Suddenly I See

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My fear is my only courage


As I mentioned before I am really going to battle with my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Dare I say that I am winning the battle. It's been a part of me for pretty much as long as I can remember. Because of that I always felt that my OCD and I would always coexist. It was a part of me, I owned it. Not only is it a part of me but in a way it's a part of my character. OCD is different for everyone that has it. For me it's been about protecting those I love and in a sense protecting myself. It's a disorder all about a false sense of control.

At the peak of a bad time with OCD I have to count the number of times I itch my face or I have even driven around the block to make sure I haven't hit someone (this hasn't happened that many times). And then sometimes it is as simple as having to put the water pitcher in a certain part of the fridge. I can take chunks and chunks of my day and not be able to let go of certain routines but at the same time my life is so normal. This disorder doesn't disable my daily activities as it does for so many but it can suck the enjoyment out of the day. Generally I never let it but sometimes it is more than I can handle. I have had some breakdowns about it but it's frustrating because the only person that can change it is me.

What I have come to know, in no small part thanks to some counseling, is that it no longer has to be a part of me. What a realization it was that this could all go away. I can live a life without it. It sounds so simple but it took me so long to truly accept it for myself. It was scary, it's still scary but there is so much freedom in all of it. I made a goal a few weeks back that I would just be done with this when I turned 28. It's time, I can be done with this phase. I can take on my life and own it and not let it live me. My greatest fear in all of this is that some day when I am a mother I will put all of my fears on my children. And I just can't do that. I just can't. I decided that I need to take an active role in handling this now so that when I have children I won't have rituals that I feel will protect them. I don't want to put my fears on them or raise them in an environment that would foster OCD tendencies.

Writing this is incredibly soul bearing. I hesitate to even do this. But talking about this and owning this makes it feel so much more controllable, so much easier to handle. Putting it out there, so to speak, makes me know that I have control over it, it does not have control over me. I have never felt sorry for myself about it and knowing now that I can change it makes me feel so empowered.

I am realistic, I know that I can't say goodbye to OCD and it will never come back. That's not the reality but I can keep from allowing it to enter in my life. I can push it away, I can be strong. I can focus on all of the things I can do. And I can do a lot. One thing that is going to be a major obstacle is getting off of the medication I take. To be honest I don't know how realistic this even is. But I can try. I want this control in my life. I may fail at this but I have given myself a year to get off of it. Again, these goals help me. This may be the scariest part. I have been on antidepressants off and on since I was twelve. Not because I have depression but for the OCD. I want to see if I can manage without it. I will try, I may not succeed but I will try.

I am continuing on this new journey of mine. And I have come to a comforting realization that in giving up this sense of control that OCD gives me I have gained so much control over my life and I am never giving it up.


Eliza said...

Katie, I love love love this post. Beautiful and so true, it just seemed so real like it was straight from your thoughts.

Not that this is the same thing at all: But I have some issues with anxiety, particularly social anxiety, which are getting WORSE as I get older. Maybe having kids has exacerbated it, I don't know. But anyway it is crippling and it's time for me to get over it too. You are inspiring and I know you can do it!

Pam said...

I am so proud of you for putting this into such eloquent words. You have never expressed to me how all of this makes you feel. I know you can conquer this - you are such a strong person. We all have things that we need to deal with, I know I do. Be strong and fight the good fight!

vickie said...

I want to say that I even have the words to express how beautiful this post is, but alas I do not. Instead I just read it and teared up the whole time. Just know that though the feelings are yours and yours alone, you are not alone.

Never have been and never will be!

Love you!

Katie said...

Thanks for the all the support guys. It means a lot.

Eliza- I know what you mean about social anxiety. It's so easy for me to get comfortable with my routine and not want to move out of that and try new things/ meet new people

Peggy said...

I am so proud of you for being so honest and open with your feelings. That takes a lot of courage and enables you to be used in the lives of others. You CAN do this because now you are READY to do this. You have turned a major corner in this battle and I am praying for you every day. Scripture says "I can do all things through Christ who strenghthens me." You're awesome!