I’ve been uming and ahhing about this for some time now because this is probably going to be the most difficult thing to “confess”
It's blatantly obvious I have't been active for years. But there has been a good reason. You see, I’m facing a bully.
This bully has been following me for years disguising themselves as a friend. I never noticed, as it happened so gradually. At first, it was comforting, welcoming, and even the things this bully had me do made sense.
Then the bully became more demanding. Became more aggressive. The bully began to take over my life in ways I cannot even begin to describe to you. The bully made me feel scared. This bully made me feel shame, and made me responsible for everything wrong. It made me feel like I was wrong all the time. This bully made me feel like I’m always making mistakes, and my mistakes will bring harms to others. And eventually the bully made me lose control of my life.
I’m ready to face the fears I’ve been dodging for years. I’m ready to tell you what this bully is.
This bully is OCD.
I have recently been diagnosed with it and it’s a beast of a mental illness to beat. Many people will immediately think about what TV tells us what OCD is, and to some, that is true. But OCD is much more than that. It’s an unrelenting voice in your head that tells you that you will bring harms to your loved ones because you are foolish/stupid/careless. It turns your biggest fears about you and invites intrusive thoughts to the opposite and it plays it over, and over, and over in your head until you have to do some compulsion to get relief. It is a bully because it doesn’t stop, it targets you and your insecurities and the fear, the intimidation, the danger, it makes you think it’s real.
It is a bully because it makes you lose your sense of self, it makes you thik the worst in yourself because if you don’t do your compulsions you are a bad person and will bring harm to yourself and others.
For me? I have rumination OCD with a bit of checking OCD. I have once got trapped in a vicious cycle of checking for electrical that could ‘catch the house on fire’ for two hours. And when I left I nearly kicked my husband because I was convinced if I didn’t check one, or two more times I will kill our neighbours and my dogs, even if I didn’t use an appliance that day.
But because we had such a distorted idea of what this bully was, I have been suffering and gone undiagnosed with OCD for all my young adult life until recently because after a massive breakdown I went to therapy, 4th time in just two years and this time, my therapist was an OCD specialist who noticed just a small detail I said and asked the right questions. After some time and working with this therapist for some time I got the diagnosis that has plagued me my whole life, but only in the last two years got so bad I was barely a functioning person.
It’s easy to miss. Depression, anxiety, terrible situations; all that can mask OCD for a long, long time so it is so easy to miss and I have exactly that; I’m diagnosed with depression, GAD, but I have been working with therapists and my GP. I’m on antidepressants that finally after months of trial and error are working. And I’m slowly getting back to “normal”.
The reason I am openly talking about this, it’s because there is still a bit of a stigma around OCD and misinterpretations which can lead a lot of people going undiagnosed and without proper help. It’s absolutely hell going through this. And it’s brutal when you don’t know why you think the way you do. It’s absolutely lonely and soul destroying. But with the right diagnosis and the right treatment, it slowly begins to make sense, and the pieces fall into place and you can find that one day you will be whole again.
I’ve been in pieces my entire life, but even though I’m 30, I know it’s not too late to put the pieces back together. If this can reach anyone else, or can make anyone feel like maybe there is hope, then talking about it would be worth it.
Feel free to ask me questions. It’s hard to know where to start when you don’t really know where to.