What is Normal? OCD Struggles
Writer chooses to be left anonymous
Have you ever tried to explain color to the blind? Tried to convey the beauty that is the sunrise to eyes that see only black?
Can you explain to the one who lives with no sound, the emotions that a love song can stir as soon as you hear the very first chord?
We can sign to those who live in silence about the baby’s first coo.
We can speak eloquently of the painted sky to those who are forever in the night.
But how do you sign the beauty of a song or how can you paint the rainbow when you’re void of color?
You can try.
But you can’t.
It’s like A bird with no wings.
Those who live daily with what I’ll call ” outward struggles” have in my eyes a warrior spirit! Being physically different is hard.
When I was in high school a girl one year ahead of me was diagnosed with leukemia. She went thru treatments, lost her hair, and fought like crazy to keep her life as close to normal as possible. And she did a great job. We were changing for a volleyball game one day after school – keep in mind she’s just came thru harsh chemo and lost her hair… I asked her for a hair scrunchy not once but three times. She just stood there grinning at me waiting for my brain to kick in.
She had done such a great job of being normal that we had no choice but to view her that way.
She portrayed a perfectly typical 16 year old but she wasn’t.
We can try to push “normal” whatever that even is on people. We can try to fit everyone in a mold that we’ve designed as “normal”. But there are some of us who just can not bend to fit this mold.
I have OCD.
I have a son.
My son has OCD.
We do not fit the mold.
We see things differently than a majority of the world.
Trying to put on a “game face” every day.
Not letting everyone see that your mind is tormenting you and you just want to run and hide and never ever come out. Ever.
It’s like living in a land where and not speaking their language. Not knowing their culture. Not understanding their rules. But being expected to live “normal”.
Can someone please, for the love of humanity, tell me what normal is?!?
Why is so bad if I’m not?
OCD is more than having to wash your hands 7 times to cleanse them of the impurities in the air.
OCD is more than checking your door locks 3 times every night just to be sure.
OCD is more than wanting your desk or your yard or your house to have perfect order at all times.
OCD is a thief.
It sneaks in and it steals your life. It takes words said by a friend in jest and it twists them until you no longer recognize the language. OCD causes you to doubt what is truth and gives life to fairytale.
OCD blinds you.
OCD confuses you.
OCD lies to you.
OCD tortures you.
OCD paralyzes you.
There is hope.
You can fight this dreaded disease. You can beat this bully.
I know because I’m living proof.
But you can’t do it alone.
You’ll never get “over it” but you can overcome it.
Reach out to those you love.
Don’t shut them out. I can tell you they don’t understand how you feel but that is ok! Let them love you thru it. When the urge is so incredibly strong to hide behind closed doors and never come out – don’t do it! Compounding lonely on top of misery will not help.
Give yourself “passes”
There will be days when you just can’t do it. You can’t go thru the motions one more second. Don’t. Tell your loved one your really struggling and don’t push normal for a day. But tomorrow is a new day. Don’t stay stuck. Life is too precious to let OCD control you!
Have an accountability partner
Do not. Not for one second. Think that you can go it alone. There is no shame in asking for help. None. The best of us still have our worse days. Set up a code word or a hand signal to let your partner know you need help and fast. Knowing you’re not alone will help fight the lies of OCD!
The old adage we are what we eat is fitting here… the better we eat and the more rested we are, the better we feel. It’s just too obvious not to mention. Pay attention, if you have more mental issues after you eat pizza – don’t eat it. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a short walk. Find what works for you and do it! The more we move the better we’ll feel.
Seek medical help
I’m not sure why our society has such a hard time admitting or recognizing mental illness. It’s real. And it’s just as painful as physical illness. If you are stuck more than you’re not, it’s time for help. Reach out to your partner and let them help you find help!
Love yourself enough to let others love you!