In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma.”
Something most people probably don’t know about me is … that I struggle every day with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I find it terrifying to have to lock up my home on my own and leave as I am constantly convinced that I didn’t lock the door properly or shut it properly (and thus, my cat will be harmed or my boyfriend’s stuff stolen). I have massive anxiety when taking pills (which I have to every day) because I am convinced that I somehow dropped some (and thus, my cat will eat them and die). I have a difficult time driving alone; I am always sure that something toxic is on my hands and will harm me, my cat, or someone else; on and on.
I am fairly open about my struggle with OCD, but I do not talk about the specifics. Very, very few people know how much I compulsively check seemingly insignificant things, obsess over “what if” possibilities, and convince myself that I have done or will do something terrible by accident. When I talk about it, I feel insane, crazy, messed-up, broken…
It’s so difficult for other people to understand when they have never experienced it. They constantly ask “why can’t you just ignore it?” or say “but it’s not true, so why stress about it?”. All I can say is, it’s real to me and my mind does not let me ignore it. Every single thing I do is a stressor, and yet I cannot allow my anxiety to coop me up in my house and isolate myself. I did that for a few months and it only made everything so much worse.
We must fight our anxiety every day and force ourselves to live. It’s the only way.