The Day I Realised I Have OCD

I spent years trying to figure out why I was having the most distressing thoughts.

I would get really frustrated with myself for not being able to find the answer about what was going on in my own brain. At the same time, it was only me who I could look to for the answers.

I sure as hell wasn't going to mention any of my thoughts to anyone, not my family, not my boyfriend (now husband), not my GP, not my colleagues because if I did, I would lose everything I had in my life and that I loved so much – or so I thought.

-Nobody Speaks About Intrusive Thoughts-

People shy away from talking about most personal struggles and everyone pretends they're fine.

So, if no one was talking about these things then surely there was something terribly wrong with me and it wouldn't be long before I was “found out”.

Found out about what a horrible person I was for having these thoughts, terrified that no one would ever want to be associated with me ever again - I would be banished for life if I wasn't to be carted off to a mental institute and marked as dangerous!

-Feelings of Shame & Guilt-

About 8 years prior to my realisation, I had no choice but to go about life alone even though I was constantly surrounded by love and friendships, which just made the shame and guilt feel even worse.

I felt that I didn't deserve any of these beautiful souls in my life and that I was just fooling everyone, manipulating them into believing I was normal just like them and that it was only a matter of time before I was going to “snap”.

-Thoughts Were Getting Uncontrollable-

As the years went on the thoughts got louder and more gnarly, it became harder to conceal and not feel (think Elsa vibes here) and then the random anxiety attacks started to happen.

I had no way of explaining them, so I just put it down to work stress (which was actually stressful at the time) but deep down I knew exactly what was bothering me and it was something I vowed to never voice out loud.

-My Life Has Never Been The Same-

And then it happened; I was cleaning the kitchen, knowing I needed to be out of the way for my husband to make his lunch for work (our kitchen is the size of a matchbox).

Then BAM! I was hit with the thought that the cleaning spray had gotten into the loaf of bread that wasn't sealed properly.

I had no choice but to tell my husband that he couldn't use the bread and that he'd have to buy lunch elsewhere.

Obviously, he was pissed at this, but he had to go and that was that.

The whole day I was panic stricken with thoughts about my husband being super mad at me (he’s never mad at me) and that he was going to come home and straight away ask for a divorce (we’d only been married 6 months).

-The First Known Compulsion-

I grabbed a snack from the fridge, one of those party sausage rolls that you can just pop into your mouth whole, and just before I was about to swallow it BAM something grasped my attention and before I knew it, I spat it out into the bin.

What made me spit it out?

The thought of harming a family member. If I had finished that snack my brain told me, I would hurt someone.

So naturally what seemed to be the only viable option was to spit it out and that way I wouldn’t cause harm.

My brain had associated this intrusive thought that I have zero control over with a simple snack. Then, shit, I think I have OCD!

-Putting Two & Two Together-

I only put 2 and 2 together because a friend had mentioned intrusive thoughts about 8 months prior.

I can't remember how the conversation came about, I just remember thinking “I have thoughts like that” which ailed some relief.

Knowing I wasn't the only one who had thoughts like this. That relief lasted a while… until I was hit with something else.

-Finally Telling Someone-

My husband came home that day and instead of asking for a divorce he asked how my anxiety was since the morning, I looked at him and burst into tears saying, “I think I have OCD”.

I don’t really have any memory of what was said after that. I just know that he was, and still is, supportive.

I tried my very best to continue with everyday life, I guess wishing / hoping it would just go away like it had before, and that this episode was just particularly bad.

-The Takeaway-

Intrusive thoughts are normal – everyone has them but not everyone attaches meaning to them and not everyone notices them, some people can acknowledge them and think “woah, that was weird!” and carry on with what they’re doing without it controlling them.

Just think if no one had intrusive thoughts Cards Against Humanity wouldn’t be a thing and Stephen King wouldn’t be rich.

Your OCD will be trying to convince you that you’re the only one and its just simply not true. You deserve to get treatment and live your life freely.

You’ve got the strength to open up and ask for help.

A xx