Saturday, November 6, 2010

opening up: on OCD.

I've been wanting to write about this for awhile now. Mostly just for venting purposes, but a little bit for letting you all into a deeper part of my life. I have dealt with this for as long as I can remember. Since I was five years old, at least. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I was actually diagnosed with it, though. It seems that it progressively gets worse over time, and sometimes it doesn't bother me too bad, then it will hit me like a ton of bricks. It's incredibly frustrating and right now is one of those really tough times, hence me wanting to vent about it.

There are of course the little things:

1. Numbers. Some are good, some are bad. It just varies.
This is usually in terms of volumes. 6 is bad, 8 is good. 21, 22, 23...good. 24 is bad.

2. Having to touch things over and over again, until I have touched it right.
Example, the pointy parts on the lids and bottoms of tupperware. The pointy part on the lid of the milk carton. And other items that have pointy parts on them. This was VERY difficult to handle when I was a grocery store cashier. :) 
Another example is shutting doors. I have to shut and reshut our bedroom door all the time, til it sounds like I shut it right.

3. Making sure the sheet is completely fitted to the bed. (This is a new one, and a ridiculous one.)
Even if I know it is, I still have to check and pull it down, every time I get on/in the bed. I have, more than once, made Josh wake up and get up so I can adjust the sheets. 

4. Needing things to "look right." Maybe it should be crooked and it's straight. Maybe straight and it's messy.
Yesterday, I noticed some bobby pins that were laying in a straight line on our tv stand. It made me want to throw up. I got incredibly frustrated and messed them up. I actually thought Josh had done it and got a little upset at him. (Not to his face.) I even asked him if he did it (so silly), but he didn't know what I was talking about.

5. Rereading things and saying things.

There are more, but my brain is failing me. It's the bigger things that really get to me, that make it so hard to even function at times, and seriously even get in the way of life. I actually just told Josh I was writing this, and I said I just wanted to vent because it's been really getting to me lately. And he said, "Me too." He said it in a joking manner, and said he was joking, but at the same time I can't help but think he's NOT joking. And understandably so.

1. Obsessive thoughts. 
This is a tough one, and a constant. When horrible thoughts invade your mind, and you can't control's just terrible. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I can't talk about this one extensively, because it makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

2. Compulsive actions.
When these thoughts start to get to me, or it feels like everything is caving in, I tend to lash out and go on extensive cleaning phases. And sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing it until halfway through. But I feel like I have to do this or everything is going to be bad. When this happens I am like a tornado going through the house. The hardest part of this for me is seeing how it affects Josh. I see and recognize how ridiculous I am being, but I can't stop.

3. Things feeling "wrong."
This could be someone standing the wrong way, walking in the wrong place, something being where it doesn't belong. If I don't fix it, everything feels so bad. Earlier I mentioned how something being out of "order" made me want to throw up. That's how it is with these things, too. I have to fix it, or I feel sick, want to cry, everything feels bad, and I can't focus on anything else.


Maybe it seems silly that I wrote about this, but I just felt like I...needed to? For one thing, it's my blog. So. :) And another, like I said earlier, I just wanted to share a deeper part of my life with you all. Sometimes people only want to hear about the good things or write about the good things, but that's not life. At least, it's not my life. And while there are some things that I would never talk about, just because it's inappropriate, tough times aren't one of them. It can even be a part of the healing process. So, maybe this is just a step in the right direction.



  1. Awww...hey Lyds, thanks for sharing this with us. I've never been diagnosed as an O.C. but I do think I have my O.C. tendencies. The clothes in my closet has to be neatly hung according to color. At night I always have to check on the doors, then I go ahead and lay down on the bed and 30 minutes later I am up again rechecking on the doors, I have to repeat this process for 3 more times and then I can have my peace of mind and drift of to dreamland.

  2. What a good post. My sister is being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder right now after trying to kill herself for the second time. It's important that we talk more about mental problems, no matter how big or small. x

  3. what a great post. thank you for sharing. i know it takes a lot to be so honest with all of us and you should be proud for having the courage to open up!

  4. Great post dear, I feel like sharing things is a good way to help wtih pent up energy. I know I always feel a bit more relaxed after I just let stuff out thats been on my mind ( I suffer from a panic disorder/depression) and when i write about it I do find it helps my mood.
    Hopefully it can aid you in getting better or just help with finding others who deal with this for support. All my best dear! You rock :)

  5. It is your blog! So glad you shared.
    My dad was diagnosed with OCD and sometimes I wonder if I have some of those tendencies too. I've never been diagnosed and on most things I'm not that bad, but I have my moments where I obsess and can't stop.
    I think you are right about this being a step toward healing. It is always good to talk about it. Way to go Lyds!

  6. thank you so much for making this post! someone very close to me has OCD as well, and it's difficult for most people to understand. <3

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. Everyone suffers from some form of mental disorder (those two words just sound so harsh!), but sadly most people don't share with near the candor you just did! If we would all step up and talk about our "issues" we would find that we are not as alone as we might think! I for one have a debilitating fear of birds...the odd thing is that pictures of them don't frighten me, and I can watch them...OUT THERE...but if they come too close I'm gone or if they look like they are coming too close, or if they look my get the idea. And there are other issues in my life but this is your blog so I won't turn my comment into a blog of its own.

    Again, thank you for being so brave and for sharing! You are to be commended HIGHLY!!

  8. Thanks for sharing all of this with us! I think it's incredibly brave of you, and I hope it was helpful to do so!

  9. i'm not sure how to respond to this one but i do feel like i need to tell you that i have been thinking about it every day since i last read it. i love your honesty and openness!

  10. Aw, Lydia I'm sorry that you have to go through this. I can't stand the number 4, and I go out of my way to make sure that there aren't 4 of anything. (At least with things that I can control.. it's okay if someone else does it. I just feel like something terrible will happen if I stop reading and I'm on a page with a 4 on it... it could be 24, 40, 41, 304, anything. I just need to keep reading until I get past the 4. With knitting, I can't stop after knitting 4 rows or 4 stitches, no matter what. I have to keep going just to get past it.) and I used to have to go to bed a certain way every night (I've gotten a bit better about that, but I still have to do some things a certain way every night), do everything in a certain order. I have to brush my teeth a certain way every time, if I don't tap mt toothbrush the right amount of times then I have to re-do it. And oh man... the obsessive thoughts. Especially terrible in the middle of a panic attack. But yeah, it's all so frustrating... I'm sorry you have to go through it. I'm glad you were able to vent though!

  11. Oh I'm so glad you commented on my post! I do a lot of the same things you do. The thoughts are the worst! I often feel crazy... like commit able crazy.


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