Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): A mental disorder in which an individual is flooded with irrational and negative thoughts, leading them to carry out compulsions to prevent the anxiety as a consequence of these feelings.
Studying psychology at the age of 16, the mere concept of someone feeling the need to carry out certain actions to prevent something bad happening- was completely unbelievable to me. I never understood, I didn’t see how the mind was so complex and demanding and how it could completely drown someone.
I didn’t understand.
Unfortunately, now I do.
After a scare of my boyfriend having a cancerous lump, which fortunately it was not, I was contaminated completely and swarmed with such anxiety that I have never felt before. It’s human to be scared, to fear something happening to someone you love.
It wasn’t until I noticed that my towels had to match when I took a bath, that I began to feel something just wasn’t right- with me I mean. Because they were just towels, but they were more than that. They needed to match because my mind had convinced me that if they didn’t- my boyfriend would die.
I began to hold the weight of someone else’s life on my shoulders, struggling to continue at my normal speed in life because so many other thoughts took priority.
Were my pillows in the correct order on the floor?
Did I tell him to drive safely when he left for work?
Were all my drawers shut properly?
It reached the point where I had a list of over 40 compulsions that I had to do every day, it reached the point where I withdrew from university because it was selfish of me.
It was selfish because he would have to drive to see me, I would put him at risk of a car crash and that mere worry left me cold and afraid.
And I’m seeing a therapist now, I’m trying not to do these things like not organising my medication and the toilet roll doesn’t have to face a certain way- but she’s still there.
She’s lurking in every action where I try to better myself, but I can’t because she’s always there and encouraging me to make sure everything is ordered- for him.
I’m pushing people away because I need to make sure I do everything correct for him, because I couldn’t live with myself if the one time I didn’t order my medication- he was harmed.
I’m writing this because it’s her, not me.
So here’s to you, OCD.