Saturday, January 5, 2013

I have OCD... Now What?

If you've even gone as far as opening my blog, I can only guess that the reason behind doing so is due to the fact that you suffer from, or know someone that has or had OCD, known properly among psychologists and psychiatrists alike as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Now, I didn't always have OCD, I was a normal kid, living a normal life, who could not wait to get out of high school and start my real life in college. Like many others I had  my family, my love of fashion, tanning at the pool, listening to Taylor Swift on full blast singing at the top of my lungs, anything that had to do with being in the kitchen, and laying on my bed cracking jokes with my best friends.

I was normal, but 8 months ago I was diagnosed with episodic OCD, so what does that make me now? In my mind, it made me nothing, it made me unworthy of living, because my OCD took away my life, I would lay on the floor and cry because I couldn't put on a skirt, or couldn't hug my father after coming home from work-- what had become of me? Before I continue rambling, Let me give you a little back story as to how my OCD started, and Im going to be brutally honest, Im changing nothing but names, for the hope that even one person out there can hear my story and get the courage to pick themselves up and realize they are worth it, and yes YOU ARE NORMAL :)

Ok here goes my story, there I was getting on a plane to my college experience that I dreamed about, away from my family, friends, and everything I had known until now to live in a dorm room of 5 others, I really did not know, including my best friend at the time -- it was a shock--. My first week there I had witnessed two roommates *Anne & *Macy them pretending to have sex, grab each other  walk around stark naked, and act like I’ve never seen, so I chose to stay away from these girls and spend as little time in the dorms as possible.

The second or third week there (it’s a little blurry to me) I was in my towel getting ready to shower standing at my closet and out of know where I find myself in a triangle choke hold by *Anne, and *Macy trying to pull my towel off. Even as I'm writing this my heart is racing, my brain was slammed and I went into panic mode, i managed to get both girls off of my and run out of the room. I thought that was it, it wouldn't happen again, disaster averted-- but the next week the same thing happened, but this time it was only *Anne, I threw her off of me, put on my scary voice and said "don't you ever touch me again". I did not tell anyone what happened, I didn't want to tell my parents, because it would be an embarrassment for them to take me home after only a few weeks, and I didn't want to feel weak. I went on for the next few months on pure adrenaline, *Anne got kicked out for other reasons, and *Macy moved out of the room, I thought I would be able to push it all out of my head and have the best rest of the year possible.

By time January rolled around I knew something was wrong with myself, I couldn't touch someone else's food for fear I was dirty, I couldn't have others touch my food for fear they were dirty, I wouldn't share clothing, I couldn't deal with anyone sitting on my bed, or touching my stuff-- everything was dirty, and i couldn't get clean as much as I tried.

I went on until March with everyone thinking I was a total snob for being awkward and not being able to share anything, that's when I started washing my hands with scalding hot water from an urn, and putting on 500 pairs of underwear after the shower until I did it without touching my foot. I knew there was something seriously wrong, but I couldn't face it, I couldn't tell anyone- that would entail me admitting I’m not perfect.

Spring break came around, I got off the plane my hands raw and red, and I didn't give me mother a hug. That's when she noticed something was wrong, I covered up my hands by saying it was just the cold water because we didn't have a heater in the dorms, and not giving her a hug was brushed off, but I could tell she still knew something. After being home for a month of disappearing whenever my mother needed me to help in the kitchen, showering every night, and pretending to space out when someone extended their hand to shake, it was time to go back to school.

Day of my flight, I sat in my room, bags still packed from when i got home, because I couldn't bear to touch them, I wasn't going. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed thinking I would look like a cop out, and what would my friends say, or the dean of my school who made a point of using students in his speeches? I needed to stay but I had this urge to go, I just sat and cried until an hour before my flight, which was when my mom came in, took one look at me and said "Forget it, you're not going, there's something wrong here". She then went on to call a psychologist and instead of going to the airport, I went straight to her, where I was diagnosed with Episodic OCD, but I still had not told anyone of my assault. In my psychologists and my mothers head, this was something that was brought on my anxiety and I would be going back to school in a few weeks.

That's what I did 3 times a week for two weeks straight, as I was pushed to go back... and then it came out, but not in a conversational way, I was in my tri-weekly session, when the situation of my going back to school came up. At this point there was no stopping me, I couldn't hear anything other than myself yelling across the couch "Would you back back to a place that you were jumped by two girls trying to pull your towel off?!" and then I threw my face in my hands and cried while my mother & psychologist sat wide eyed, and jaw dropped.

After my mother found out, she called the school- their answer to my assault?
It was my fault for not saying anything, My dad needs to pay the full tuition anyways, and I should not tell anyone what happened. It was like watching a TV show, I never understood why the rape/bully/assault/abuse character that felt like it was her fault, until that moment, but here I was made to believe that it was my fault. It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t ask for any of this, I was assaulted and it was not my fault.

The next month was a downward spiral, I was adamant against medication, but EPT and CBT were not working alone, I was stuck and watched myself get lost. I finally told my best friend, *Lana but she didn't get it, she couldn't relate-- she just want me to get over it. After our conversation she ended up dropping out of my life, she didn't speak to me for about 5 months. The day after I told *Lana, I told my best “guyfriend” *Mark-- bad move on my part, is if being shut out by *Lana wasn't enough, losing *Mark hurt even more, because I always knew my friendship with *Lana was circumstantial  but *Mark and I were always there for each other  no matter what happened, but 8 months and counting Ive only seen him 3 times, which before my OCD, would have been 3 times a day. That was it for me, I wasn't going to tell anyone else, because obviously they didn't care so my spiral deepened.

Then It happened, I snapped. All I remember was laying in the hall way SCREAMING that I didn't want to live, my parents threatening to Baker Act me, and just limply laying and crying- I couldn't fight on my own for any longer, I needed more help, I needed to help myself, and I needed to try medication. So there I was, in the psychiatrists’ office, while he sat with a skull, and showed me where the SSRIs worked, and why they were being affected by my constant anxiety for the last 8 months. So on the weekend of June 23rd, I started taking Seratonin, and let me tell you, its been a loooong road to where Ive gotten, and I have a long way to go, but this whole situation has taught me so much about myself, and as hard as its been, I may not be able to say Im glad its happened to me, but Im definitely seeing the rainbow after the hurricane :)
SO now that you've read my long back story, I can only hope you come back to read my about my daily life while dealing with OCD.

Yours Truly,
The OCDiva

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