Is “It” OCD?

I guess many of us are fans of Stephen King: in my opinion, he’s one of the greatest contemporary authors and I’m pretty much addicted to his books. Who hasn’t heard of Carrie or the Shining? And obviously, about Pennywise, the creepy clown who gave us a few nightmares.

A couple of days ago, I had a very interesting conversation with one of my friends: both of us adore Stephen King’s IT and we were trying to figure out what actually “IT” was – we could not finally arrive to a conclusion, but this discussion made me think about “IT” and idea came to me:

Isn’t “IT” OCD?

Yes, I know that sounds kind of crazy and I really do not want to sound like your literature teacher from high school who was trying to tell you what hidden meaning the different novels/poems had, however, the more you think about it the more it makes sense.

So why do I think IT’s just like OCD?

Because IT always appears as ITs victim’s biggest fear:

– to Eddie, IT was contamination and illness (and probably, we need to say no more about this: most of us with OCD have already experienced the intense fear of catching a dangerous disease or the extreme fear of dirt and germs)

– to Bill, IT was the feeling of guilt, for no reason – a feeling that’s way too familiar to many of us, a feeling that keeps us awake at night

– and to poor Henry Bowers, IT was the biggest nightmare of anyone with OCD: acting on intrusive thoughts. One of the most devastating type of OCD is when you’re afraid of harming your loved ones or doing something crazy, something dangerous  – so reading about someone who has actually acted on their intrusive thoughts is one of the scariest things I could imagine.

And obviously, I could add a couple more characters to Stephen King’s IT to this list, but I’d prefer you to give me a few more examples in the comment section. 🙂

Finally, do not forget: OCD (just like IT) is just a clown! We should not let it control our life!

We all float down here 🙂

 

Image result for balloons pennywise

 

Day 1: Full of Fears – Exaggerated Financial Anxiety

It’s the 4th of January – yeah, it’s my bad: I didn’t start working on my New Years Resolution at the very beginning of the year, but we all know how it is – it’s always very difficult to get something started.

So how should I get started?

Over the years, I tried a lot of things to overcome OCD: psychologist, self-help books and so on, but nothing has helped me so far. So to be honest, at the moment I do not really know what I should do as a first step so I think I’ll just write about my fears as writing is a good therapy on it’s own.

You may ask yourself what this crazy guy is afraid of at this moment as I’ve posted numerous articles about all my obsessions, but I have a new one that is keeping me awake at this time (it’s 2 am in my country):
At the moment, I’m terribly concerned about my financial situation.

What does that mean?

First of all, I’m very satisfied with my job and It’s pretty well-paid so apparently, I have no reason to be afraid of, but those with OCD already know that for us there does not necessarily have to be a reason.

OCD is like a demon that keeps asking you the “what if” question – and from this question it only takes a couple of seconds to develop a full-blown panic attack.

So what does the conversation looks like in my head?

Mark (yeah..that’s me) : “Okay, I shouldn’t be afraid, I’ll be fine. I have a nice job and a family to support me”
OCD (I wish OCD were a person, cause I’d kill him for sure): “Yes, but then what if you get fired”
Mark: “Then I could find another job..couldn’t I?”
OCD: “But what if there’s a financial crisis…What if they do not want to employ you?”
Mark: “Then, I have my family to help me”
OCD: “But what if something happens with them..you can never know” 

And it’s a never ending story…. it goes on for hours and for hours.

Here the keyword is hours & hours : and this reminds me to a thing that I learnt today. Do not expect anything new or special. Today I learnt something that may seem obvious:

Life is too short and ain’t nobody have time for OCD!

So what am I going to do tomorrow?
I’ll treat OCD as it were a person and I’ll tell it to stop right at the first “what if” question..And then let’s see what happens. Guess I’ll need some time to practice this, but let’s hope it’ll work out.

And dear readers, please do not hesitate to share your OCD best practices in the comment section! 🙂

New Year Challenge: Overcome OCD in 365 days

First of all, I’d like to wish all my readers a fantastic New Year. 🙂 Hope everyone’ll have a fantastic 2019.

So, it’s the 4th of January 2019: a new year, new possibilities and new adventures. That’s what it may mean for most of us.

However for me, this year is something special. Looking back at all the years I spent struggling with OCD, I’ve really made up my mind and I’ve made a New Year’s Resolution: I want to overcome OCD by the end of this year.
Sounds pretty difficult, doesn’t it? 🙂 ….I’m sure it’s going to be difficult but living with OCD is even more difficult and I’ve really reached my breaking point.

