Struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has been an arduous journey. It had kept me confined, distraught and wrecked havoc on my life. Amongst the many battles we face struggling with mental health, one of the issues that surround OCD is that many people do not believe it is real and treat is a joke and often the butt of a joke ‘i’m so ocd!’
But in reality obsessive compulsive disorder is debilitating and life shattering and those that struggle with OCD or have a loved one that does, will know and understand all to well. Even people who know I struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder make flipant remarks about the disorder, and I freeze not knowing if I should step in and let them know about their problematic behaviour and choice of words, but most often I freeze feeling awkward.
As with many other people who struggle with this disorder, we know all to well that Obsessions and Compulsions engulf everything that you love. My passions are to read and write and one of the things I would hold on to when feeling incredibly helpless, but this disorder took that away from me.
You wouldn’t know that something that seems so simple as reading a book or writing could be so difficult. I feel proud that after an exteremly long long time I finally got through a book, I can’t express how much this means to me and even more as an accomplishment. And I know from the outside to many people this might seem silly but those who have been through this will understand.
I go through stages of either reading obsessive compulsively where I cannot stop because of what danger might happen, I will read non-stop getting through huge books so quickly my mind in a race and my brain in pain. Then I get stuck during reading, where I have to read the same word or sentence repeteadly to ensure I definitely have read it, but how do I know I have really read it, by reading it again and again of course. And to add, reading it in different pronouciations and re-reading sentences with the correct amount of pauses as dictated by punctuation.
So at this point you are either astounded by how difficult I had made reading a book seem or you know exactly what I mean because you have been through it. And to be honest I personally don’t know anyone that has this problem like me. It’s hard to open up about this because I do feel alone in this, but I want to share, so people are aware and realise how complex OCD is and realise just because it may seem irrational that does not mean it is easy to ‘just read normally’ or to ‘just stop reading’. This is a real disorder that destroyed me, imagine being in school, studying or at work and having to engage with books and having to read and write most of the time and each time this happens. You wouldn’t be able to function, you would fail, you would have to leave your job and end up distraught.
In terms of writing the same problems are arise, I get stuck writing the same word and re-reading it back, I have to keep checking it, again and again and again and again etc… And if I get to the end of that, how ever long it may take, I have to re-read everything altogether to check it. Being able to write these posts are difficult but I gave up once before and I don’t want to give up now, no matter how long it takes me to regain some sort of control I can have over this disorder.
That’s why reading a book is huge for me, that’s why I forced myself to write this post because I love writing no matter how painful it is I need to keep doing this, even if all that I mentioned above is taking place as I write this and after I complete writing this.