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  • Published: 8 Aug 2013
  • Updated: 8 Aug 2013
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1. Memoir of an Obsessive Compulsive

These thoughts. Like a river of words and rules; fears and pressures. 'Don't touch that!' Why? Because I have OCD. Not the type on TV. The type in real life. Feeling that you have to do things right. No room for error. To add to that, if I chose to disobey my mind I would have a panic attack. No mild expression that people overuse. I would have a panic attack. And this was how I lived up until last year.

    I was seven when it first started. I knew something was off. I didn't want to be more of a loner than I was at school, and at home I didn't want to have to draw attention to myself. I was fine being the way I was. I liked fitting in. I've never really been one to talk to my parents about stuff, so I kept it to myself. What I kept to myself is what I should've told. The nights I would stay up thinking. Why do I feel like I'm being yelled at? It sounded like a lady. Mid 50's. I always thought her to have brown hair. Shoulder length. But if I tried 'looking' at her she left. Like she didn't want to be seen. She wasn't something I saw though. Just something I knew. Like a hunch.

    I thought I was normal, but I also thought I was crazy. I would even see things. Not like how little kids see things. There are things I saw that I'm still convinced to this day had to be real. But deep inside of me I know it's not possible. But it had to be. See, that's what anxiety for me is. A constant battle in your head. What happens if you don't win? You lose. I would become a slave to these rituals and fears.

    At the beginning I could just pinch myself to get it to stop. Just a little pinch on the hand and it would go away. But as I got older I would have to pinch harder, harder. I would dig through my skin. So I could reconnect with the real world. I didn't like this. I didn't like it at all. It stopped for a bit. No more voices, nothing. I was fine for a few years. And then it came back. Worse than ever. Magnified. Not as often, but stronger. Maybe once or twice a month. Always at night. When it's gotten to the scary part of the night. Not dark enough to need all the lights on, but you need enough on. You feel vulnerable. Like you're in a dream. And that's what it was like, the panic attacks.. Dream-esque. And I could no longer pinch myself to break free of the hold. I would just go sit on my bed. Head in hands, gently weeping. I felt as if the only way out was to die. To stab myself so I could feel something. The thing stopping me; the one thing stopping me, I knew I would regret it. It wasn't as if I would've done it in logic thinking. In however many minutes I would be back to normal. Headache most likely, but nevertheless, back to normal.

    But after a bit I got used to this. It was routine. Every few weeks it would happen. I could feel it coming on. A sense of horrifying euphoria. And then it would hit. I would just leave whatever I was doing, go up stairs, and sit on my bed. Head in hands like always. Twenty minutes pass and I would go back to whatever I left. Nobody noticed, nothing happened. The thoughts during were still the same.

    Around this time was when the OCD started. Maybe not started, but flared. Getting ready in the morning took twice as long. Instead of a half hour I would take an hour, hour and a half. I would wake up. The alarm had to be on an interval of five; 6:45, 6:55. Then I would get out of bed. Walk downstairs. Turn on the light on the left at the bottom of the staircase. Then over to the kitchen. Not that light. Into the hallway. That light. First switch on the right. Walk to the shoes. Put them on. Put a jacket on, out the door. Over to the garage. Feed the dogs. Lacey and then Simon. Lacey eats inside. Simon outside. I was supposed to put their invisible fence collars on, but I couldn't. They were just too gross. They smelt like dog. Then over to the barn. Hay then grain. Always give Billy his food first or else he's sad. Then give Navarre his. Then to the grain. Get one scoop. I would often spill it on the floor. The barn floor is covered in hay. If I was to spill the grain I would sit there for fifteen minutes picking the tiniest bits of hay out of the grain. Pick all the grain off the ground. If I didn't the rats would attack the barn. Right? Then I would go give the horses grain. Billy first of course. Done. Finally. Walk back to the house. Door, shoes, coat. Wash hands, three pumps of soap. Dry off hands. New dish towel. No old used one. Too dirty. Leave lights on, back upstairs. Into room. Makeup has to look perfect. And then get dressed. The worst part. I would get all my clothes on, and then the socks. I never have enough socks. I could if I wore them normally though. I don't have any in pairs. Left foot solid, right foot pattern. Never the same colors or clashing colors. Clashing for me is anything based on holidays. Red and blue – bad. Green and red – bad. Black and orange – bad. The color scheme that made me super happy was blue and pink. Cotton candy. Makes for a simple day. Run downstairs, car, bus, school.

    This battle is now over. How it ended? Through depression and struggle. But it's over and thats what counts. It was an early evening. I was in the hallway with my mom. The lady started talking to me. Nothing I can ever make out. I tried explaining why I was pinching myself and hitting my head to my mom. I wanted to see if it was even a bit normal. She didn't understand. I told her I could maybe explain it better later, when I could think clearly again. Like normal I just went up to my room and sat on my bed. I came back downstairs later and looked on the computer. Trying to find why I was like this. The most accurate thing I could find was schizophrenia. Crazy right? Literally. Voices – check. Seen things before – check.

    Up in my room I pulled my diary out. Only one of my friends has ever seen what I wrote. It's just too personal. I wrote something along the lines of “Dear Diary, I need help! I'm a schizophrenic freak! I can't do this anymore. One day I'm going to be dead and no one will care.” I had crossed diary out and written 'God' though. And that right there was the biggest turning point in my 15 years I've been alive.

I went to my mom. I was bawling. Tears streaming down my face asking to talk to someone. I had always looked down on the thought of a counselor. I always said I would just sit there and tell them nothing if I had to talk to one. But now I was desperate. I hit my rock bottom.

    My mom made an appointment with one lady. She was nice. I told her a lot. And then I figured out what was actually wrong with me. I had lowered levels of serotonin in my brain leading to raised levels of anxiety. I told her all that had ever happened. What I felt like when I was having my little panic attacks. And they where just that. Panic attacks. I wasn't a 'schizophrenic freak' like I'd thought. It turned out the lady I was hearing was just a form of myself. Older and 'wiser'. The thing that triggered the attacks was me fighting my rules and rituals. These rules and things where what she had told me, obsessive compulsions. If I didn't do something right, I would freak. My mind would get overwhelmed with anxiety. And these led to depression. My counselor talked to my doctor. They decided to put me on a medicine called Fluoxitine, it's kind of like Prozac. It balances the serotonin in my brain. It works as a anxiety reliever along with being an anti-depressant.

    I could've gone without this in my life, but I know it's what has built me up to be such a strong person. I don't mind being different. I don't care if people laugh at me or say something I know isn't true about me. I'm not afraid to go up in front of the class and talk anymore. I'm happy with where I'm at now.


You can take everything I have

You can break everything I am

Like I'm made of glass

Like I'm made of paper

Go on and try to tear me down

I will be rising from the ground

Like a skyscraper!”

~Demi Lovato


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