Have you seen how many people post pictures on Instagram about their body transformation? A LOT! …and from today, I’ll be doing the same on here, but instead of posting pictures about my looks, I’ll be posting about my “anti-OCD war”.

OCD – Afraid of blinding yourself

Hi All,

Note:
Note: I have started a new blog: http://over-coming-ocd.com/
You can find the new version of this article on: https://over-coming-ocd.com/2019/12/10/ocd-afraid-of-blinding-yourself/

 

So, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I do not only write about the obsessions that I have in this particular period of my life but also about the things that I used to be scared of and also about the experiences of my friends.
And today I decided to write about one of the biggest fears that I had as a teenager – and that’s a fear of blinding myself. Sounds shocking right?

Before I start telling the whole story, you need to know that I wear contact lenses. It’s an important thing to mention because that’s how this whole fear started.
So one day, I’d just put my contact lenses in – just like any other time. And while putting them in, I accidentally hurt one of my eyes. I guess for those who have OCD already have an idea how the story will continue from here:

I had a sudden thought – what
if one day, I’ll hurt my eyes intentionally – or even worse, what if one day, I’ll want to blind myself?

This thought appeared – and afterwards, It’d simply never go away. And that’s how a whole new chapter started in my life. My fear of blinding myself was so strong that I couldn’t even sleep properly and I had to stop wearing contact lenses as I’d not have been able to put them in or take them out.

Obviously, the story is still not over. The whole story started with just one single obsessive thought but the fear started to actually overtake my whole life. I started to have rituals and I was hoping that they’ll stop me from gouging out my eyes.
One of them was asking my family members to tie my hands before I go to sleep. But after some time this wouldn’t help either as I was thinking of all possible ways how I could theoretically get rid of the ropes and still hurt my eyes.

And it went on for a few months, but let me tell you what I did to overcome this particular fear: I decided to systematically expose myself to all the things I’m afraid of and to all the situations that’d make me think about blinding myself. So, I started to wear lenses again, I stopped asking my family to tie my hands and I left all the knives on the kitchen table (yes, I also considered a knife to be a very dangerous object as one can easily bline oneself with it…).
The beginning of my journey was terribly difficult, but it was worth it.

Sometimes, I have the impression that OCD will never ever leave me, but the fact that I could overcome one of my biggest fears as a teenager is actually helping me a lot and is keeping me motivated as It kind of shows me that nothing is lost.

Please do not hesitate to share your success stories in the comment section! 🙂

Afraid of chocolate cookies – one of the weirdest phobias

So far, I’ve only been posting about OCD, but unfortunately I do not only have OCD, but I also have a couple of pretty weird phobias – which I guess have absolutely no connection to my OCD.
One of them may sound funny to most of you: I’m terribly afraid of chocolate chip cookies.

Yes, that’s true. I’m not joking…I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s unfortunately true. Just to show you an example of what kind of chocolate cookies I’m afraid of, I have also attached an image – and yes, it’s terribly scary for me to look at it.

pexels-photo-890575.jpeg
Obviously, this phobia is not making my life much harder, but it’s still pretty inconvenient especially that you can not really tell it to anyone as most of the people would simply make fun of you or laugh at you – or simply think that you’re just joking. (And I guess many of the readers will also think that I’m not being serious.)

Looking at chocolate cookies can literary scare me to death. It all started when I was a kid and I’d just cry if someone gave me chocolate cookies. Then, this whole thing continued in my teenage years, when my cousin and my friends would bring me some chocolate cookies to make me run away – which was a totally cruel thing.

And yes, nowaday it’s getting slightly better cause for example I could still look for the picture above and attach it to my post but I still avoid looking at it and also at McDonalds, I’ll always try not to look at chocolate cookies (I could actually never understood why they even sell chocolate cookies – it’s just scary). But then at least, I’m not running away from chocolate cookies anymore, so that’s already a huge step.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to overcome this fear because it’s not something that has a huge impact in my life, so I prefer simply avoiding it –  however, writing a post about it seemed to be a good idea to me as I’ve tried to google if anyone had the same fear but I haven’t found anything similar, so I just really want to know if I’m the only one who’s scared by chocolate cookies of if there are any more people with the same fear.

