Basically, throughout my life I can’t remember a time without suffering from OCD.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a mental health condition that people can suffer from, this results in a person having obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour. There are different types of OCD, such as how I personally class them – “Hygiene”, “Even/Odd numbers” etc. To read more up on OCD please click here: NHS: OCD
I have always suffered with the Even/Odd numbers part of OCD, I will do things like switch a light on and off up to 6 times in a variety of rooms because I feel I HAVE to do so. If I don’t I have terrible thoughts that something bad will happen.
Though as you read more throughout my blog posts you’ll get a bit more of an insight into my ‘rituals’. I’ve never actually spoke too much about it to anyone, school was the worst – because I didn’t want any of my friends to know. Fear of being the ‘weird’ one I guess, plus if I did tell them they wouldn’t understand. I brought OCD up once in a conversation and I will always remember my friends talking about it like it was no big deal, nothing serious and in some ways it seemed ‘cool’ to say you had it. They had no idea.
I had mega bad issues with plug switches being on without no plug actually plugged in, and obviously in school there was plenty around. I remember trying to fight the urge to not switch it off, because if I did people would question what I was doing and how can you say “oh, I need to because if I don’t something bad will happen.” and expect them to take you seriously? But this one time in particular, in English class I used to sit right at the back and I had my head down writing getting on with my work and I looked up to see the board and there it was… front of the class a plug switch – no plug – switched on. I lost all concentration in my work that day, I couldn’t focus knowing that it was right in front of me and I could do nothing about it. We usually had to sit in silence and get on with work in English, I felt there was no way to do it without anyone seeing. Though the more I could see it was there and the more time I spent not doing anything about it the more the thoughts came “if you don’t turn that plug switch off, something bad will happen” not necessarily to me, but to anyone I knew. The worse part is, it could be a thought that was completely ridiculous, anyone would know would never happen. BUT if I didn’t switch it off, there was that chance inside my head saying IT COULD happen, and it’d all be my fault because I didn’t turn that damn plug switch off. I had no choice other than to stand up, walk to the front and switch it off. The relief I felt from actually knowing that all bad thoughts I had just cleared out of my mind. I could get back on with my work feeling back to myself because that wasn’t there to bother me. However, my English teacher asked in front of the whole class what I was doing, why I did that blah blah. I didn’t want to explain, my hands clammed up and I muttered something like “oh it just annoyed me.” To which she replied “Bit weird!” Hmm. Everything was cool right, or so at least it seemed? But my next English class when I walked in, everyone sat in their usual places ready to start the lesson and my teacher, once again in front of everyone, called my name and when I replied she switched the plug switch on. No plug in it. Looked at me and said in her sarcastic tone “Oooo. I best switch this off. Don’t want you getting all ‘annoyed’ and having to get up in the class now…again.” She then turned the switch off and people within the class just laughed.
I felt horrible. If I didn’t speak about OCD beforehand, there wasn’t a chance I would now. She made me feel like if I did i’d only be laughed at, humiliated.
I’ve never forgot that day, and how horrible I felt. Although i’ve left school and now at university I still suffer with OCD, and since school have gotten worse. If I get stressed it is like it flares up, like a rash I s’pose. I’ve tried to control it, i’ve read books the lot! But last year was a terrible year for me, a lot of horrible events happened within my life and because of this I have just lost all control I ever had (even if it was mini control!) over my OCD. It is completely uncontrollable, and I find myself doing different things in my ‘rituals’ each day.
I still didn’t speak up about it though, until last year when it all got too much and I just broke down and told my mum how bad it actually was. She’s always known me have it, but I tried to make out I had it under control and I think I wanted to believe that myself too.
So now I feel if I blog about my compulsions that in a way I am speaking out loud about it, it is a way to get it off my chest I guess and well to me…. it’s damn worth a try!!