You, Me, and OCD

Hello my loves!

This is one of those serious blogs with a attempt-to-be-chipper tone. It’s how I roll.

A week ago, I came slightly unhinged. It happens from time to time, so don’t freak out.

Sometimes my brain is just like, NOPE, and decides it doesn’t want to play by the real world rules for a hot minute.

Usually, I can feel it coming, sense the catalyst, or whatever, and I’m in front of it before it starts. Which is cool. It makes it a lot easier to stow away properly and function.

But this time, well. This time my brain went full on dick and I woke up just all out of sorts.

I’ll admit, it’s been a crazy few months. Between all the drama, life, and cancer scare, I’m not completely shocked I’m having a moment.

I could do speeches about how I may have OCD but my OCD doesn’t have me, but I won’t. Mostly because I sound ridiculous saying things like that. Other people can pull off those Oscar-winning moments, but I lack the grace. I usually giggle or say something about boobies and it loses its crowd-moving momentum.

So what does this mean? Well. It means I am really, really uncomfortable right now. Just, *TWITCH*

I have OCD every day, but it’s in a way I can manage so that most people don’t even notice. But in cases like right now, it’s a lot louder, if that makes sense. It’s trying to grab extra ground that I try to keep it from getting. It wants to affect more, wants to have more control.

Yes, I talk about my disorder like a sentient being. Because it’s a douchecanoe and I can.

Plus, it makes it easier to separate the things that come with it from the person I am.

It’s hard to talk about this stuff with people. Honestly, if you don’t have a situation similar to this in your day to day, it’s hard to understand. Not because you aren’t an awesome, open-minded person, but because it can be just *that* bizarre.

I won’t lie. I don’t get embarrassed often. I blush like it’s my fucking 9-5, but I don’t get genuinely embarrassed by much. See my frequent losing of pants in public, or verbal incontinence for evidence.

But this embarrasses me. It just does. I don’t like talking about the things I do, the things I think when these little “fits” are going on. I’m aware that what I’m doing isn’t normal, or whatever normal means, and I’m *very* aware that I don’t want to be doing it. But I’ll go ahead and do it because I kind of have to.

You know me, though. When something’s got me in a funk, to the blog go I.

So, this is kind of depressing, right? Not a lot of happy feels when I’m all sucked in like this.

Let’s turn that shit around then, shall we?

First up, if I seem off sometimes, or if I disappear a little? It’s probably this. And you have my sincerest apologies. I’m here, I’m just fighting with my brain a little more than normal. I do love you, and I’m right here if you need me. True story.

It’s my instinct to withdraw when I feel like this. I just want to hide and be crazy and come out when the coast is clear.

But I don’t. Because fuck the part of my head that is being an asshat. I don’t like being bossed around, even by my own brain.

I appreciate the humor in the situations. I have to. While my brain is absolutely certain I am being strangled to death by my socks (real fear) or that there are spiders hiding around every corner (also real), I can absolutely see the absurdity in it.

So, when I feel like I’m being strangled by hosiery? I put on Iron Man socks and tell my brain to suck it. Because Iron Man could take that shit on better than I can, so let him deal with it.

I mean, come on. Socks. My brain is afraid of socks. Really, brain?

I make light of my own fears and compulsions because, well, for starters I think everything is easier to deal with when you’re laughing, but also because whatcha gonna do, you know? I can either take it with a tantrum and tears or with a guffaw.

No matter the question, guffaw is always the answer.

And I go to my happy places. Looking at certain things helps a lot. A dandy little focal point that calms me down.

I actually have a wall. I call it my “inspiration” wall because it sounds cooler than calling it my Obsessive-Complusive Focal Point wall. Doesn’t really flow off the tongue, am I right?

This wall. The only people who have ever seen it are my husband and kids. Essentially this wall looks like the bedroom wall of a twelve-year-old girl. Posters, pictures, random things.

I swear I have a point here. Stay with me.

When I was at the writer’s conference in July, I met a new friend. At the end of the weekend, during a conversation of much laughter and silliness, I happened to show them a picture of the wall. I don’t have a clue why. I think I was feeling anxious in a crowded room and I needed to look at it for my own good, but I felt the need to share it with them.

