History Is Written By The Winners

When my OCD was at its worst I was a slave to my own thoughts. They controlled me from when I opened my eyes in the morning until last thing at night. The obsessive thought would settle like a toxic dew and only lift temporarily whenever I completed the corresponding compulsive act. This normally involved tortuous mental routines which would leave me physically and mentally drained.

At the time I didn’t know I had OCD. Like many others I thought OCD was ritualistic hand washing or cleaning, neither of which I was prone to. Instead I thought I was a deviant, the only person in the world having the unwanted and deeply disturbing thoughts and images which assailed me from all sides, at all hours. These were very, very bad thoughts. Which therefore made me a very, very bad person.

When my OCD was it’s height I must have had thousands of such thoughts every day. Multiply that by the days, weeks, months and years and you get an idea of the numbers involved. The scale and complexity of the disorder is staggering. OCD is a jealous, possessive mistress that demands your total attention. It ruled my life with an iron rod; brutal, relentless and utterly forgiving.

My already fragile self-confidence plumbed new depths. I believed the OCD was part of me, as opposed to an alien mental disorder which could be managed by medication and other therapies. I was consumed by guilt and shame. I despised what I was becoming, what I had become. Every day brought fresh horrors and unspeakable scenarios. When I was lost in a routine it was as if time stopped. Nothing mattered except the routine. Nothing.

The key to my incarceration was disclosure. I finally summoned up the courage to tell Fionnuala the truth about what was going on inside my head. She didn’t flinch, she didn’t judge, she didn’t run straight to the divorce courts. Instead she researched my symptoms online, effectively diagnosed me and encouraged me to seek the medical health I required. She was there when I needed her most. Her love broke the chains.

Disclosure involved transparency, courage and honesty on my part. There was a risk involved but after I took that first step, the beast lost its hold over me. It thrives in the darkness where it wriggles and squirms, growing in guile and deception with every passing day. It whispers false truths but shirks from the light. When I saw it’s true face, the beast lost its power over me. It shrivelled and skulked, retreating into the shadows to lick its wounds.

You might be reading this today in the grip of obsessive, irrational or addictive behaviour. You know what you are doing is damaging but you cannot stop. You are alone and broken, you see no way out of your predicament. If you are, then I hope this post is of some comfort to you. You are not mad, you are not evil and you are not tainted. But you do need help. Take that first step and ignore the voice.

The voice is not you, it cannot be allowed to drown out your true identity. Rise up and fight back. Rebellion leads to freedom. Freedom to live the life you were created to live. Do not let the enemy within triumph. Fight back. Treat your self inflicted wounds as battle scars, red badges of courage and honour. History is written by the winners, by the victorious and not the vanquished. You are a winner. Start writing your story today.

Are you battling demons today? How are you coping?

46 thoughts on “History Is Written By The Winners

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  1. I think it’s very brave of you to come forward with so much transparency. OCD is like a a prison and part of my bipolar illness. I take meds for it, so it isn’t so controlling. All I can say Is stay strong and do the positive things in your life that give you meaning.
    With treatment, it’s not 100%. It’s better than nothing. However, found that talk therapy helps.

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  2. I can’t imagine having a condition like this – it sounds horrific. The worst I have are irrational feelings of “impending doom” – I’m worried about things but I’m not actually sure what (although it does seem to be coalescing into a fear of Brexit!) – but this may well be either part of the menopause, or a side effect of my hormonetherapy. Yours sounds much, much worse. May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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  3. Thank you for sharing. I tend too overthink a lot. Recently, it happens a lot at night causing me to lose sleep. Throughout the day it’s difficult to focus. I’ve had to ban myself from social media and checking my text messages every minute. I’m trying to break habits that’s been blocking my focus.
    I know it’s no where at a level you’re experiencing. But I think as humans we fall under a prison with demons holding us hostage to some degree.

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  4. It takes so much courage and vulnerability to reach out for help. But ultimately it allows us to heal. Thanks for writing about your experience and encouraging others to be honest with themselves. When I was diagnosed with a.d.d. it allowed me to be less ashamed and I was better able to care for myself. Great to know we don’t have to battle the demons alone and that you have support. Blessings to you and Fionnuala.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have OCD issues too, as well as really bad anxiety, depression, and social anxiety. Whenever I’m really stressed it manifests more obviously. I try to keep it under control as best I can. I have several demons I battle with but they’re my demons and I think I’ve got used to them by now…

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  6. Great story! As someone suffering with a mental disorder I can totally relate to how you thought it was just a part of you. I felt the same way about my symptoms. I would never have thought I was having panic attacks or that my overthinking, tics, and other “quirks” were part of an anxiety disorder. Thank God for google and in your wife! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I struggle, more than ever these days, with anxiety and depression. I had to switch my counselor but can’t get in until the end of September with the new one. Seems like I just have to live with my daily build up irrational thoughts, unhappiness, sleeping too much, hating myself, wondering what the point is, freaking out for stupid reasons, and feeling like I’m suffocating. Sometimes therapy doesn’t even help. Sometimes it’s situational. I have too much on my plate right now which makes things worse. I’m hoping therapy helps but I have a bad, nagging feeling I’ll always be like this. And that sucks. I’m glad you got the help you needed. It makes a difference when you have a good support system.

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      1. I’m trying to but with the school year starting, it’s go, go, go. I’m hoping that fades a few weeks from now. I’m trying to workout more and eat better. Some things I can’t control but other things I can.

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  8. So, you had your own Betty to deal with … Now I understand why you understand. Oh the demons we have to contend with. Thank God for not only your family, but your strength to acknowledge, accept and then attack. Bravo.

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