Alright, y’all. Imma try something.
I used to keep a blog that was just about OCD and anxiety. But I wanted to be able to write about fun random stuff too, so I made this blog. (It’s been real fun lately with all the divorce and depression stuff, right? WE’RE HAVING FUN.)
But now, I kinda want to combine them. So I’m updating–and completing–a series on obsessive compulsive disorder I started for the other blog. I know, mental health = SO FUN. But if any of this resonates with you, or someone you know, I hope it’s helpful. I hope you let me know, so I can tell you again that you’re not alone.
Here goes: part one.
When did it start?
Maybe it was around 6 years old, when I felt that certain items (hairbrush, toilet flusher, knob on the drawer where I kept the hairbrush) were contaminated, so I started washing my hands every time I touched them.
Or perhaps it was when I was five, when I began asking my mom and dad (double-checking, you know) to “feel my heart” every night before bed, and reassure me that it was beating correctly.
It could’ve been preschool, when I dreaded having babysitters because I feared my parents would be killed in a car wreck while they were out on a date.
It might even have been when I was a toddler, and the church nursery workers would have to call my mother in because I would suddenly start shrieking inconsolably.
I was an anxious child. When we had a fire drill in first grade, my skin turned blotchy with anxiety. When I choked on a sausage, I refused to eat them for the next seven years. In second grade, I worried about getting cancer. In third grade, I worried about not being able to go the bathroom when I needed to. In fourth grade, I beat out special rhythms with my feet and and pencil to make myself feel better. In fifth grade, I was afraid to sleep alone in my room at night.
The point is, I’ll never know when OCD started. I’ll never know if some random “traumatic” event (um, PEACOCK) triggered it, or if it was always there. I’ll never know if things would have been different if I’d gotten counseling as a child. I’ll never know if it is primarily genetic or environmental, or the specific nature/nurture equation that made me this way.
I do know that OCD been with me for a long time. It has badgered me, scared me, isolated me, shamed me.