It’s been a long time since I was last here! (I have an excuse for my absence in the form of my A-level exams, which are now behind me. Yay, freedom!)
So, for my first post in 6 months I’m starting with the Time to Change Summer Storytelling Challenge. I’m a bit late to the party (it’s now week three, oops!) but I had to think about this post for longer than I thought I would. In all honesty I could go on for hours and hours about what people don’t know about the specifics of suffering with OCD, and I’m sure I will in later posts, but what I want to discuss today is slightly more abstract.
Today, I’ve decided that the thing I want people to know about my mental illness is this: it never stops.
When I actually stop to think about my OCD, this is something I’ve come to realise. The obsessions I have pop up all the time. It’s not just the odd thought, but a nearly constant stream with no off-switch to press. There are times when I get overwhelmed and break down in tears, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. Sometimes my thoughts get scary for one reason or another, and sometimes new ones will come and take me by surprise. My OCD has been there for pretty much as long as I remember, and it just doesn’t go away.
There is a bright side here though. Because it’s been with me for so long, the things I do and think have become second nature to me. Instead of being anxious constantly, I’ve learned to live with them. I’ve had friends say to me “I can’t imagine what it’s like”, and all I say to them is “it’s just my life, I’m used to it”.
Realistically I don’t think my OCD will ever leave me, but it doesn’t cause me the same distress as it used to because I know what to expect. Recovery isn’t impossible; I have shown myself that the things that I can manage. I can be (and am) happy, even if I have a mental illness interfering in the background.