OCD and I.
For as long as I can remember, you have been a part of my life. No matter the time, the location or the season, you were always there, instilling negativity and horror with every step I took. I was haunted by your ever growing existence, yet I clung onto you as if my life depended on it. You influenced my every decision, I couldn’t function without your presence. Yes, maybe I could walk down the left side of the pavement without the inevitable consequence of my loved ones dying, but you would slowly trickle those all too familiar thoughts of doubt into my mind. Infecting every corridor of rational thinking and slowly poisoning that small, sacred part of independence I had left. Then whispering those all too familiar words, echoing through my being. “What if Ellen, what if.” My internal dialogue screaming at you to stop, but my feet slowly starting to walk. Inching towards the left side of the pavement because I couldn’t take that risk. What if something happened to my family? What if I caused something bad to happen? I could never shut you out.
You followed me through my teenage years, holding me back from being myself. I conformed to your way of thinking, I did exactly what you said. I thought listening to your lies would make everything better. I was stopping the ‘bad’ things from happening wasn’t I? So the why wasn’t I happy? Why wasn’t I able to function? I was masked by the fake sense of reality you had created. Each day surcoming to your lies and trickery. I couldn’t wear what I wanted, I couldn’t eat what I wanted, I couldn’t be who I wanted to be. I became you OCD. I lost my identity to you. No longer would I look in the mirror and see Ellen, I would look in the mirror and see OCD. No longer were you that unwanted presence following me, you were me and I couldn’t break free. I had no energy to shove you off anymore, you had me on puppet strings, I was conforming to your every desire. “1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. Did you count right? Maybe you didn’t. What. You think you did? Are you sure? Count again. No? I said, COUNT AGAIN.” I saw no escape. I saw no reason to escape. This was my new reality.
You thrived on my weakness. Without resistance, your grip grew stronger. I was suffocated by your veil of deception. Those who cared about me felt helpless. I had built up walls higher than even I could see. I was treading on egg shells with you OCD. One wrong move and I believed my world would come crashing down. One out of line piece of cutlery, one small step to the right. Huge consequences.
Through all of this OCD, people still cared. The people I loved didn’t give up on me. They could still see Ellen through the mask you had created. A mask of deception you tried so hard to maintain, but people still saw straight through your lies. Yes, you had control of me, but you had no control over those who cared. That’s the thing about you. You can’t infect other people, like you lead me to believe. My presence around people would not cause them to “catch” you. You were confined to me and that was your weakness. You had no power over those helping me and that was your downfall.
I slowly learned to challenge you. To stop you in your tracks when you tried to manipulate me. You fought back. Oh you fought back damn hard and many times I fell victim to your demise, but I had those around me to help pick me back up. I outed you here on this blog, used my knowledge to help others fight back their OCD demons because no one deserves to be held hostage like that. I resisted and ignored the lies you told me. When you said no, I said yes. The fear this instilled was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I yearned for the comfort of giving in to the compulsions. That short term relief you would give me if I just did what you asked, but I knew that your relief was only temporary. It never sufficed. Each day I would slowly chip away at your existance. Sometimes in copious amounts, but at other times it felt futile. However I didn’t stop. The veil you had created started to thin. I started to see myself again through the dusty haze of your existance. I began to see Ellen again, a face that I barely recognised.
I fought, you resisted. I fought, you resisted. I fought and I fought through every lie you told. I stepped on the right side of the pavement, and resisted the screaming pang of guilt you would use against me. Each day we became more and more separate until your connection started to break. I was no longer going to be you OCD. I was going to be Ellen. The person who I had longed to be for so many years. The girl in the mirror who actually a smiled…
Today. July 28th 2015. I look in the mirror and I see a girl. I see a girl who smiles. I see a girl who is no longer confined by the rules of OCD. I see a girl who has the tools to fight off any battles you may try and throw at me. I see a girl who has gained back independence and thrives to help others to do so as well.
I see a girl who will continue you to battle against you OCD, but who will battle against you as Ellen. A girl who smiles in the mirror. A girl who will no longer be controlled by you.