So, please feel free to comment if you have the same phobia! – and as you may have seen in some of my previous posts, I sometimes laugh at myself so I’ll not be offended if any of you makes fun of my phobia – even though it’s really not a joke.

Proud of having OCD

It’s been a crazy long time since I published my last post – and a lot of things have been happening in my life lately.
Some time ago, I had a discussion about OCD with a new friend of mine and what she told me made me very sad: she’s literary ashamed of her OCD. Because of all the bad things and discrimination that she has experienced, she’s kind of “hiding her OCD”.
I’m not sure how it is in the place you live in, but in the country where I’m from, discrimination against people with OCD is common – so many of us do not talk about our situation openly. And this is the worst thing we could possibly do.
The title I gave to my article does not mean that I am happy for having OCD: on the contrary: I’d be the happiest person if I woke up in a morning and it went away. But! OCD is a part of me and being ashamed of having it would also mean that I deny myself.
OCD is a terror  – people who suffer from it know this. But for overcoming it, I think that the first step we can take is accepting it.
Yes, I have OCD and I’m proud of it. Without OCD, I’d have never become the person I am today. It made and is making me suffer a lot, but it also gave me a lot of good things: new friends, experiences and it’s a part of me. At the time I was diagnosed with OCD, I’d only tell it to my family members and closest friends, but later on, I realised that this is nothing to be ashamed of and that telling people about OCD will actually help you a lot. Nowaday, there are a lot of different movements and more and more people are actually proud of the way they are, but sometimes I feel that there’s a lot to be improved when it comes to OCD – if the world knows what this is about and that this is not just a simple “cleaning addiction” as many people imagine, it will also be easier for us to manage our lives.
So, this is something that came into my mind today and I felt that I just needed to share it.

Mark Wester

What if there is no tomorrow?

Today, I was thinking a lot about my life: as a consequence of OCD I am also suffering from some kind of depression. However, many people would say that my depression is a kind of first world problem as I have always had a nice life and nothing to complain about.
So as I have mentioned above, today on my way home from work I started to think about my life. I was asking myself what it was worth living for as my OCD is killing me and I simply can not get rid of all the obsessive thoughts – and of course, just like many other people who are suffering from OCD, I would ask myself the typical “what if” question – this time it was the one with “what if I committed suicide”, however, today the whole conversation with myself ended up differently.
I imagined what it would be like to commit suicide and obviously I was afraid of the thought itself but instead of worrying too much about it – as I would usually do – I just asked myself why I worried over so insignificant things all my life and I actually imagined what if this would be the last day of my life, so just like the title says: what if there is no tomorrow?
I have been thinking about this ever since I asked myself this question, and finally I could answer myself: if there was no tomorrow, I would obviously enjoy this day much more, as I would know that there would be absolutely no consequences of my actions. Obviously, you should not think that I am planning to do anything horrible, but  I think people with OCD will perfectly understand my feelings, the moments when you keep worrying about everything even though you know that you are not being rational.
Imagining the this would be the last day of my life helped a lot while dealing with my OCD: everytime I had an obsessive thought, I would just force myself to enjoy this day without thinking too much about the future: anyway, nobody is capable of controlling everything and I think this insecurity is one of the reasons why I have this horrible anxiety disorder, but on the other hand: why would I want to control everything and to live in perfect security if I just can not enjoy my life? And why would I want to act on all my obsessive thoughts and keep thinking about them if I know perfectly that they are not rational?
So this afternoon was not like others: instead of focusing on OCD, I was spending time walking in the city and exploring the things which I have not been able to enjoy for the last few weeks.
I would suggest all people with OCD to imagine that this day would be the last day of their lives and to enjoy every moment – worrying about everything will not solve any problems and think about all the moments, days and years that you have wasted because of your OCD. All the trips that you could not enjoy because you were afraid of catching a dangerous disease or the food that you could not eat because you would be afraid of developing an allergy.
So yes, that’s it,  I just wanted to share this with you. 🙂

