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Life With OCD (Guest Post)

September 12, 2014
  • Date a girl with OCD because your living space will always be meticulously clean—and you won’t have to lift a finger
  1. Extreme cleanliness is a symptom of OCD. So is hoarding. The people on hoarders aren’t exactly clean……Much like your rituals, specific objects can take on almost a magical presence in your life. These objects to you then, have just as much rights as a person. This might sound crazy, but, you can’t ever get rid of them. They must keep doing their jobs of making everything safe. If more than one object has a specific role, you can end up with a incredibly cluttered place. I have items protecting all the doors and windows of my apartment to keep out evil.   Even if your OCD does make you extremely neat….you don’t clean because you want to, or you like things clean. You clean because if you don’t the germs will get in and your whole house will be infested and everyone you love will die from contamination and it will be all your fault. Not everyone with OCD is a germaphobe. That’s Hollywood bs, because it’s easier to show OCD as someone repeatedly cleaning, than it is too show someone in the midst of a mental breakdown because they KNOW something isn’t safe somewhere in the world, but they don’t know WHAT IT IS YET  or how to fix it, and spending the next three hours sobbing hysterically because for some reason, something, somewhere is wrong, and no matter how many rituals you do that day it just can NOT BE FIXED.

2.Date a girl with OCD because you can rest assured that you will not be contracting any strange illnesses from her

 See point 1 about the germaphobe thing. But yes, after I soap each hand 15 times, rinse and repeat 5 times, then use purel 3x, you can be sure I’m clean. But, the issue is that *I* can’t be sure I’m clean. Because I still feel bugs crawling on me. So I scratch them. Until I bleed, sometimes. The issue with OCD is that even though logically you KNOW that there is nothing to fear YOU CAN NOT STOP. Each ritual is designed to alleviate the anxiety, but they actually don’t. So you do the ritual again. And again. It’s a never ending loop of “anxiety’. And by anxiety I mean pure unmitigated terror that if you don’t do the ritual disaster will happen and it will be all your fault.

  1. 3. Date a girl with OCD because the doors will always be locked and the appliances safely turned off. : I check everything three times, make CJ check things, then ask him 3 times if he’s sure everything is safe. If I still don’t feel safe, I check three more times, then sit down and check again three more times so it’s checked 3×3 times. I wake up from a dead sleep everynight at 3:35 am exactly, and do the cycle again. Not sure if CJ even knows that. Not only are the doors locked, so are the windows. The doors are blocked with furniture in case someone tries to break in.
  2. Date a girl with OCD because you will never sleep through an alarm, forget an anniversary or shirk an obligation.: You don’t sleep through alarms, because YOU DON’T SLEEP. Ask CJ how many times I’ve woken him up to make sure there are no bugs in the house. Or on me. Or if he’s absolutely sure that if I go to sleep a demon won’t possess me and make me hurt my cat. You will shirk your obligations, because the numbers are wrong, everything is contaminated, or if you leave the house someone will break in and kill your cat. You will forget your anniversary because the anxiety has given her an ulcer and she hasn’t been able to work in weeks and you’re so busy trying to make ends meet, you don’t even realize what day it is.
  3. Date a girl with OCD because she is a perfectionist and she knows that perfectionism is not always desirable. :. Of course it’s not desirable. But, I am not a “perfectionist”. I have a serious and severe illness. If I could stop the OCD, I would. But the thing is, the rituals of OCD are not to be “perfect” but to relieve the un-mitigating anxiety. Anxiety so severe I’ve been throwing up for 6 months and have lost 30 pounds. Anxiety so severe that it is physically exhausting to the point all I ever want to do is sleep. Anxiety so severe sometimes I can’t leave the house, eat, or even get out of bed.
  1. Date a girl with OCD because she is loyal.: If you want perfect loyalty, get a fucking golden retriever. The idea here is that the person with OCD depends on you. And I do depend on CJ. I can not drive. I can not go ANYWHERE by myself. I depend on CJ to make EVERYTHING be safe. He has to stay by me in the grocery store, and he had to move my office desk three times to make it the office safe. I have to be reassured numerous times a day that my cat is safe, the world is safe, and nothing is contaminated. AND THAT IS ON A GOOD DAY. Is that fair to him? Of course not. Is there anything I can do about it? Nope. I don’t want to be a needy, terrified wreck. I don’t want to be a burden on him. But, until my doctors and I get the right combo of meds and therapy to get this back under control, I have no choice.
  2. Date a girl with OCD because chances are she is wicked smart and her intellect will never let a conversation get boring.: I’m sure the endless conversations about my OCD obsessions are both frustrating as hell and just as boring. After all, how many conversations can one have about bugs that could possibly hurt people or cats?
  1. Date a girl with OCD because she will introduce you to a world you never knew existed

This is true. I bet CJ was thrilled by his introduction to a world where grown-ass adults are terrified of the dark, thunderstorms, strangers, and numerous other things. I am sure that before we started dating CJ had never been in a world where demons follow you and try to make you hurt your pets. Not that I actually ever WOULD, but OCD is all about horrible fears, and being that my cat makes everything be safe for me, of course I would fear not having that. OCD is about intrusive thoughts. You get horrible, disturbing images and thoughts. Then you obsess about them to the point you can no longer tell if it’s the OCD, or if you actually might be a sicko predator. You invent rituals to make sure that nothing bad actually happens. Then you CAN NEVER STOP the rituals or the evil will take over and every horrible thought you’ve ever had will come true.  I’m sure that CJ is absolutely THRILLED he’s living in a world where ants in a mailbox( I have bug issues) can send me into hysterics that last for hours, and then causes rebound anxiety attacks for days or weeks. You see, having ONE panic attack puts you into such a tailspin that it makes you more likely to have more. It’s a fun little terror rollercoaster ride that takes you to the point where something as simple as accidentally dropping something on the floor sets you off. Everyone should be so lucky to live in this exciting new world with Cj.

  1. Date a girl with OCD because we all have a fear of failure, a desire to appear perfect and insecurities that run deep. I am not your self-help guru. If you are dating someone with OCD because you’re also “a perfectionist” you are a complete and total nutter. Making a mistake sends me into a guilt and shame spiral where I inevitably start crying and apologizing. Then I worry people are mad at me, and they secretly hate me. I dropped CJs lunch on the floor today and immediately started trying to figure out where I was gonna live, because obviously we were breaking up and I would have to move and get a new job.

10. And finally, date a girl with OCD because she has a sense of humor.Oh yeah, my life is freaking hilarious. I’ve been in the psych ward 3 times,and had to drop out of college. Self harm has also become a ritual of my OCD and it is SO HARD sometimes not to bruise or cut myself. I’ve started scratching myself instead as a way to try to relieve the anxiety instead of more intense harm. Combined with the “bugs” crawling on me and making me itch all the time…I’ve scratched myself raw. When this illness is under control, I can be a funny, quirky braniac. When it isn’t? It’s the worst form of mental hell you can imagine, because there is no off switch in your brain. EVER. You can not escape these thoughts. Even when your OCD is at a “manageable” place, that simply means that you do your rituals for five minutes instead of five hours. There is no “off” switch for OCD. It’s always there. It can lessen to a degree, but it’s never gone.

I’m not trying to be dramatic either. OCD is a serious, serious illness. It’s no where near as easy as people think it is. OCD is not someone who likes things clean or arranged a certain way. OCD is no joke. I’m not trying to sound all doom and gloom. OCD can be managed and controlled. You can still live a relatively normal life. It just takes serious work. Loving someone with OCD is a challenge you have to seriously commit too. And that isn’t something someone can say in a “humor” article on Elephant Journal.

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