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Life with OCD
I am not normal. I have never been normal. I never will be normal. I was doomed to be the “different” girl from the day I was born, and nothing I can say or do will ever revolutionize my disposition. As hard as I try to blend in with all the other individuals in the world, the sad reality that I have to come to terms with is that I was not meant to blend in. I stand out, no matter how much I try to hide my unusual characteristics. I am marked for life to be the mentally screwy girl, the girl with OCD.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; within those three words my entire life is depicted. They are the definition of who I am and who I always will be. They provide an elucidation for my mental deviation and I hate it. There is nothing on this Earth that I loathe more than my OCD. For years, it held me as its hostage for misery, torture, and constant thoughts of hopelessness. All I ever wanted was to have the opportunity to experience the exotic peace of living in mental stability, if only for one day; but as I got older I realized that achieving this dream was an impossible task and ridiculous fantasy. I knew I had a problem, and it was never going to go away, so I had to learn to accept it.
And in ways, I have. But in others, I still try to imagine it isn’t real. I mean, can you blame me, though? I live under the rule of a severe mental condition every day of my life, and sometimes it really gets to me. The stress and anxiety are always present—always. On top of that, I overreact to just about everything and frequently have to resist the urge to perform unhealthy rituals, primarily plucking out my eyelashes whenever I feel a surge of angst. My life with OCD has been…fatiguing to say the least.
But, hey, why am I complaining? I suppose I should be happy. After all, my life has taken on an immeasurable enhancement over the past few years. I’m much happier now than I was when I was young. I still have my struggles as I will for my entire life, but in comparison to my days in elementary school, my load of issues to deal with is minuscule. In fact, for years, we weren’t even aware that I had OCD; my parents knew I had a problem, but they didn’t know what it was. If it weren’t for my third grade teacher, I would still be a despondent, depressed child. I owe it all to her for providing us with the knowledge we needed to put me at the beginning of the long road to happiness and revitalization. She is the reason I know how to smile, laugh, and live today.
Unfortunately, the road to restoring me to health was, in no way, easy. Throughout the process, I was forced to face excruciating hardships and tribulations. I was exposed to unremitting pain, a type of pain that one can only hope to empathize if they are condemned with a condition similar to mine. In addition to that, I had to suffer, mostly psychologically. And suffering took on a whole new meaning for me after the horror I endured. I also went through a phase where I had a case of sensory integration, a condition that took life’s simplest tasks such as putting on tennis shoes and twisted them into arduous procedures that took a period of twenty minutes to complete.
As if my disorder itself hadn’t tortured me sufficiently, I had the stress of school and self-esteem to intensify my misery. In school, it was remarkably effortless for students to differentiate my behavior from others. There was no denying that I was different. And eventually, everybody isolated themselves from me. They labeled me “the freak” and dispersed horrid rumors about me. Someone even formed an alliance of “People Who Hate Kate.” I was shunned and had no consolation. Every minute of my life was pure agony, and the worst part is, it never stopped.
When I was alone, I allowed my mind to freely drift to someplace dark and dreary, where death lurks in the dead of the night within the foggy air. Death, depression, and darkness were all I could ever ponder, because at the time that’s what I was living. Suicide was a daily contemplation and effort, and cutting even became a temporary consideration. As a coping mechanism, I wrote several novels in my spare time, all of which related to abusive parenting, lack of freedom, suicide and other means of death, and the general concept of hatred. The scary part of it, though, is that everything that I wrote down on paper or typed on the computer was what my mind had convinced me was really occurring in my personal life. I believed that my parents hated me and didn’t want me, when in reality they were searching frantically for the suitable medication for me, praying they would find help before it was too late.
But God was good to us in the end. When I had finally reached my breaking point and everyone thought death seemed to be the only possible way for me to evade my desolation, my life took a miraculous turn of luck. At last, we found the right combination of medication to treat me with, and it transformed me into a thoroughly different person. I found myself smiling for the first time in years and having fun with my friends, something that I never even dreamed I’d be able to do again. My suicidal thoughts discontinued as well as the urge to implement my harmful rituals, and I no longer believed that I had been raised by hateful parents. And best of all, when I looked myself in the mirror, I didn’t even recognize myself. Everything seemed perfect now, just perfect. Life didn’t feel like a fight, anymore.
Ever since the day my life got turned around, I’ve lived in peace and contentment. I still have my struggles, but they have never even come close to surpassing the amount of agony I tolerated for so many years. I’ve grown stronger from the experience and I can go through life using that as guide. I still hate that I have to live with OCD; I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s definitely not the ideal life I would have chosen, but I can still function and I’m surrounded by people who love me and help me through the tough times. And after all these years, I’ve finally come to realize that that is enough.
The reason I am writing this is to send a message. I know there are people out there suffering from the same condition as I, and they very well might have it a lot harder than I do. And though I’ve never met anybody with OCD that I can truly relate to, I’m starting to apprehend that I am not alone and there are people who live with a mental disorder just like me. I just want to say to all of you out there who are suffering from depression or a mental condition of any kind, never give up. And I mean never. There is and always will be hope for you. I am very aware that life is super rough and sometimes it feels like the end—because, trust me, I’ve been there many a time myself—but don’t lose faith. I spent the preponderance of my life enduring a rapidly worsening condition, and I had to do it alone, without friends and supposedly the support of parents. But look at me now. I made it. And I know you can, too. Just give it time, and things will get better. I promise. If you stay strong, you can overcome anything, even mental issues that seem to dictate your entire life.
Now, as a final shout-out to all of you who suffer specifically from OCD: if you have ever felt alone in your condition before, just know you aren’t alone, anymore. From now on, we’re all in this together.