I told everyone all my thoughts presuming my baby would be taken away but he wasn’t… My first realisation!!!
My main OCD story starts in 2014 previous to that I had without really knowing it suffered crippling anxiety and worry (I just presumed we all worried in the same way about the same things) I also had self confidence issues which I dealt with by developing an eating disorder (control) in my early teens.
I met my husband to be at 17 which helped me gain a lot of confidence. I managed to overcome my anorexia apart from a few blips along the way, I went to college, uni got a job we got married. One thing that I couldn’t do was drive. I had past my test first time at 20 then never managed to get behind the wheel again properly for years, I put it down to a phobia initially but now I know differently, (in my mind, I had run someone over, killed them, gone to prison and shamed my family before I had even put the key on the ignition!!!).
During these years I had no idea I was suffering from mental health issues until 2004 a big one hit me out of the blue. I was a happy newly wed, new house, new job and desperate to start a family one night I was watching tv and there was an advert for pampers. I didn’t think anything of it, the advert finished and a different advert started then an image of a young boy naked entered my mind, my life as I had known it ended there and my 12 year battle with OCD started. I panicked ‘why did I think that?’ What’s wrong with me, I must be a monster a peadophile… I went into major panic, ruminating, over thinking , every horrible thought you could possibly imagine went through my head it was impossible to live with and I wanted to end my life. If it wasn’t for my husband I wouldn’t be here. I took the meds and engaged in CBT although it was hardly explained to me properly and was not diagnosed with OCD at the time. I slowly got my self together ( I say that loosely) but lived on the edge with crippling intrusive thoughts avoiding children at all costs for the next 7 years or so, and on and off meds but had no counselling after the initial sessions in 2004, at the same time I was grieving for the family I could not have (in my mind there was no way I could be or deserved to be a mum). My life felt miserable.
At the end of 2013 , I was so unhappy about not having a family but still crippled by the what if’s that my husband and I decided that we needed to try, I think my biggest motivation was my age and that l would soon be turning 40. We got pregnant a month after finally deciding I was so shocked at how quick it was and I was petrified. Towards the end of my pregnancy I did receive some counselling but unfortunately not the right kind and my midwife and doctor were both anti meds. I was so anxious about my pregnancy and having a baby that my mind was going into overdrive all sorts of worse case scenarios…so I had already decided I was giving the baby up.
After a 40 hour labour I gave birth to my son…I loved him to bits and wished the story ended happily there but unfortunately it didn’t.
I was plagued with thoughts of harming my baby from the moment he was born everything around me was a potential risk. He was also very poorly which did not help my fragile state. After about 2 weeks I could no longer pick him up I was so petrified I was going to harm this precious boy. He did not deserve me as a mum and I didn’t deserve him. At this point I was ready to walk away and leave everyone behind, he was better off without me. Step in my wonderful family.
I had a baby and I had a mental health problem this is when the big guns came out… I had every person you could think of assigned to me. Social worker, mental health nurse, psychologist, anxiety coach, mother and baby unit, perinatal mental health nurse, health visitor, help group. My parents agreed to help and moved in. I told everyone all my thoughts presuming my baby would be taken away but he wasn’t… My first realisation!!!
I had an amazing psychologist he diagnosed me with OCD and GAD he explained it to me in a manner I understood and I started to get it. This baby was so precious and so wanted for so long and that my OCD was attaching itself to the thing I held so dear and my fears were unfounded I was never going to hurt him…My second realisation!!
My boy is 14 months old now and by far my greatest achievement I can’t remember life without him. The last 13 years have been crippled by what ifs!! Not fact!!! my third realisation is that I needed to face my fear and do the one thing that was stopping me from living I had to go through this in order to get better and that gives me strength. I understand how OCD works and am putting into practice what I have been taught in other areas of my life.
It is upsetting looking back knowing that with the correct diagnosis early on and doing the right kind of work I could of got to this point a lot sooner and also that having a child makes a huge difference to how you are treated-that should not be the case.
My OCD has not disappeared and I still have intrusive thoughts, I face them head on…but I also accept them and that makes them weak and I have learned that I am strong and that I am a great mum to my son!!