OCD And Me

You never fully conquer OCD. It is a wily and resourceful enemy. It will choose not to face you on the open battlefield where the massed ranks of your respective armies can clash in combat in an honourable fight to the death. OCD is not interested in such forms of conflict. It will not look you in the eye and engage you in this manner. Such finite battles mean little to it for it is focused on the long game. It fights a war of attrition, a guerilla war. A war without end.

You can bombard it with medication and therapy and it will simply vanish into the shadows like the last wisps of mist on a crisp summer morning. You can unleash your finest cavalry regiments to hunt it down but to no avail; it will be as futile as trying to sweep up leaves on a blustery autumnal morning. OCD is the Scarlet Pimpernel of mental illness. It can lie dormant for a seeming eternity lulling you into a false sense of security before swooping to strike when you least expect it. It has a calculated cunning.

OCD is a slim rapier blade as opposed to a broadsword. It does not hack and bludgeon you into submission yet it is just as deadly at its murderous craft. It probes and pokes at your defences, infinitely patient, waiting for the moment when it spies a chink in your armour. Then, and only then, will it will lunge forward forcing its blade beyond the gap in your armour and striking home. Piercing skin and muscle, driving deep inside; causing untold internal damage which is invisible to all but it’s victim. When it withdraws its blade again the damage is done and it stands back to admire its handiwork. It’s blade slick with your dark, sticky blood.

OCD is the skilled sniper who penetrates your present from a mile away with a single bullet to the head. OCD is the silent assassin who sneaks unseen into your bedroom at night to hammer a dagger through your heart while it covers your mouth with its other hand so no one can hear your dying scream. OCD is the enemy who plants the land mine unbeknownst to you on the path you are travelling. One moment all is well and you are striding ahead with purpose. The next you hear the eerie click a micro second before your life is blown sky high.

OCD is the shrapnel that remains with you many years after you believe the war is over. It is the wound that aches and chafes, a constant reminder of its potential and its presence. For days, weeks, months it is nothing more than a dull ache, a nagging inconvenience that you somehow manage to live with. You cope, you manage, you survive. There is nothing else to do. But when it rears its head like a dormant dragon and breathes fire you are blown away by its power and penetration. It sears you to the bone with its white hot malice.

OCD is not interested in occupation. It will retreat and allow you the higher ground. It is the master strategist and its patience is boundless. It’s armies never tire but will launch wave after wave of assaults on your ravaged defences. It will grind you down into the dirt, it will crush your spirit as it will crush your bones. It will never stop, it will never give up. It is immovable, irresistible, unstoppable. It thrives on the counter attack. It’s fury is unrivalled. And when it comes it takes no prisoners. For war is hell and it is the devil come to take you for its own.

OCD is not interested in truces or white flags. It sneers at diplomacy and tact. It engages in total war and will not be satisfied until it has razed your world to the ground. It desires your total destruction and nothing less. There will be no prisoners, no negotiations and no backing down. It is a fight to the death. Your death. Olive branches will be tossed into the flames of what once was to burn with everything else you once held dear. It is a brutal, uncompromising siege that will never be lifted until your world lies all around you, broken and in ruins.

It can not be beaten. At best it can be driven back beyond your borders. And even then you must never lower your guard because it will prowl your perimeters like a ravenous lion waiting, watching. All it takes is one seemingly innocuous thought to drift lazily over your towering walls and settle at your feet. It can be anything and it can be nothing. But in that split second you realise it is too late. You raise your shield and dive for cover but it is too late. For the thought has exploded into a million fragments which riddle you from head to toe with intrusive thoughts and the irrational, destructive cycle of compulsive carnage begins again. A merry go round of mayhem, your life on hold again.

Trapped beneath the ice, your screams unheard and frozen in time. OCD is all of this and more. I am OCD and OCD is me. I must never lower my defences. Never. And so I write and I pray and I hope. This foe is forever.

What is your knowledge of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Are you a sufferer or have you never heard of it before?

Please comment below and let us know your thoughts on this post?

43 thoughts on “OCD And Me

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  1. I’ve struggled, for the most part silently, with OCD as far back as I can remember. It sure can put me in a dark space because, unfortunately, obsessive thoughts aren’t always so cheery. 😔 I hate to say it, but I find that it gets especially out of control when I am trying to keep my refocus and STAY focused on Christ. Both tough battles.
    Sending love.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. What exactly does your OCD have you do? Rituals? Overthinking? I am curious because I too have OCD and i feel, in comparison, it is the least of my worries, of my mental illnesses. There are a variety of forms of it so I ask what wager you pay for this war.?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have pure OCD. I get bombarded with disturbing intrusive thoughts that cause me distress and anxiety. I then concoct complicated mental routines to try and resolve them. The routines take up so much time and energy that I struggle to function or focus on anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve written a fantastic story about a self-limiting label, without managing to tell me why you think your tendency to obsess and act compulsively is a problem for you.

