More often than not I feel I can’t talk about certain things – mainly my anxiety – be it with my parents, my few friends, or even voiced online – which I find is incredibly ironic given that it’s simply due to being anxious about what others may think of me, not that I don’t want to talk.
Whilst this may come from the stigma around mental health, I do see it also being due to me actually feeling so negative and ashamed of my life over the last few years, by admitting my struggles, I deem myself as being weak.
By hiding them behind a smile, people won’t know I’m a failure.
But, Mum (being Mum) keeps telling me not to be hard on myself.
I can’t do that – I always have and always will – but, speaking (or writing) about various aspects of my mental health truly is such a relief.
I know I can’t and shouldn’t – no, mustn’t – hold things back anymore!
Whilst I have several forms of anxiety around different subjects and situations (that I wont touch on now) one I’ve struggled with for the longest – and continue to do so greatly – is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Gosh, it feels odd and wrong, but also slightly freeing to actually ‘say’ it…
I suffer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder!
Every Sunday night, I hope Monday will bring the start of a fresh, positive new week. It always feel like if the week starts off well, the rest will somehow follow suit – silly, I know, days are days but, I always dare to hope.
I must admit though, unfortunately, this morning was anything but – but, as always, it was my own fault.
Things started okay, I guess – yes, I needed to do my ‘usual routine’, but, after that, I felt quite…okay!
However, my anxiety shot through the roof like it hasn’t done for a fairly long time.
This resulted in a 4 minuet job requiring one packet of Porridge, taking over half an hour, with 6 packets, as I was convinced I’d done something incorrectly/the bowl wasn’t clean/the spoon wasn’t clean/the amounts were too much….
Although, I do know that when I’m particularly concerned about something (that, I’m not mentioning here) it manifests itself in food and exercise – the two things I can (sort of) control – which is how I feel my anxiety and OCD is the crux of my eating disorder.
My thoughts truly are so powerful, I genuinely can’t believe it.
A few years ago, ‘the voice’ convinced me I’d eaten a Banana, when I knew full well I hadn’t.
However, you’re probably thinking, where is she going with this? and/or, get to these 6 words already – to be honest, so am I!
A few days ago, my Mother said something to me that no one had ever said before – yes in round about terms, but not so bluntly that it made me actually stop and think!
Just 6 words!
6 Simple words (and a little explanation afterwards – but everything can develop!)
I truly do feel a need to share them, as I honestly do believe (and hope) they may help others too, even if it’s just one person!
I truly don’t wish to ‘put words in peoples mouths’ but, I find the common understanding of OCD is that someone needs to constantly check to make sure they have switched the oven off or locked the door, as well as other actions such as repetitively turning a light switch off and on, or washing ones hands a given amount of times – usually fuelled by fear of something negative happening.
Having read about OCD a lot in the past myself, this is true, however, when I’ve spoken to professionals and such, I’m never comfortable with their level of understanding of MY experience with OCD.
Although I do have several daily routines/fixed compulsions I feel compelled to achieve and I’m often convinced to repeat actions out of fear an awful event will occur if I don’t – I do feel mine are just a little bit different, being not quite so focused a fair amount of the time.
My main struggles (even behind these fixed/daily tasks) seem to stem back to how something physically feels to me at a given time.
For example – If I was to reach over and pick up a pen, but my finger caught the desk and it made my hand feel a little odd, I’d have to repeat that action again until it ‘felt right’ – which is (the common aspect of OCD) a certain amount of times…usually 3 or 5 or 7 times for me!
This has even gone as far as needing to get undressed/dressed again, so things are ‘the same’!
Once completed, the thoughts, anxiety and that twisting, sick feeling in your tummy – what I call (Miranda Moment!) Tummy Tight – fade for a short time until the next ‘feeling’ pops up, which truly is so difficult day in day out, as they are completely unexpected and random.
You’re probably thinking…how is this different?!
Well, even if I was to pick up that same pen, from the same position later that day, or in a week, I wouldn’t feel the need to do that routine again!
I have to repeat certain things at that time, in that moment…it could be anything, anywhere, but if I were in the same situation again, I’d more than likely be okay.
Like tomorrow – I am 99% sure making Porridge will be just like it was yesterday.
However, back to my 6 words…again! (Sorry!)
Things will never be the same!
And, as usual…Mum’s are always right!
As she explained further:
If you go back and repeat an action, SOMETHING is different…
The clouds have moved…
My hair has shifted…
A bird has flown away…
I’m a few seconds older…
The world has not stood still!
Whilst I’ve thought countless times before similar things, hearing these words a few days ago during a time in which I was in high distress, truly did ring so true.
To use such beautiful examples was wonderful and really made me think about the joy that is all around us.
I’m by no means saying that’s it, all my anxieties have flown away with the Birds – Porridge case in point! – but, hearing these 6 little words – and in the voice of someone I love with all my heart (and I know only wants the best for me) – truly does help a great deal when I’m caught in the grips of this aspect of my anxiety.
Thinking about this a little deeper – the same words can be said and remembered for any situation.
Your present and future are always going to be different to it how it was a few seconds ago.
Hang in there and the world will change around you – just jump on!
I hope to maybe do another post in the near future about anxiety, as, not only do I feel it is the main crux of my mental health – as mentioned – but, my story may help others, even just one other person – and that truly would mean so much to me.
I truly would be so interested to hear from others who experience OCD in the same/similar way – if you feel you can, or would like to talk, please do get in touch.
But, for now,
Just 6 little words…
Things will never be the same!
Until next time…