and whole I couldn’t believe it. I felt so ok, for a really long time. He saved my life really. His germy toddler ways and his active personality. He would hand me bones and bugs and food off the floor and I let it go you know? I felt so ok. Enough to almost believe I was better. I got pregnant again with my second three years after my first. Again bad OCD. I felt heavy a lot. My midwife and husband kept saying it will go away like last time when you had Alden. I couldn’t wait. My baby was born surprise breech at home. It was a crazy birth and it was fine. He breathed after my midwife helped a bit. I think I had a bit of PTSD honestly but I’ve never said that. Whenever I think of the birth now I get a bit panicked. Like it could of gone so wrong. Like this perfect being laying next to me might not have made it somehow. The OCD stayed. And it’s still here. In fact it’s been so bad In waves since then. I keep toying with idea of meds but I’m breastfeeding and I can’t quite do it. I should talk to someone again but I’m so tired all the time from parenting. I know excuse excuse. I think I’ve had a breaking point though- I yelled at my oldest so badly the other day because he fell into the goat stall while we were farm sitting. Germs germs. I carried him inside and washed him up roughly. My whole body went stiff my arms out at my sides at an angle like I use to do when I was bad in younger years. He was bawling. Saying mama stop washing stop washing. I couldn’t stop I needed him clean. I cried don’t touch your brother. I couldn’t breathe. I can’t keep projecting my shit into my kids. I don’t want them to think like I do about every germ. I want them to eat things off the floor and run around and hug people and not feel uneven and panicked. It’s not all bad I tell myself. I’m creative as hell. I’m empathetic. I’m able to see things other people don’t see in a good way. I’m smart. And I’m compassionate because damn I’ve been there. I am a good person. I have OCD. I have a defect in my brain. It’s not going to be who I am but always a part of who I am. I write this to tell My story. To let others know they are not alone. I’m here. I’m standing. I’m living.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Mike Miller, PhD October 20, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    THANKS for sharing your story. You NEED to do something if you continue to wash your kids the way you described. You might find the Winston/Sief book on Intrusive Thoughts helpful It’s a great book. Hope this helps.

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