depression · obsessive compulsive disorder · ocd · ramble · rats · reflecting · self harm · twenties

Things i’m most afraid of

All of my life i’ve been afraid of something.
Mostly irrational fears, like being scared of the dark until i was around 19 and still feeling claustrophobic about it even now.
When i was between 10 and 12 my cousin played an online video game that i believe was in a room escape style while i watched out of the corner of my eye. I remember feeling anxious even though i wasn’t playing or watching properly. In the game, he passed an open door with a mirror angled slightly towards the character’s POV. A dark hooded figure swept past the mirror’s reflection and thus began my fear of mirrors for around 8-10 years.
My OCD happily latched onto this image, which is probably the reason it became such an intense phobia for me, and i used to have rituals if i needed to interact with a mirror in any way.

I’ve sort of grown out of some of my fears as i’ve gotten older. I say ‘sort of’ because i still feel some level of anxiety around them but nowhere near the extreme they used to be.
My fears and worries nowadays tend to be just as irrational for being unfounded but more appropriate for my life, desires and happiness.

A fear of being infertile/having fertility problems 

This one has plagued me for approx 3 years now. I guess it started with myself and a past partner being stupid with contraception. It certainly wasn’t ever a plan to have a baby that early in our relationship but my period still hadn’t returned since stopping the Depo-Provera injection a year previous, so i made an assumption that “it would all be okay”. I know that tends to be the famous last words for a large amount of people but oddly it wasn’t for us. Even after my period returned and we were still sloppy and irresponsible, we never had so much of a scare and my periods kept coming like clockwork. Fast forward to now and i’ve had one scare when it came a day late. I’m hoping i’m just really good at my method of natural birth control by closely tracking my fertile periods, but i’m stuck between not wanting a baby right now and being happy that i’ve not accidentally gotten pregnant, and being terrified that i can’t get pregnant in the first place.

A fear of my partner dying

I suppose this is one that most people have, although my fears easily turn into obsessions that take over my brain. Tom works away a lot and he always drives, so my main worry is that he gets in an accident. This is probably fueled by my experiences of being in 3 car accidents before i turned 16. Logically i know he’s a great driver and has a ton of experience but that does very little to soothe me. I can’t imagine how parents must feel about their children if this is the level of anxiety i can achieve from my healthy, grown up, highly-capable-of-surviving partner dying.

A fear of my mental health deteriorating or never improving

It’s becoming clear that i’ve reached the end of my ability to deal with my mental health alone. I haven’t visited a Dr about it since 2011 and my dealings with them were less than useful. Those close to me keep telling me to speak to a professional about things and it is something i know i need to do, but i’m still a little hesitant. It scares me to think that i might always be this way or worse. It has an effect on every aspect of my life including work and relationships with others. It already stops me from doing certain things and causes other people pain. I can’t remember how long exactly i’ve felt this way but i know it’s a really long time, at least 4 years. Obviously i’m not a Dr or any kind of healthcare professional, but i have my suspicions on what the diagnosis could be. That’s part of the reason i’m still debating whether to seek help or not – i don’t want to be diagnosed and immediately put on medication. Sadly the only way i’m able to get the treatment i want (DBT) is by going through the motions, starting with my GP…

A fear of being emotionally unavailable to my future children

This one is related to the above paragraph. When i have strong emotions or reactions to events, i enter a “zombie state” where i am unavailable, uncooperative and generally a bit of a bitch. I can also deteriorate into this state by either accidentally or purposefully isolating myself from others for a prolonged period of time (aka having a day off work with no plans when Tom is working or away). I feel very sorry that Tom has to deal with this version of me and he’s said before that it’s heartbreaking. It can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 hours and i find it nearly impossible to ‘snap out of it’ without external help (aka someone intervening).
We aren’t planning on starting a family just yet, as Tom keeps saying: “house first!”, but as it’s something in the not so distant future, it’s a creeping worry for me that i will still be emotionally unavailable. I’m sure lots of parents will tell me not to fret and that nothing could crush your love for your children etc. I wish i could fully believe them but you hear horrible stories of neglectful mothers and i know how horrible my brain can be sometimes. Take the rats for example: i love those sweet little puddings so much. They’re fantastic and playing with them always makes me feel better, especially when they give me kisses and run up to the cage to greet me. But i can’t always get that far. Some days i can’t even bear to look at them because having something that loves me try to get affection from me feels like glass through my heart. Then comes the guilt of not getting them out to play and the disgust at myself and self pity and it can easily spiral from there. I guess i can’t really compare my pet rats to a child, but it’s the only similar relationship i have to work from.

All in all, it’s fucking terrifying being an adult.

L x

obsessive compulsive disorder · ocd · ramble · reflection · Uncategorized

OCD and me (part 2)

Today two of my Facebook friends shared a quiz called “How sensitive is your OCD radar”.

image.png

One of them is a close family member and the other one laughed about how they had gotten 100%.

I’ve certainly made it no secret that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder since finding out 6 years ago, and I have posted about it on Facebook in the past.

