Tag: OCD


“I bet you thought you’d gotten rid of me.”

Vera smirks, she perches onto her dusty, tattered thrown. It’s almost as old as I am, because Vera is the name of my anxiety and she’s been with me for as long as I can remember now.

Vera is an elf like creature. She’s tiny and I should be able to fight her, but I can’t and it kills me that she’s so powerful.

Vera is in my brain and in my heart. She’s in my chest and my stomach, my hands, my legs, my eyes. She is wherever she wants to be, and she knows she can take over me.

Vera’s hair is black and matted and her skin is greying. Her clothing is torn and she looks battered after all these years, and all my failed attempts to drown her out. I never succeed.

Vera’s voice is the part that fills me with dread the most. It’s louder than ever now, she demands to be heard. She screams and screams and screams over anything left of the rational thought process I’d tried so hard to build up. She will be heard. She knows how to get to me.

Her voice goes in waves and whirls until it fills my head and I feel it all the way down to my throat, and it’s choking me.

Vera gets angry with me, she’s screaming now. Was I incapable of looking out for myself? How had I let this happen? Why would I put myself in a vulnerable position? She says that now she’s back to protect me, to stop harm from coming my way.

Vera clicks her wicked fingers, her long black fingernails are touching my own and now suddenly, there’s pins and needles. I can’t feel my hands, and then it’s my feet and I’m trapped.

I’m stuck and I can’t get out and I just sit and I listen to Vera punishing me.

I let myself get like this.

This is my fault.

Why hadn’t I been afraid?

Vera asks me what’s wrong. When I won’t tell her, she yells at me. She yells at the top of her lungs and although she’s so small, her roar makes my whole body shake and I can’t stop.

I tell her what’s upset me, begrudgingly. She shakes her head and glares at me with bloodshot eyes, her pupils a sea of blackness into her dark soul. “Your fault,” she shrieks.

Her shrieking brings a tear to my eye, and another one, and another one, and another one, and they won’t stop and it could be hours before they do and that’s the scary part.

Vera wants more answers and she knows she’s got control of me now. She knows I can’t give in and give her the rational answer, even if I want to.

“There’s no point.”

“You can never fix this.”

“It can only go wrong.”

“She hates you. Why shouldn’t she?”

Now she’s clip-clop, clip-clopping on my heart with her spikey leather boots. She’s kicking and she’s thrashing and now she’s down on all fours and I swear this is the time she’s going to give me a heart attack and I’m going to die.

Vera screams that everyone is out to hurt me and that everyone secretly hates me, and I wonder if she knows how much I hate her now.

Vera flutters down towards my lungs and my stomach churns and she smirks at me. She knows that she has me under her spell now, and she’s cackling. She tells me I’m worthless and she asks me a question,

“Why would anyone want to be around you?”

She screams and screams and screams, and she won’t stop and I can’t think and she’s tricked me once again.

She knows she’s the winner; she’s always the winner.

She squeezes my lungs and a heavy black cloud weighs down my chest and my throat closes up and I can’t breathe anymore. I’m hyperventilating now and I can’t make it stop and all I can hear is this screeching inside of my head,

“This is your fault.”

“You’re so stupid.”

“You’re pathetic.”

My ears are ringing and it drowns everything out. The sound of my friend trying to calm me down and the rational thoughts are all washed away with every breath that I struggle to take. I know she’s won, again.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe.

Then sometimes there’s a thud, and my exhausted body collapses onto the cold, hard floor. Often it feels like the easier route because for a moment my eyes black out, and I can’t hear, and I have peace for just a few moments. Its peace, all the same.

And eventually the short staggered breaths even out, but the tears keep flowing and my body is full of this emptiness.

Now Vera is staring, beady eyed at my hunched over limp, lifeless body and she shakes her head and asks,

“Who wants to deal with an anxious mess like you?”

She turns away and I think that’s the end but somehow, somehow in between my sobs she finds the space to hurt me one last time.

Vera squeezes me tightly, her claws digging into my skin so hard that her words are left like tiny scars on my arm. She says,

“Don’t let this happen again.”

Now I’m alone with my thoughts, and Vera’s words keep swirling through my mind; I know she’s wrong but she always manages to take over me. Vera knows I’m afraid of putting myself into a position where she’ll come back again. She knows I’ll avoid facing my fears.

She knows she’s the winner; she’s always the winner.

What It’s Like To Have OCD: Caoimhe’s Story

What It’s Like To Have OCD: Caoimhe’s Story

I’m here to talk about OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but I’m sure you all know what it means anyways: “someone who is very particular about things”. Well, yes and no. If that is the description that comes to mind when you hear those three letters, you are sort of right but there are also some other vital aspects in between the words and its actual description, and for that reason I’m here to inform and get rid of the stigma, in reference to me anyway.

There are many different types of OCD. But obviously, I’m going to talk about my experience with it and how affects me on a daily basis. Just to give a slight heads up, this is kind of, sort of, is the first time I’ve ever really spoken out about this. So be patient or keep reading rather, as it is an article and no one is actually speaking…

In February 2013 I found out that I had OCD. It was after six long months of anxiety and ill thoughts, of missing school and feeling down to the point of being unapproachable. It was great to finally have an answer for these things that I was doing and these feelings that I was having. See with me, although I am a perfectionist, it really isn’t based on ‘tidiness’ or if I’ve washed my hands enough times. I mean yes, they are aspects of it but they aren’t all of it like some people think. My OCD is linked with a lot of things, such irrelevant situations to others but are definitely significant to me. Let me explain, ok so such things as getting exactly eight hours of sleep each night or having to know the exact route we are taking somewhere. They are perfect examples of what OCD is for me.

I’m going to pose a scenario: imagine you’re lounging around at home and you get a text from one of your mates saying “we’re heading out tonight!” To most people nine times out of ten they’re like “Yes, woohoo, let’s do that!” Well for me, that poses nothing but anxiety, especially if I have somewhere to be the following day. Yes, it’s great that I’m young enough to be able to go out. But the stress I experience isn’t worth it which makes me come across as a hermit. But hey, it works for me. OCD leaves me lacking spontaneity I suppose, I can’t go on impulse, I have to be well informed or else uh oh, disaster. Now to bystanders that could be classed as ‘dramatic’ but for me it’s a necessity.

I’ve tried many things to try and help me deal with it and I long to be more forgiving of “spur of the moment” situations. I’ve tried medication, emotional eating and the most common one, ignoring the problem. Yes the medication helped, for a while. But then I became anxious because of how these tiny tablets were making me feel, which is ironic because they are anti-depressants after all.

That’s when I realised how lucky I was to have music in my life. I love to sing, to perform. I’ve been doing it since the age of 15, gigging from 16 onwards. I can go from busking on the streets to singing in bars and sometimes even on a prominent stage, that along with exercise has become my remedy. I know this sounds disgustingly cliché but it works for me. When I’m singing or in the gym, everything else just goes away for a little while, it’s an escape.

These days, I take it in small steps like I’ve been taught to by my counsellor. I take each day as it comes. I’m training myself to be more “out there” and positive but like everything, it will take time. At the end of the day, my OCD might never go away but it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference.

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