And they were like, “That’s a fucking awesome wall.”

That was a big deal to me. I’m certain they have no idea, and most likely don’t even remember the moment, but for me it was like, LOOK WHAT I DID!

I don’d ever hide this about myself. I have a disorder. I’ve had it forever. It is what it is.

But I don’t generally like flaunting it all, HEY LOOK AT THE CRAZY THING I HAVE TO DOOOOOOOOOO!

People look at you weird. Some people just don’t get it, and they don’t want to. They make what I hope are unintentionally rude comments, or they back away like I’m about to peel their skin off.

I rarely peel people’s skin off without their consent.

It’s a risk. It’s a big risk to put stuff out there to people who may or may not be understanding or receptive to what you are dealing with. This is not mental illness specific. For anything, revealing a hidden part of who you are is a scary thing. I know I drop serious confessions on this blog like it ain’t no thang, but trust me, it’s always a hint of terrifying, even for me.

That was a big moment for me. Sharing my wall with someone new.

So I am focusing on that right now. I’m choosing to look at the thing I did that was out of my comfort zone and made me feel better. There aren’t a lot of things that bring relief when I’m all in the mud like I am now. I watch a select few things that make me feel calm. Listen to a select few songs. Talk to a select few people who don’t blink when I say, “Yo, I have this unyielding urge to count all the strands of my hair. Want to look at funny pictures of cats on the internet instead? Cool.”

But I’m also letting it loose on here. Because I need to let it out somewhere. It’s exhausting to just hold it all in. And you guys, whether you know it or not, are one of my happy places. I dig you kids.

And let me put this out there: If any of you need someone to show your wall to? I’m all yours. I will understand that wall, baby.

It uh, doesn’t have to be an actual wall.

I’ll be fine. I’ll get ahead of this like I always do, and carry on, and be back to where it’s me and OCD, not OCD and me.

Up to that moment, I’ll just be sitting here laughing at my socks. As people do.

I hope you all are having awesome weeks!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Walls

28 Comments

  1. I have a wall. And superman socks. And a brain that is scared of strange things (yes, socks included). What I’ve never had is a name for it, because one of the things that sends me into a full blown panic attack is the thought of going to see a doctor. Yeah. It gets that bad. Like, can’t-leave-the-house-and-husband-has-to-bring-home-food bad.

    Thank you for writing this. For being so fully real that in so doing, you give others permission to be real too.

    • Oh, hon!

      I know that feel. Like, I *KNOW* that feel. My poor hubs has the soul of a saint.

      I’ve been terrified of doctors since I had to start seeing them as a kid. It’s scary, but if you find the *right* doctor, it can mean a world of difference.

      And if you aren’t up for that yet, come at me. I am supportive like WHOA and I’ve got your back, 🙂

      • All teary over your sweetness. It’s been getting steadily worse since my littlest was born, and I feel like all the franticness and fear is building up to some crazy huge climax, and I think it’s up to me whether it’s going to be an awesome or a horrible one. Your words today gave comfort and courage – now, I guess the next step is knowledge?

        Xoxo

        • That’s a big one. Sometimes the more you know can seem scary, but if you are supported while you learn, it can make all the difference.

          And I really relate on the kidlets part. I’ve openly known about my OCD since I was 12, but man did it rage on after my daughter was born. A whole new world of things to be anxious over.

          Seriously, if you ever need me. Hit me up on here or Twitter.

  2. I know that we only recently ‘met’ in this virtual world but, I’m here if you ever need a sandwich to lean on 🙂 A childhood friend of mine had/has OCD so I know how much of a struggle it can be.

    Also, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Supernatural in the same blog post is EPIC! (KKBB is my favoritest movie of all time.)