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  4. I don’t have an official diagnosis, nor do I want one. That does not make me without compassion, for I do know the adversary who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Like all, I have suffered tearing rips from his sharp teeth many times. For me, the best practical defense has been to identify the troubling thing my mind may be dwelling on at the moment and recognize that my thoughts, though they are closest to me – and therefore loudest – are not telling me the truth. I try to fill my mind with the promises of God, particularly concentrating on one that directly combats the lie I am battling. If I despair that I will find such a promise in my current state, I default to this one that is found in the first part of John 16:13 – “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth”; and with that assurance, I keep seeking the promise I need. Over time, these promises lodged in my memory become formidable and ready weapons against the attacks of marauding thoughts. Please don’t think I am minimizing anyone’s struggle. I know full well that this is a battle to the death and that at times that black threshold’s gaping maw has a fearsome appearance. All that being said, the the diagnosis I am now willing to accept consists of the very promises of God that I have succeeded in believing. Sharing with another, giving actual voice to these promises; even that they are promised to me before I see any evidence whatsoever, has been at times the faith-building exercise that tipped the balance.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great writing once again. I don’t have OCD but hypomania and depression can both lead to obsessive and disturbing thought patterns. Mental illness is a silent and cunning enemy. Meditation has been a huge help for me, learning to separate who I am from what I think.

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  6. I have OVD and it is quite possible to manage and bend it into a tool. The marines have a saying: Adapt and overcome. Even though ,OCD has caused me a lot of pain down through the years: I can honesty say im glad that I have OCD. It has made me more detail focused, a better employee and a better Poet than I would have been had I never had OCD.

    So here’s to OCD this bud’s for you!

    🙂

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  7. I love your analogies and imagery! With writing about mental illnesses, using these tools can really help to explain the lived experience, which more “factual” or “scientific” information may struggle to do. Powerful words! Thank-you for sharing 💛

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  8. You described the battle perfectly. OCD has me in its clutches forever but I’m still here fighting. That’s something. 🙂

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  9. As you’ve read in my blog, I also suffer from OCD. It can be a terrible affliction, but I am making progress. I love this bit of imagery…
    “OCD is a slim rapier blade as opposed to a broadsword. It does not hack and bludgeon you into submission yet it is just as deadly at its murderous craft. It probes and pokes at your defences, infinitely patient, waiting for the moment when it spies a chink in your armour.”
    It is so true. It can be exhausting and be depleting of any energy remaining. I appreciate that knowing I am not alone.
    Keep up the good work, I appreciate your writing.

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  10. One of my granddaughters has OCD. She suffers greatly from it. She got it when she was 4 yrs old and is now twenty. Her doctor convinced her to get cognitive behavioral therapy.

    She has always said no to therapy, but she trusts her doctor so she is making this giant leap into the unknown. We are all hoping it will help her.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is definitely a beautiful piece of writing. I have done some research on OCD but do not struggle with it myself. I did however struggle with chronic depression and anxiety. I was self harming and suicidal. So, here’s why I tell you this. Continuously, humbly pray for healing. Submit to Him. Speak life over yourself. Your tongue has the power of life and death. Genesis says we are made in the image of God and as believers we have the spirit of God inside of us. So, how you identify yourself is how you identify God. We are beautifully and wonderfully made by Him, so where do you think He messed up on you? He didn’t. Now, some illnesses are healed by the grace and power of God removing them. Some are used for the glory of God in this earth. Regardless of whether or not God takes away your mental illness, this cannot be your identity. You are a child of God. That is your first identity, above all others. If you speak life and truth over yourself, you will see improvement. I promise. Instead of “I am depressed.” “I struggle with depression.” Instead of “that’s just who I am”; “this is a battle I am fighting.” “I am alone in this”; “My God goes before me.” I am so proud of each and every one of you that is struggling with mental illness right now. I’ve been there and I’m praying for you. Peace and love of God be with all of you.

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  12. There may be light at the end of the tunnel for you and other sufferers of neuropsychiatric disorders. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is known to cause OCD and other cognitive and neurological problems, in addition to its usual effect of severe anemia. This is because Vitamin B-12 is critical for the function of nerve tissues, as well as for the production of normal red blood cells. Even if you have always had a good diet, including foods high in B-12, you may not be absorbing it, if you have the autoimmune disease called pernicious anemia. If you have never been tested for parietal cell antibodies, intrinsic factor antibodies, and to find out your serum B-12 and iron levels, I strongly encourage you to get those tests done. Research has shown that even in cases where there is no indication of severe anemia, treatment with Vitamin B-12 injections can reverse the neuropsychiatric illnesses associated with this disease of malnutrition. I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia two years ago, and I look forward to my weekly B-12 injections with gratitude to God for helping me find a doctor who ordered the necessary tests, made the correct diagnosis, and began the treatment that saved my life.

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      1. I think that each of us in our way has “issues”. More or less rooted, more or less “serious”, more or less due to childhood, but we all have something going on. Even the ones who look serene and perfectly “normal” from the outside are “dealing” with someone. I think that “normal” is just a social definition that is never or rarely “real”.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I know little about it and so your posts have been very enlightening. I’m so sorry that you must face this demon. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be and I have the utmost respect for you!

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  14. I had OCD tendencies when I was a child, which went away in high school and stayed away through college. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder two years ago and it returned.

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  15. I am a ‘slight’ sufferer. My experience is limited to occasional episodes – I once returned home three times (the last time more than twelve miles) to check if I had locked the front door. My particular fetish surrounds security – buying six padlocks for one hasp is an example. For me, bouts of manic handwashing or book arrangement are rare. My enemy? I suppose it is – but I have so many enemies! I simply don’t have enough anxiety to go round.

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