OCD Stories: Afraid of not finding the way home

Hi All,

I have promised myself to publish a new article every single day, as writing eases my OCD symptoms, furthermore I think that it is important to share our experiences with other people who are suffering from this terrible disease. However, I do not want to be selfish and I do not want my whole blog to be about myself, so today I am sharing the story of one of my friends (obviously, I am doing so with her consent and anonymously) and as I do have a lot of non-English speaking friends who have OCD, I may be sharing other stories later.
Many of the people who do not have OCD think that OCD is a kind of “cleaning obsession” and they can not even imagine how huge the variety of different symptoms, thoughts and obsessions is.
So the friend of mine whose story I am sharing today has a terrible fear: she is afraid of going too far away from her home as she thinks that she may forget the way back. I think for most of the people this fear may be totally ununderstandable, however, when I found out about it, I could perfectly understand her fear: the feeling when you walk in the city and see its endless streets, maybe you even get lost for a moment – it can happen to anyone, even in their own cities. I guess that’s how it starts, if you get lost once, you will ask yourself – what if this will happen again? And from here it’s only one single step to a new fear that you can not get out of your mind, and this fear can really make your life hell as you can not simply enjoy an evening walk just like any other people.
So again, the what if question? The fear itself is totally illogical as why would anyone forget the way home, but on the other hand, there is always this “what if?” – it is extremely unlikely but we can not say that it would never happen. The worst thing about this kind of fears is that one can not talk openly about them, there are people who would simply laugh at you, others that would say that this is just a first world problem and you are inventing these things only because you are bored – and there are people who look at you in a really understanding way and they really try to help, but you know that they just do not really understand what you are going through.
That was everything I wanted to share today. 🙂 Thank you for reading and do not hesitate to share your OCD story in the comment section.

The Call of the Void

Hi All!

Note: I have started a new blog: http://over-coming-ocd.com/
You can find the new version of this article on: https://overcomingocd.home.blog/2019/12/10/the-call-of-the-void/

Thanks for God today I did not have any significant OCD attack or any serious symptoms but I just wanted to share some of my thoughts with you.
I am sure that some of you may have already experienced “the call of the void”. For someone without OCD this feeling may not be too scary – it is there for a few seconds but then it will go away, however for OCD-sufferers this can cause an extreme distress.
A few years ago this feeling, the call of the void or “l’appel du vide” was driving me crazy: I am normally not afraid of height but I have always felt the urge to jump – ever since I was a child.
So, that’s how it all began, one day I went to visit a friend who was living in a flat on the 8th floor and had a really nice balcony, so just like any other teens we decided to have some drinks and smoke on the balcony and obviously for me this would be perfectly enough for having another OCD attack. I was looking down the street and I thought how great it would be to just jump – the feeling of endless freedom and so on.
But soon this feeling of endless freedom went away and was replaced by extreme fear. I would ask myself: what if I will just act on my thoughts and jump? This thought was stuck in my mind and I would not be able to get rid of it, I felt that I could jump at any single moment and I was afraid of losing control. What made the whole situation even more difficult was that I knew that if I told anyone what had been on my mind they would simply think that I am crazy and that I’d want to commit suicide, but in fact it was exactly the other way around – I was terrified because I was sure that I did not want to die, but at the same time I just could not stop thinking about jumping.
Fortunately, I do not have this fear anymore – How did it go away? I had a friend who actually understood what I was going through and he told me that confrontation would be the best method to overcome this fear, so we spent a few hours sitting on a bridge and I must say that it did work! It’d been horribly difficult and I did want to run away but finally it was worth it. At least now I can say that I am not afraid of this feeling anymore – I have other fears instead. 🙂

P.S: Find a lot of useful techniques to overcome OCD on the following link: http://overcomingocd.home.blog/

OCD – Fight the Boggart!

Hi All,

Hope everyone had / is having a great day. Today I decided to write about something more positive – one can not just write about one’s fears all the time.
So, I’d like share something that works for me while fighting OCD, but I think many of you may have even guessed the whole story from the title.
Yes, that’s the boggart from Harry Potter books – What do I exactly mean by that?
I guess most of the people from my generation know the story of Harry Potter and may be familiar with the creature called “boggart”, which is a kind of monster that takes on the form of your worst fear. For me personally, OCD feels just like this: a kind of monster that is suddenly attacking me and is taking on the form of my “most recent worst fear”.
So, what is the perfect solution? Try to laugh at it – just the way Harry Potter’s friends did. This may not work in all cases as sometimes OCD can really drive you crazy and there are moments when one feels that there is simply no way out – when you feel the urge to clean your room several times a day or when you are afraid of non-intentionally commit  a crime/suicide, you will not be able to laugh at yourself, but when you feel calmer, it does help if you just think about your fears and try to “make them funny”. – At least it works as laughing at something will make that thing much less scary.
So, just do not give up and keep fighting that boggart! 🙂