  3. Can i steal your wall idea? it might help to cope for my little one and might help me be able to leave my little hole more than once a month at the force of my Hubbs who says i need to interact with the world for some strange reason.I am going to tell you things i have never admitted… people and there cooties scare the hell out of me….crowds even the thought of crowds will send me into massive panic mode i can NOT do malls at all, can not do my own mother almost died and to just be able to walk in the hospital i had to have a face mask long sleeves etc the whole time i was in tears going wtf brain bigger issue here come on…it’s been eight years since i went to a Dr and that was because i was unconsience and some one took me after my gal bladder exploded with 121(yes one hundred twenty one not a typo) just know i feel ya love

    • Steal away! It really helps me. It’s my “home base” of sorts. No matter how anxious I am, it always helps to have that safe place to look at.

      There are a lot of places I can’t go or things I can’t do, but I push myself constantly to keep from letting the bad sounds win. I’m just stubborn enough that being forced to do anything pisses me off enough to fight back, even against my own brain.

      If you do the wall, let me know if it helps!

  4. Wow,
    I love your honesty and openness. Blogs can be so wonderfully therapeutic.

    I love my Pinterest account and my Pandora radio. When things are tough in Realityville, I have lovely things to look at and pretty music that plucks the right emotional strings. Sometimes I want to wallow. Sometimes I want to get pumped up for taking on the world. Sometimes I just want mellow lovlies to calm my soul.

    I don’t have OCD, but mental illness is in my family and I’ve had post-partum depression after the last three babies and seasonal depression most of the past ten winters. Beauty in all its forms is my ‘cure’ and opens my eyes again to the wonder that surrounds me.

    Thank you for sharing. We are each precious souls blossoming in chipped flowerpots.

    • I have certain playlists, or video clips that I go to. Also, PICTURES. I have certain pictures I look at every day just to keep me centered. When I’m really spiraling I will spend hours looking at pictures just to keep me calm.

      Also, that last line you wrote was like, poetry. It made me smile. THank you, 🙂

  5. Summer,
    I’m so sorry you have to struggle with this but you should be proud you shared this because you have no idea just how many people you’ve helped by opening up. Which is why I’m going to share on the site instead of an email. Of my 5 kids, 2 have special needs. My oldest was born after 45 hrs. of labor and 4 hours of pushing with the cord around her neck. She suffered her first seizure when she was 19 hrs. old, she stopped breathing. Half an hour later it happened again and she was whisked off to the local children’s hospital. I didn’t know if I’d see her again. The doctors discovered that she’d suffered a blood clot in her brain before labor or during. She was diagnosed w/ Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. Kid #3 was 2 years old when he was diagnosed w/ Autism. The two of them have spent years getting OT, PT, Speech, and a ton of other therapies. They are now 19 and 14 and doing well. The reason I’m sharing all of this is I’m so overprotective that the hubby looks at me like I’m nuts sometimes. I’ve tried to explain but it is really difficult. If any of them are a minute late I jump to worst case scenarios. I live on about 5 hours of sleep a night. I can’t go to bed until I’ve checked the doors and windows 4 or 5 times each. We all have our issues, it’s how we go on w/ our lives and thrive despite them or because of them. I hope this makes sense. I’m having trouble seeing the screen thanks to the stupid tears that fall every time I think about all the crap my kids have been given to deal with. Just know you’re awesome. Sending hugs your way.

    • 1. I am so freaking proud of you for posting this on the blog. That is a big deal, and you are amazing.

      2. We all do what we do, the way we need to do it. I accepted a long time ago that there is no “normal” way, and if something helps us get through the day, even if it’s a little wacky, it counts.

      *hands you a tissue* *hugs you all the hugs*

  6. Oh, brains. Aren’t they a motherfucker? I know that urge to retreat so well and I’m amazed you’ve found so many different things to help you cope right now. I don’t have OCD but I am all twisted up in the beast that is depression, and I wish I could borrow some of your fuck-you attitude. Thank you for writing this post.

    xoxo, Becky

    • Dude. You get me. They *are* a motherfucker. Can’t live with em…

      Depression is a dick, too. If you need a little extra fuck-you attitude, hit me up. I’m nothing if not supportive. I wave a good pom-pom, 😉

  7. Hugh Jackman is on this wall, yes? 🙂

  8. What I love most about your blog are your heartfelt honesty, openness and courage. I don’t have OCD nor do I know anyone who does. But I’d be happy to send you pictures of cute cats whenever you need.

