You know how when you’re brushing your teeth in front of your bathroom mirror, and for a split second you notice how lovely you look and lean closer for a better look? Then BAM---toothbrush slams against the mirror and jams down the back of your throat.
OCD can be a lot like this common occurrence. My day will be going along smoothly, beautifully even, and then out of nowhere, I’m sucker punched.
Perhaps one of the most challenging elements of this disorder is its inability to appear rational to those not suffering from it. Typical conversation with one of my OCD sponsors (Callie, Liz, Andrea, mom, Google, Matt, Jess, Walgreen’s pharmacist), “I forgot I had already taken my Flintstone Vitamin this morning so I took another by mistake. Am I looking at any possible overdose complications?”You think I’m joking.
I was quite proud of the progress I’d been making these past couple weeks (hence the lack of blogging) until I went and did something astronomically stupid:I got a haircut.
The issue with my hair is not its new style---I quite like it, actually. The problem is that in order to put it in a tidy ponytail, I must use bobby pins to secure the shorter pieces. In my cluttered, claustrophobic brain that I often times despise, bobby pins equal one thing: choking hazard.
In order for my obsessions to complete the OCD cycle, I must answer them with a compulsion (obsessive compulsive disorder). In this case, I decided to act as a surgeon who counts all of his tools after surgery to ensure none remain in the abdominal cavity.
Every evening, I remove the bobby pins and place them back on their designated sheet of paper. By doing this, I convince my ridiculous mind that none have fallen on the ground or in Amelia's crib.
I know you are wondering why I am sharing this craziness with you---why I can't just keep these nonsensical notions to myself. Some with OCD require privacy; they carry around a sense of shame and guilt. I, being much too vain to carry these with me, would rather make my enemy known.
I have loved so deeply in my life that hate should be quite unfamiliar to me. Between my friends, husband, Amelia, and Britney Spears, I should only understand adoration, yet my OCD has educated me in contempt. I hate all that it has taken from me and all it has yet to take.
Instead of enjoying a healthy pregnancy and reveling in a new life growing inside of me, I spent every day of those nine months in my own internal hell. Instead of delighting in this new phase of Amelia's life where she's crawling and taking her first steps, I live in terror that she will fracture her skull and end up with a subdural hematoma. I have spent hours googling brain bleeds and even more hours creating a bubble around my daughter to safeguard her from every bump and fall she may encounter. The sane part of me knows I should be letting her explore her newfound world, but my OCD has taken that away from her, too.
Before finishing this blog post, an internet pop-up ad appeared on my screen. "What would you like to be today?" it asked.
At peace...I would like to be at peace.