I don’t know how many times I’ve ranted about this on my blog, but let’s be crystal clear: OCD is no picnic! There’ve been moments where it’s been so bad that whole conversations passed me by. Imagine living in your own little bubble.
In those moments, I felt like a hollow husk. I did my best to stay out of my own head, but that’s as tough as it sounds. Every waking second, I’d be either criticizing myself for being a bad person or defending myself that I’m not.
Honestly, it was just really, really terrible. Not just because I was constantly overthinking, but also because my anxiety level was at its peak – almost near panic attack territory. The only solace I got was when I could get some sleep, which was a herculean task in itself.
Living with OCD felt like being stuck in a never-ending cycle. I’d get a negative thought, internalize it, question whether I was a good person or not, and the result, hello, anxiety! To escape, I’d just seek reassurance.
My wife really was a rockstar in this whole ordeal. She accompanied me to therapy sessions when I asked. She was there with me during doctor visits. She stuck by me during the toughest phase of my life. The strength to climb out of that deep, dark hole came from her and my daughter. Though one takeaway from therapy was to NEVER go for reassurance.
Reassurance, as comforting as it may seem, is the true foe when battling OCD. When you ask for reassurance, you’re basically signaling to your brain that your fear is legit. Seeking reassurance is, unfortunately, a compulsion, which may offer short-lived relief but keeps feeding the vicious cycle.
So, my advice to anyone who can relate is to get help. It’s difficult to tackle OCD solo. I’ve been there – on and off since my childhood and it hit me hard in my early thirties. But here I am, totally better and if I can make it through, so can you.