    (*uber-super-duper cyber hugs and snergles*)

  9. You are an amazing person. I love your honesty, your openness, and all the little things that make you, YOU. Having that wall is both functional and awesome. I’m proud of you for sharing, because even when you’re brave, you’re also vulnerable (not just you specifically, but bravery in general). I don’t have a wall, but I do have a lot of unspecified weirdness. If you ever need to talk about Iron Man socks or hair-strands, I’m game
    I would be honored to listen or district you with funny internet things.

    To quote the world’s most awesome Darcy: I like you. Just as you are. <3

    • Right back atcha, baby. If anyone understands the loony quirks, it’s me! I’m always here to lend an ear and an inappropriate comment or two.

      Also? The Darcy thing? *BURSTS INTO TEARS AND I LOVE YOU TOO*

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I, too, have a wall. And, I too, disappear when the brain gets to be too much (though my brain business goes by different names – depression, anxiety, and my all-time favorite, panic disorder). It’s so hard to think that anyone would understand and love me anyway. My brain is a fucking CRAZY place to live most days. Even this morning, I expressed a little anxiety to my husband about a situation and he responded with, “Does even a tiny bit of you actually think that could happen?” Me: “Yes, that’s why I said it.” (I mean, why else would I say it?) Him: “Wow. I just don’t even know where that would come from. A little more gets revealed every day.” Hopefully he will not be shocked to find a pamphlet on compassion on his pillow tonight. But, the long-winded point I’m making is that it is like tearing off skin to show people this side of me. I just don’t do it. And I am consistently impressed and inspired by how you share it. Thank you, love.

  11. Thanks for posting this. It was so interesting for me to read because my husband and daughter have OCD and I am constantly trying to figure out how to help them deal with the sneaky monster who’s always hanging out with us. My husband is also a writer and he claims that the OCD helps him be creative in some ways. He has a lot of intrusive thoughts that end up as poems–twisted, brilliant ones. He’s never had therapy for his OCD or taken meds and, at this point, probably never will. He’s learned to live with it somehow. Your voice in this post just reminded me of him so much–funny and exasperated and smart. OCD is part of who you are and maybe plays an important part in your creativity too, despite how difficult it can be. Hang in there and good luck with the writing!!

  12. *hugs*

    Brain crap like this is the worst. I’m glad you have a way of dealing with it most of the time, and that someone loved your wall! And for when you’re overwhelmed by it, I send chocolate bunnies your way.

  13. TY TY TY!

    I get it. While I’m not OCD per se, I do have severe PTSD and Dissociative Disorder. Just today, going out to grab some last minute supplies for my daughter … I had to find a quiet place in a crowded Wal-Mart, and remind myself – it wasn’t what caused the disorders. I’m fine. I’m okay.

    I can’t do crowds. I can’t do big cities for more than a few hours. Unknown triggers are out there … and wham! A full on meltdown that will take weeks to recover. I’m often disappointed in myself – so many things I have to deny my daughter/Hubby because I can’t handle it. Weeks of nightmares, memories, and the look on my 13 yo’s face because I have to say no – for my sanity.

    I get it. I understand. I have great admiration for your blog – for opening up, and talking to us.

  14. I have to give you huge props for being so open about your disorder. I think everyone has their own little quirk, disorder or problem, but some are more obvious than others, and some are easier to deal with than others.

    I’m so glad you have your wall and that it’s something non-harmful that works for you. One of my best friends could only deal with her issues by cutting herself with whatever sharp object was nearby. Believe me, trips to the OR at 3am are no fun…. Neither is having to commit your friend to a psych ward because it was the only safe place for her.

    Kia kaha (be strong)

  15. You are so open and honest that I love reading your blogs! You share so much and I thank you for that.I love that you have your wall for your issues. Mine is drawing. It helps calm my mind down because it likes to rage uncontrollably. Thank you!

    All the hugs and snergles!

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