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A day in the life of OCD

I have been thinking of writing this post for some time now. But, the truth is that having OCD is a constant produce (in very high speed) of thoughts for my mind, and it’s going to be quite tough to write about it (too many things and details).

But, anyway, I’m going to write a short version about it throughout the day.

Here we go!

I’m Angelina and I have OCD (diagnosed), my obsessions are basically about personal hygiene, I hate stains, dirt, etc. I have managed to become friends with it and don’t fight it, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not a main part of my everyday life and that it can get really difficult at times.

Morning:

* Well, woke up a bit more relaxed than other days. One of the first things I thought was that last night I fell while mopping and my leg fell straight on a pair of shoes that are a big trigger and haven’t washed them yet (apparently that’s a thing, many times it takes me a while to clean an object that it’s “dirty” from a trigger). Went straight for a shower after the fall.

* Have to go out this morning: bank/ craft stores/ a meeting with a friend. Oh, I’m going to have to deal with quite a few triggers while doing all these.

* Didn’t wash my hands before going to the bathroom (have to have a shower, but anyway since I’m going to be out for hours and gather more triggers I will have a shower later in the day).

* Do I want to go out and have to deal with triggers today? No, but every single day practically I make a choice to keep on going and not letting my OCD being a bigger burden that it already is.

* Before leaving my house I have to clean any object that I have to take with me and that is considered trigger for my mind.

* A two hour session of errands can have five to ten, or even more triggers that I have to deal with so I can continue with the things I have to do. A stain on the street, on the pavement, places where I have to sit (or not, usually it’s a not), people around me that seem not-so-clean, etc, etc.

Noon/afternoon:

* After many triggers, and a lot of things done, finally got back home. Got the trash out, so afterwards I can take off the clothes I was wearing outside.

* Usually I have to clean everything I bought (or almost everything).

* I’m separating my home between “clean” and “not clean” spots and places. When I’m a trigger myself (ex. when I return from errands) I clean the spots/places that I want to be clean later or the next day. Yes, my mind separates and puts things “in boxes” a lot, it’s an OCD thing for me, but in the same time helps me keep my triggers in control.

* I clean a bit, kitchen, bathroom. And every day I have to sweep and mop the whole house (so, I won’t step with my flip flops on unclean floors before going to bed later, after having a shower; well that’s a great example of obsession/compulsion). It’s a good thing I’m living in a two room apartment.

* Yes, my own house has spots that are considered a trigger for my mind and I avoid touching them. It’s hard to get over an obsessive thought for let’s say an object. If I have a trigger with it, my mind locks it as “dirty” and even if I clean it, it may continue feeling like a no-no.

* Actually, it’s quite liberating when I’m a trigger myself and I can move around at home, cleaning, tidying up. I kind of relax when I don’t have to be constantly careful about where I touch; the “programming” in my mind doesn’t stop working of course, but I can pay less attention cause I’m going to take a shower soon.

Night:

* A bathtub is one of my favorite places basically. A shower it’s so soothing for me. I have managed to create a schedule where I have only one shower a day, every night. And then going straight to bed that is one of my “holly grails” (aka spots/things/places that I always keep them clean and safe for my OCD).

* My mind never actually calms down, even when I’m sleeping I feel quite anxious, watching weird dreams, etc.

So, that was a day in the life of OCD!

There aren’t too many details because (a) the post would be a two/three/four part thing if there were and (b) having OCD it’s so complicated, all the thoughts, all the obsessions/compulsions, it gets really difficult/tiring at times to explain to others the details of a thought that could have its roots years before. But I wanted to give you a glimpse of how everyday life is when with it.

That’s it folks!

Diary


It’s been a while.

Life keeps rolling.

I’m off antidepressants. I work a lot with my handmade jewelry/drawings/art photography/digital collages. I live everyday life with its moments and responsibilities.

Stopping the meds, even though I did it the right way, has been… pretty difficult.

With my arts I have been very productive, as always. And had a few good surprises: I was thinking of closing my Redbubble shop since I had no sales, but lately had two sales! So, now I’m working much more on creating pieces to add to it.

For my handmade jewelry I have been spending hours and hours on social media. And having a couple of photoshoots after creating a bunch of new things! And soon I’m going to reopen my original artwork Etsy shop that has been closed for a while.

Everyone, family and friends is healthy and well. And I have met a guy, a good one. So, I suppose that’s a great opportunity to start a new series of posts about OCD and love. Soon!

That’s all for now, many beautiful things coming soon!

Living with/out OCD (no.9)

All the things that seem like nothing to you, but feel like everything to me.

All the things that seem so simple to you, but feel so complex to me.

All the things that seem so unimportant to you, but feel like climbing a mountaintop to me.

There are moments when I’m so jealous of all the other people, the ones without OCD. And when these few moments come, I’m jealous of one particular thing: how “normal” people go through their everyday tasks easily, smoothly.

Having OCD means that your everyday life is full of rules, obsessions and compulsions that your mind sets. There are so many things in everyday life that are anything but simple.

I have become friends with my OCD (and currently working on becoming close friends with my own mind), but still I get tired sometimes.

Sometimes seems so relaxing that you don’t HAVE TO have a shower before going to bed. In my world I have to take a shower each single night before bed, after spending a day being careful where I step amd where I sit and what I touch. It’s not like I have an option. Mind says I must, I do.

And there are these other days, rare gems, when for some reason (usually a combo of not being at home, having a sleep over at a friend’s or something, and being in a good day for my OCD, etc) I “break” the compulsion.

But, even though I take this “break”, it doesn’t come easy. It comes along with a pinch of anxiety and an “off feeling”.

And then comes a pleasant feeling: it feels like I’ve reached the greatest mountaintop in the world! Like I achieved something extremely special and hard.

And if you think about it… all the rough times I go through with my OCD, I do accomplish something great, for real!

And some final thoughts…

For all of you that don’t have OCD: I kind of admire your life sometimes, all the small things that stay small for you.

For all of you that live with it: I know how hard it is, keep up the good work and celebrate the “small victories” , that are basically not so small.

And as for me, this is a good day, full of triggers I have taken in as less of a trigger, and tonight I’m not going to have a shower. Nothing bad is going to happen if I don’t, so I’m going for it!