This speech brought me to tears. I started writing with one goal – “get better”. My diagnoses change from doctor to doctor – I’ve been dealing with this for 4 or 5 years now. I am on medical leave from work due to breaking down again. My psychologist wants me resting, finding myself, and re-building my routine. Over and over again, I am now hearing – from my psychologist and my psychiatrist – the labels do not matter, focus on how to heal.
Financial ruin is beckoning me, my house is a mess, groceries need to be bought, I can’t quit smoking, and my nails do not exist. Excuses? I don’t know, it just feels like an honest self-inventory. Routine is the only way I work, but since becoming a single mom, I’ve struggled to create a routine, because I struggled to come to grips with the fact that I am a single mom. Is this a symptom of mental illness? Yes, it is, and I have always known that.
I know and feel everything he is saying in this. OCD is a diagnosis I have received 3 or 4 times now. Actually, nail-biting is now a symptom of OCD in the DSM-V, if I remember correctly. If any of my ex’s listened to this speech, they’d probably sadly nod. I’m crying, because I have never heard someone with OCD describe OCD. I’ve described my relationships, and I never knew this is a WHY. I thought “all my fault” or “all their fault”
Anxiety and depression are constants for me, but the medication I have always taken makes it worse. Mindfulness, Yoga, Meditation are the means I’ve gotten better, and writing…this blog, any blog, is the one way I have been able to start talking, actually talking, about my life – all sides of it. I know I have not gotten myself back on track – I’m not consistently moving or eating correctly yet, but I am improving. Incremental growth has always been what helps me, because I am very all or nothing.
I wanted to kill myself, I have contemplated suicide for SO LONG now. How many times I have thought “Everyone would be better off without me” I did not know this is why! I never would kill myself, and if I have ever felt scared that it was a risk, I have gotten help. I’m proud of that! Suicide is the thought that rings in my mind, like the ringing in my ears. I’ve given myself tinnitus (I believe) because I play music so loudly to drown my thoughts out. I’ve always said it’s just my brain. I did not understand that this is OCD.
“Do you have rituals?” I always said no. I am not the person that turns lights on or off, I am not the person who checks the stove. I am the person who ticks when I’m too anxious, and I stutter when I can’t think. I am terrified of falling down steps, and I see it clearly in my mind and almost fall down.
I can tell you the most mundane facts about people that I love. My daughter only screams when I’m brushing her hair if she did not sleep as well the night before. She sleeps better if she has her fleece Frozen blanket. My ex husband has two dimples that form when he smiles when I’ve made him laugh particularly hard. His facial hair used to mimic whatever musician or artist I most admired. My cat prefers to sleep on my blue blanket. My son sleeps better and calms down if I rub his temple in a circular, slow motion while whispering I love you. It only comforts him, though, if he’s not overly worked up. If he’s overly worked up, I have to read 3 books to him. I’m usually too tired to do it all, though, because I’m always anxious and depressed as to why my brain won’t be quiet. “Be quiet please” is what I say all the time, which is an improvement over “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
I am obsessed with thoughts, people, emotions, and my addictions – smoking, writing, music. Obsession is what keeps me going. Obsession is the very root of putting one foot in front of the other for me. Obsession is the blood that courses in my veins. Obsession with ___ makes me the person I am. When I was obsessed with my career, I got promoted…but this isn’t a resume of accomplishments. I’ve always been grateful for every good and bad step I’ve ever taken. Obsession is the demon I could not name, because I did not understand that my greatest strength is my greatest weakness.
Obsession is what has broken my heart and those I’ve loved. I have never been more grateful for a poem; I have never been more grateful for a speech. I have never been more grateful to be sitting here in my bed sobbing with snot running down my face. I have never denied that I have issues; I have never attempted to even think I am above anyone. I have always firmly believed and resolved myself to just be a better person. But I have been hating myself for a way my brain works, and not treating the most pernicious problem I have.
The rain and my tears are flowing, and it is the best day of my life. I Am Not Alone. I’ve known that, but this speech finally made me understand it. I don’t think I need to isolate myself anymore, and I don’t think I need to be scared of myself anymore. I don’t know where I will go from here; I’m just so happy to be here. I finally understand that I CAN do this!!!! A random stumble on YouTube just changed my life, reading posts on WordPress have been changing my life.
Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone who reads and writes here- very humbly from a soul who has been trying to find her home. I am sharing some videos that are deeply helpful to me right now, as maybe it could help someone else. ❤