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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Hi ya'll.  I decided to start a blog, more or less to help journal my story and progress.  If I can even reach one other person out there struggling with disease, that will make it all the more worth it too.  OCD is tough.  I have been struggling with OCD since about 2005, however it has progressively gotten worse starting in 2009.  Looking back through even prior to 2005 I can see some things I did that in retrospect were related to OCD, they just weren't affecting my life at all at that time.  Current time, it is very much affecting my life.  I am a married, a mother and a nurse.  A pediatric nurse of all the possible types.  This is ironic considering that most of my OCD "obsessions" revolve around germs and contamination.  Has it affected my job?  It certainly has.  It has also made my OCD worse, I believe.  My main issues at this time:  I have a lot of trouble being around people, I don't like to eat out (for fear of germs), I avoid social gatherings and feel kind of isolated anymore.  I can go out in public as long as I feel I have control over where I'm at and able to move if needed.  For instance I can't go sit in a random seat at church.  I must sit in the very back row on the end.  When I go to the grocery store, I'm okay as long as its not crowded, but I tend to avoid aisles that a lot of people are in.  I've stopped eating lunch with my daughter at school because I don't want to be around the other little kids.  I really have a lot of trouble being around children anymore, which is really sad to me.  Because I love children.  My own daughter is easy for me to be around, but other children are hard.  I have a niece who will be 3 years old this summer who lives 15 minutes away from me, and I believe I have seen her only 4-5 times probably since she was born.  I feel terrible, but I don't know what else to do.  Avoidance has become my way of dealing with a lot of this.  I won't go to family gatherings if I have any inclination that someone is sick.  I won't eat at family gatherings, I'll eat before I go.  Vacations are tough for me because its not my own environment (house), and I'll get into great detail about all of this as time goes by.  I've pretty much stopped eating out, other than 2-3 places, which I feel are "safe" for take out purposes.  I can't even remember the last time I ate at a restaurant and used silverware, because I don't want to use the silverware at restaurants.  I have also recently developed some problems with food and how it is packaged.  It really kind of keeps getting worse as time goes on.   I do have some "magical thinking" and some issues with checking certain types of things.  I've kind of been a lot of places on the spectrum through the years, but the germs/contamination really seems to be the major problem for me.  I have learned to hide this disorder very well and only a few people know about it.  God, my husband, my daughter, and my counselor (that I used to see for OCD and marriage issues.  I don't go to him anymore).  I'm not currently going through any type of counseling.  I know I should be.  I know that many people in my family think I act a little weird sometimes and have quirks and don't understand why I do things that I do, but they have never been told I have OCD.  Unless my husband has said anything to his family.  I don't think he has.  I haven't said anything to anyone else in mine.  As I continue in this blog I will account for some more of that.    But they don't know what is going on, and I'm not sure if I will ever let them know or not.  I think once you have made yourself vulnerable it is really tough, especially if they don't understand.  I think that unless you yourself have OCD, you cannot really understand the disorder.  It bothers me to hear some people say "Oh, I'm so OCD" because they are type A personality or likes to have things orderly.  Maybe they really are on the OCD spectrum and deal with it mildly, but I don't think they have any idea what it really is to have OCD.  But having said that, I do believe there is a spectrum of OCD and people can either fall on the very mild side where it really doesn't affect their lives, or they can fall all the way to the severe side where it completely encompasses their life.  I feel like right now I'm somewhere in between.  If you were to look at me from the outside, I look and act like a "normal person" or what I like to call someone who does NOT have OCD.  But inside my head is another story.  I don't think people would ever understand what goes on in my head.  You see, OCD is like a logical vs. emotional battle in your head which goes on 24/7.  There are some days that I cope pretty well.  There are some days when I am so close to having a nervous breakdown that I have a hard time getting through the day.  I am so thankful for God who helps me get through this everyday.  I don't know why I have OCD, but I will get into more of that later.  My daughter is a tremendous source of support and she understands so much for a young child (age 10 at this time).  Sometimes I worry though, am I teaching her OCD?  Is it possible for someone to learn OCD from a parent?  My husband unfortunately does not really understand the disorder, nor has he ever been supportive of any of this.  Our marriage has really suffered through the years and adding the OCD in has made it really tough...again, more on these other subjects to come.  OCD is a mind game.   The rational part of my mind knows better, but emotions outweigh that everytime.  I really think that OCD, for most people that struggle with it, is in some sense a fear of the unknown.  Its struggling with the uncertainty of things.  It's hard.  Since I'm not seeing a counselor right now I feel that it is important for me to get my thoughts out and try to process some of this.  I want to share my story and hold nothing back.  As I write this blog, I want to talk in great detail about:  how I believe I started having OCD symptoms, my triggers, my struggles, how it has affected my job, my marriage, my relationship with my daughter, financial aspects of it (believe me, it can be expensive when I'm constantly throwing things out).  I will go into great detail about many things that I have done because of OCD, how I cope with it, and how I don't cope with it (avoidance, giving into the OCD to make it easier).  I hope to help someone along the way.  I would love for you to take this journey with me, and would appreciate any helpful comments or words of advice that anyone can give.  If you are also struggling with OCD, my heart goes out to you.  I pray that someday there will be a cure for this disorder, because I know that many people deal with this mental disorder.  And if you are one to deal with it, I know what you are going through.  My heart breaks for you.  Types of OCD may not be the same, but underneath each "obsession" and "compulsion" is the same disorder and it all stems from the same thought processes.  I've done so much reading on OCD and watched so many videos and listened to so many personal accounts, it breaks my heart....OCD minds are not crazy...the thing is we are very realistic people.  We know that the thoughts we have are not rational, yet somehow we can't stop.  And the more we continue the cycle, the worse it gets.  Statistics I've read say 1 in 40 Americans struggles with the disorder.  That is a lot of people!  Here goes...

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