Wishing I was normal or something like it…..

I have a habit of looking at people. One of the things that I wonder when I look at someone is “how does it feel to not have OCD?” I wonder to myself, what the person I am looking at is thinking.  I wonder if they have any problems like I do.  I wonder how it feels to not be plagued by unwanted thoughts all day.

I have been going through a pretty bad OCD spike lately. There are a few reasons for this. I have a lot of stress in my life right now. That seems to be a big trigger for me. The more stressed out I am, the worse my OCD seems to get.  It’s like The Incredible Hulk.  If David Banner can not get angry, he won’t turn into the hulk.  OCD is like that for me.  If I keep my stress low, my OCD is low.

I recently switched medications for my OCD. I have gone from Luvox to Cymbalta. The switch hasn’t been terrible, but I really could do without being dizzy and feeling like I am pregnant in the mornings (That’s a joke, I am a male.)

I have cut way back on my alcohol intake. This will be a good thing in the long run, but right now I miss having the crutch. I still have a beverage or two, but I am trying to find a happy medium.  I used to “self medicate” pretty often with alcohol.  I will be the first to tell you that it works, in the short run.  In the long run, it really doesn’t work, it makes OCD  worse.

I would like to walk you through my typical day when I am in an OCD spike.  The below scenario is what I have been experiencing for a couple of months.

Wake up, OCD starts right up saying “you are going to go insane”, “you know you can’t be trusted alone”, “today is the day you snap and hit yourself,” “maybe you really want to harm your family.” This all happens pretty much from the time I get up to when I leave the house.

When I get to work if I have a hint of an emotion, I think I am going to have a breakdown. My OCD chimes in and says “This is the day it happens, your worst fears are coming true today buddy!”  

When I get off of work I usually go to a coffee shop because I don’t want to go home. I stay there for an hour or two and then go home.

When I get home my wife and I have dinner and watch T.V. While we are watching T.V. I usually get the thought that I am going to go insane and harm her or me or both. After T.V. we go to bed.

You would think that OCD would be done by then, but no, sometimes it even invades my sleep. I will have dreams about it.

I then wake up and it starts all over.

This isn’t every single day, but it happens when I am having an OCD spike.  I know that it will calm down eventually, but believe me when I tell you that it is not any fun to go through.

The good news is that I have learned many coping skills throughout the 3 years I have been seeing a therapist.  She specializes in OCD and has taught me excellent skills to combat OCD.  Without these skills I don’t know where I would be.  Most likely, hiding in a basement somewhere.

OCD is one of the worst diseases that a person can have.  I liken it to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”  It is always sounding alarms saying, “ALERT,ALERT,ALERT, DANGER, DANGER,DANGER,” but it is all a false alarm.  The bizarre thing is that your mind realizes that the alarm is false, but can’t help but think the alarm is real.  I will write another blog about the biology of OCD sometime.  That in itself is fascinating.

For all of you with OCD I salute you for getting up everyday and fighting.  I know how hard it is.  While it’s true that we do not have a cure for this disease yet, we can fight it.  Somedays it is going to win, that is a fact.  But, I think the goal is to have more good days than bad days.

I wonder what people without OCD think about when they are at home.  I wonder if they wish they were normal….. or something like it.

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