This Isn’t Me- It’s OCD.

When I was discharged from hospital my keyworker and I did the masses of paperwork in a visiting room with a lumpy sofa. Working our way through 1-5 scales and word selections we came to it: “I help other people when in need”. We paused.

OCD is a gremlin. It tells you what to do, how to act and who to be. It’s more than just anxiety- it twists your arm into doing what is *best* but the success never comes.

We paused on that question because we both knew that I love to help people. I love it when people take comfort in me and seek my support. I like the toasty feeling of being given trust to hold on to. I go out of my way to help other people. But there are many scenarios where I won’t help someone. Quite pathetically- It’s because OCD won’t let me do what I want to do.

If someone is feeling down I sometimes am so scared I will say the wrong thing and that they might kill themselves that I have to walk away. If they are ill I am afraid it might be contagious and deadly. If they are hungry I can’t offer food because I’m scared they might be allergic to what I give them. OCD loves hyperbole and the cold seasons make me cold too. I’ll avoid stuff, if I can’t avoid it I’ll panic, and if that goes on for too long I’ll end up hyperventilating.

I’m writing this because one of the carers I am close to has a bug. She had been physically sick but was on the night shift so couldn’t go home. I wanted to give her a hug. It’s the day after and I still want to give her a hug like I usually do. But instead I spent the night making my room reek of disinfectant and scrubbing the germs off door handles. I am too scared to eat the food in the fridge for fear it has been contaminated. A person that I am so close to, and love to bits, is now terrifying.

I feel like a bitch. I’m scared to let her near me and scared to touch anything she has touched. I’m hoping she doesn’t take this personally. I know I would if I was her. I’m angry that this disorder controls me and what I do and how I act. How I can’t touch anything with my bare hand until 48hrs have passed. I rationally know that even if I did get the bug it wouldn’t kill me. I’d recover. So why does this fear grip me so tight? Frustrated is not the word. I am cold because I am so frozen with fear.

That pause still upsets me. What a mess. 

This Isn’t Me- It’s OCD.

2 thoughts on “This Isn’t Me- It’s OCD.

  1. This is NOT your fault my dear. You are a wonderful, giving person. I understand because I am afraid to leave the house to teach. But, my students need me, many of them are mentally ill as well. We use lots of hand sanitizer…..and soap!
    I HATE going out of town, too afraid to leave my therapy animals whom are not welcome at either family’s home. Sigh. Hang in there. Say hi to Noodle and Mel…

  2. So relate to your post! I relate to food being contaminated. You helped me not feel so crazy about my fears, that I’m not the only one. Thank you!

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