I sought refuge in Instagram, posted the screenshot above onto my profile with a little paragraph moaning about pretty much what I’m writing about now and used the #ocdproblems hashtag as it came up as a top suggestion. I decided to have a peruse of the hashtag and regretted it in approximately 0.005 seconds. The top posts are all bullshit about spring cleaning and having things ordered in a certain way.

Part of me wants to excuse them and anyone else who uses the term lightly because it’s become a menial way of describing someone who likes a clean house or gets irritated when something isn’t aligned properly. Everyone is guilty of using it in the past, even myself. And yet the other side of me wants to shake these people and shout and maybe even slap them a little because it’s so painfully obvious that they have no idea what living with OCD can be like. It doesn’t always manifest in a cleanliness or hygiene related way. Sure sometimes it does, and that’s the version of OCD we get fed by the media but it’s certainly not a rule for all.

And not to mention everybody concentrates on the compulsions, they don’t seem to understand that there’s an obsession causing it.

The compulsions are the easy part (for me at least). Mine have evolved over the years and now my main ones are wanting to push cyclists off, wanting to push people who walk on the roadside of the pavement into the road, wanting to kiss people I’m talking to or tell them I love them (both usually appear when I’m working and talking to customers).

My obsessions…I’m not brave enough to publicly discuss all of these. The main one at the moment is the idea that I’m never going to be able to feel emotions like other people and that I’ll damage any children I have because I can’t be as affectionate as I want to be. An unfortunate, self pitying obsession that leads to the urge to harm myself. I’ve also got a strange set of rules with numbers where I have to go over the number 3 but that’s my trigger number where “something” is going to happen. Usually that “something” is that there’s somebody in my house trying to kill me. I guess the idea of someone trying to kill me is the obsession in this case – sometimes it’s hard to categorise.

Not everybody understands the difference between wanting to think about something and having to think about something (or rather, not having the choice not to). The general rule for my type of OCD (because I don’t want to generalise) is that the harder you try to stop thinking about something, the more persistent and strong it becomes.

So, yeah, it can be annoying when one of your photo frames is wonky or your apps aren’t in colour order, but it’s unlikely to be OCD. Spare a thought for those who actually DO have the affliction when finding words to describe your relatively normal reactions.

Lora out.

 

depression · ocd · ramble · reflecting · reflection · teen depression · teenage · twenties · Uncategorized

My depression is “over” – now what?

“Slow down you crazy child, you’re so ambitious for a juvenile. But then if you’re so smart tell me why are you still so afraid?”

It’s a hard thing to explain sometimes.
Some can attribute their emotions to certain events. Some to medical or biological situations. Some accuse the world of being the trigger.

I’m an oddity. I don’t have a reason.

I finally built up the courage to face my overwhelming fear of my credit score, and sent off my application form and money for the house. Today i got confirmation and the new contract to sign and send back.
Next month i’m getting a work bonus that will pay for the deposit, so i don’t even have to worry about saving up for that.

And yet.

And yet i’m still completely absorbed in my own darkness.
I’ve got this horrible obsessive idea that it will never be more than this. That i’ll always be just ‘okay’, simply surviving but not really living.
Sure i’m only 22, but i feel older than my years.

But how can i be depressed? I’ve got a job i enjoy with great progression opportunities, a houseshare with probably the nicest person i’ve met in years and i’ve got my entire life ahead of me. Sure i was depressed years ago, but the past doesn’t haunt me like it once did. I don’t hang around with people who make me feel worse. I don’t even see those people anymore.

It’s over surely? I haven’t self harmed in 2 and a half years. I’m hardly what you would call reckless these days – mostly i work and eat and binge watch Jane the Virgin. I don’t drink much, i don’t do drugs and sure i’m a little promiscuous, but that makes me feel happy. I’m single and i know i 100% made the right decision for both of us by leaving him. I can go for cocktails with guys or see my friends whenever i like. I take myself on dates to the cinema or for meals every month. I see my Mum more often these days and we get on great.

It’s over.
Isn’t it??

 

obsessive compulsive disorder · ocd

OCD and me

Growing up, i thought everyone had the same thoughts as me.
I thought it was normal to have to touch things three times to prove to myself that three is an okay number, but of course i couldn’t stop on an odd number so i had to touch it a fourth time.
I assumed everyone had inner dialogue telling them that a face was going to appear at the window on the third time they looked.

I did start to question my sanity when i physically twitched with the amount of restraint it took to not push a passing cyclist off of his bike. Or when i locked myself in the spare room and curled up with my eyes closed for hours because i knew if i opened my eyes, there would be a face right infront of me.
Even now, just writing about this is raising my anxiety levels to an uncomfortable amount.

I was diagnosed in 2010. I didn’t know it was OCD. I thought Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was only diagnosed in people who spent 6 hours a day washing their hands or cleaning their house. I didn’t realise that being clean and OCD don’t neccesarily¬†go hand in hand.
Google provided information on the disorder and the more i read, the more i understood about myself. I realised that this part of me is so ingrained, so deep in my psyche that it’s likely that i won’t ever “recover”. I don’t remember what my life was like before i had these thoughts, if there was ever such a time.

5 years post-diagnosis and my compulsions and obsessive thoughts have changed. Not necessarily for the better but i feel more able to cope with them.