Monday 1 September 2014

OCD - it's not all cleaning your oven or checking your pegs...

Read this first

It drives me mad when people say "It's just my OCD acting up" - and there are so many of them. I have little real humour about OCD (which is odd because I'll laugh at most anything, not like a hyena or owt though…) and it's not  right that OCD has become something of a cultural joke, a denotative shorthand for "this chap's got problems"; FYI it's a real fucking thing that can cripple you.

My OCD isn't the same as the person's who wrote the article; mine's all inappropriate thoughts and having to control and rank thoughts etc (for want of a better explanation). It's internalised. It's one of the reasons I stare into space a lot, my mind's busy evening its shit up and making sure I'm not transgressing with my evil brain skills. I habitually have trouble sleeping and have done since I was a child because of the relentless thoughts and worries - and I mean "relentless". It never stops. I often feel quite nervous around people and that comes across via the glorious medium of Babble (imagine the creaking, straining seams of my mind machine when that happens!).

I've had a recurring nightmare since I was little (it probably started around 5 years old). In it my evil smile would kill people. I'd get out the pearly whites, intending to be nice to folks, but it would dazzle them into oblivion. The only way I could stop it was to control my thoughts really hard before I smiled and that's how I feel in real life. I'm constantly fighting to keep things the right way up, to stem my terrible influence and turn it into something people (including me) won't be hurt by. That's OCD. That's how long I've lived with it. It's why I haven't always been able to go out when people ask, to be who they want me to be, or bend with their plans and ideals just because they think I should (this is one of the good things about my OCD, if you ask me). I've had run ins about that and at no time have I had any understanding. They don't see it (they don't want to, I'm happy old Chlo who gets everything she wants, what problems do I have?) and it's exhausting. All that said, I'm winning. I've worked hard at it and I. Have. Control. I know how to work around my triggers and how to deal with my thoughts both compassionately and firmly. Something I once wasn't sure I'd ever learn how to do. I'm lucky. Surviving OCD has made me stronger, given me more backbone than I realise and made me want to kick life up the arse. NO APOLOGIES NO SURRENDER! In your face OCD, you dickless gonad.

Listening to people claim OCD as though it's an inconvenience and not a grinding burden is insulting. It makes light of something that has weighed many of us down for a very long time and has stopped me being the person I might have been. Mind you, saying that, it has made me the person I am and that person isn't so bad. It's taken a long time for me to say that… I will have to do a few "who do you think you ares" to even it out though. Everything costs something with OCD. Feel lucky that you don't have it, be happy you're a neat freak.

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