I’ve had two separate occasions now where my OCD has been questioned. My first appointment with my new CBT therapist, and a meeting with a new doctor. They both stopped me mid-conversation when I mentioned the word and asked me in a somewhat unconvinced manner- ‘but why do you think it’s OCD?’.
My OCD is OCD because of the awful, exhausting and obsessive nature of the thoughts. They are thoughts that I hate, that make me feel sick or angry or upset. They silently torture me because they make me imagine the worst scenarios, remember things I don’t want to and make me feel like a terrible person.
Because I am closest to my boyfriend, and because I have such strong feelings for him, the OCD manifests itself through him. The thoughts will range from anything such as questions about his exes, his thoughts on different girls, to why he still bothers with me and if he wants to break up yet. It thrives on my low self-esteem, which is something I’ve always always had. I don’t see myself worthy at all, not just in this relationship but in many areas of my life. As a result, I continue to try and push people away, because I believe they shouldn’t bother with me.
If anything, I crave quite the opposite. I always want reassurance, to be told it’s okay and everything will be alright. This isn’t healthy but still, it’s what I need. My bf has learnt to not always give me this because if he does it makes it harder for me to tackle the OCD on my own. The thoughts revolve around reassurance- am I good enough? Do you like me the best? Am I pretty? Despite having a wonderful and loving boyfriend who tells me these things anyway, without any sort of prompt, it always remains a worry at the back of my mind.
I can see how ridiculous my thoughts and behaviour are. Don’t think for a second that I can’t see the reality of them- that’s partly why I become so frustrated and feel utterly exhausted all the time when trying to battle with them. I KNOW full well that the thoughts are purely 100% irrational and I shouldn’t give any attention to them whatsoever. But of course, OCD doesn’t accept that. It finds little sneaky ways to get around rationality and logic, in order to cause you pain, panic and a lot of distress. You know your behaviour is stupid and you hate yourself for it, but it will convince you that it is important and vital that you carry out these behaviours.
OCD tricks you and deceives you, lies to you and makes you question your sanity. It turns you into a Jekyll and Hyde figure, always fighting to remain normal but sometimes being too weak to overcome it. It’s such a hateful condition and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I’m fighting to get better but the reality is I’ll probably have it for the rest of my life because that is simply the unforgiving nature of OCD. That’s something I’m still coming to terms with even now.
Of course with OCD, like any mental illness, it’s extremely common to have a lovely dash of depression thrown in there too, because- well why not eh? If you thought battling with the thousands of inner demons in your mind wasn’t awful enough, then just wait til the feelings of self-hate, worthlessness and despair start to creep in. It’s utterly crippling. You start to hate yourself even MORE because why on earth do you feel the need to be so down and upset all the time? I have so many lovely things within my life that I am thankful for. A lot of supportive people, a roof over my head, a proper job… So, so thankful. But, undeniably, there are still days when all I can focus on is how I’m going to die, because it often feels like that’s the only way it’ll ever stop. I know that is dangerous, and sad. At times like that I need to try really hard to lift myself up out of it and remind myself that I’m not going to let this mental health condition win. It’s ruined so much for me, and hurts so many others in the process, but I can’t just back down and give up. I have to keep going, even when those dark days become increasingly common, like they are doing currently. Really, I’ve not got a choice in the matter.