I had several OCD “episodes” this past weekend. Things that I used to think were just normal, or at least, normal for me. I thought it would be best to share these struggles with you, my lovely reader. Not only does sharing weaken its power over me but it also brings awareness and hope and maybe even some comfort if you’re struggling too. 😊
So, in no particular order, let me share some of the obsessive or compulsive tendencies that I’m struggling with.
Mind you, this isn’t easy for me. I’m having to take a lot of breaks. Thank you for virtually holding my hand. ❤️
I’ve been lighting candles a lot lately. I haven’t really done that since I was 18 & in my first apartment, right after my parents kicked me out of the house (But that’s another story for another day). Little cheap votives or dollar store pillars brought me comfort and peace in the midst of my stormy life.
On Friday, after cleaning my house for Shabbat, I lit a few candles throughout the house. They were unscented because can you imagine that many scented ones?! Oy.
I went to blow one out the other day before I left the house. It should’ve been a quick exhale and off I go. But it wasn’t.
I went back to check it 3-4 times. And not like I had forgotten if I blew it out. No, this is different. This is more like, “Okay, make sure you actually blew it out so you don’t set the house on fire… Okay, check it again… And again…” It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t matter how many times I checked it. My inner voice was like, “Do it again.” I felt compelled to run down the hall & check it again. I couldn’t stop.
After the 3rd or 4th time, I screamed at myself, “FUCKING STOP!” I stood there for a minute to regain control over myself. I forced back tears, took a deep breath, grabbed my purse, & headed out the door. It was still playing in my head. When I came back home, I ran into the room to see if it was still out.
Days later, I can’t walk by that room without checking. There isn’t even a candle there. This is the hell I’m in.
This past weekend, a couple of my besties were out of town (not together, different trips for different reasons). It was just one of those weekends when the planets were aligned or something & they were gone or extremely busy. Given that I’m on medication & in therapy, I’ve been doing my best to apply what I’ve learned. “Finding the evidence” & whatnot, right?
I tried to play it cool but I was anything but cool. I’m sure they’ll read this & be like, “I had no idea!” I don’t say any of this to guilt them. This is just what it’s like in my world.
For example, LC went to a tap convention. I really wanted to go with her but it wasn’t gonna work out with my schedule for that weekend. I somehow had convinced myself all weekend that she was upset with me.
I know. That’s ridiculous. But let me show you what I did. And not just with LC…
I didn’t stop checking my phone for texts. I refreshed & restarted dozens of time. I would do it once. And then again. And again. And again. I couldn’t stop. I kept pulling up the convo & seeing if I missed anything. “No? Okay… how about now?…No? Okay. And now?” And on & on & on.
I was starting to shake & get chest pains from it. Why couldn’t I stop? They’re fine. They’re alive. Just busy. THAT’S ALL. But it isn’t rational. It’s this deep desire to check it again. And again. And again.
I finally got to the point where I had to archive the convo & I tried to walk away. They were okay; I was not. I was torturing myself. Why couldn’t I stop? That is what’s extremely difficult to describe. I could no sooner stop myself from breathing or my heart from beating. Even archiving the convo, I found myself pacing the room & fidgeting with my hands. I don’t smoke but I found myself wanting a cigarette to help calm me down. Fuck, anything to help, right? It’s a dark side that no one sees.
It took me a few days but I finally got over the hump. Basically when they all got back home & were safe. I’m still quick to answer everything though.
Fuck, even talking about it is making my chest hurt.
Ben Wyatt is meant to be funny here but it rings too true for me. I have this deep need to not only be right (childhood issues, survival skills, etc.) but to correct others when they’re wrong. I don’t say it to be rude. I was scolded for this behavior when I was younger. “SC! You’re being rude! Don’t say anything!” It doesn’t come from a place of arrogance. It’s more like my inner voice knows there’s a fact that’s wrong & it doesn’t shut up until I correct it. It’s a compulsion, people. That’s how they work.
This is a primary reason why I can’t stand lying. I’m a woman of my word. Silly me, I expect others to keep their word as well. And when someone has been lied to, I get this righteous drive for justice to correct all the wrongs. As you can imagine, it’s blown up in my face a lot.
Anyway, with me, I can’t stop until all of the facts are 100% correct. 99.9% won’t cut it. My mind won’t stop. It’ll be years down the road & I’ll still obsess. To combat it, I try to internally say the truth. Usually, though, I end up talking to myself aloud in my car or something when I’m alone. I’m finding that quietly saying it isn’t as strong for me as hearing my voice aloud.
Sigh. This really sucks.
There was something else but to be honest, my mind is really struggling & in a fog right now. I’m trying to not cry & to relax. My vision is starting to crap out which means this is really stressing me out. I’m gonna put a pin in this for now. I’m sure I’ll talk about this again later. A little OCD humor for you… 😉
This is the side of OCD that TV doesn’t show. There’s this stigma that we just like things clean or get annoyed when something isn’t perfectly straight. There’s more to it – to us – than that.
I cried when I watched this again. When Dr. Casey screams at himself because he can’t stop? Yeah. I felt that in my soul. 💔