“The thing that you are most afraid to write. Write that.” – Nayyirah Waheed, Advice To Young Writers
I had been staring at that glass of water for what felt like an absolute lifetime. A few seconds beforehand, we had been discussing a particular part of the world that was experiencing an unimaginable drought.
“Why did I deserve water and others didn’t?” I overanalysed to myself. I felt guilty, and gluttonous, and awful. “Right that’s it. If I don’t pray to whoevers out there for taking water for granted then something really awful is going to happen. Something so scary that I don’t even want to know what it is.”
That happened a day ago and behaviour like this is not out of the ordinary for me. Just a part of every day life.
Personally, I feel that OCD is something that is incredibly misunderstood. In fact, that was the main driving force for me gaining enough confidence to talk about my disorder that little bit further. It goes way beyond just being “meticulous”.
From my mid-teens, I began to notice that certain everyday tasks took me a little bit longer than others because I had to repeat them until “I had got them right.”
As I got older, things snowballed. I began to notice myself feeling extremely responsible for what happened to myself and others. Even the things that I couldn’t control.
This is just a small part of living with OCD. There’s the intrusive thoughts that at times, can make it difficult to even get out of bed. Intrusive thoughts are something that really broke me down and if you take the time to research them further, I’m sure you will understand why.
Then there’s the checking, which means that it can be almost an hour before you are able to attempt to fall asleep because all of your compulsions need to be carried out first. Otherwise god knows what might happen.
3 years ago things hit rock bottom for me. I had to be forcibly referred to the right people in order to get the right help. I was really vulnerable.
If someone had told me years ago that I was going to find myself in a position where I didn’t have control of my own thoughts, I’d have been petrified. It turned out to be just as, if not more petrifying, than I had first imagined.
That’s just a small part of my story. I have never touched upon it in detail before to anyone other than my immediate family. I suppose my worry was that if I did, I wouldn’t be in control anymore.
I don’t want to be “Henna with OCD”. I just want to be Henna. And do you know what? It just so happens that Henna suffers with OCD.
Although I have had the disorder since I can remember, I felt as though I was managing it. It turns out, I wasn’t. I was making all of these sacrifices that I thought were a part of everyday life. I didn’t ever realise that there was another way.
I have been in and out of therapy for the past few years and at first, I found it almost unbelievable that there was this whole world out there where people weren’t making the same compromises that I was.
OCD can take over your life if you let it. However, it doesn’t deserve it. I hope that anyone who suffers with it reaches a point where they don’t let it get away with controlling them anymore.
Where I Am Now.
Currently, I find myself in a position where I am managing it (in the true sense of the word) a hell of a lot better than I was a year ago. Some days are still really tough but I suppose that’s to be expected right?
I feel that there will always be a part of me that is Obsessive. Hopefully though, I’ll be the one in control. One of the best things that I have ever heard about mental health is “Your mind will run away with itself if you let it” and it’s important for us to remember that we’re the ones in control. You carry your mind, it doesn’t carry you.
With the past three years in particular being a massive challenge, I have been focusing all of my energy of retraining my brain. Naturally, as a result I’m a really different person.
Strangely, I hardly recognise myself anymore. I suppose that’s down to the fact that during my time in and out of therapy, I’ve also been growing up without even really realising it. So, I’m attempting to restart my life.
The things that I once sought enjoyment from no longer satisfy me in the same way. I’m not quite sure what I enjoy doing in my spare time. The clothes that I used to wear no longer make me feel the same. It’s time for me to begin figuring out what I like because when I look in the mirror, I see the reflection of a person that I am desperate to try and get to know.
Thank you for reading ❤