OCD In A Time Of Plague

Yesterday was a struggle. It dragged interminably and a restlessness descended upon the house; a sense of boredom and frustration. There was plenty to do, chore wise, but we lacked the motivation and desire to launch into any new tasks. Personally, I could sense obsessive thoughts circling my carefully constructed defences like vultures hovering over their next victim; watching and waiting for the inevitable final breath.

The thoughts are ridiculous but incessant and revolting. They peck at my consciousness, a nagging rhythm which taps out a steady beat, increasing in regularity and volume as the day progresses. They are a casual evil and have all the time in the world as I rush my meagre resources to the ramparts in an effort to repel them. I succeed, this time, but they will be back. They play the long game, a war of attrition par excellence.

I don’t want to think these thoughts but there they are, bold as brass on my front doorstep, all wrapped up in a shiny bow waiting to be unwrapped and unraveled. Unraveled. That’s how OCD works. It picks at a loose thread until it pulls away and soon the whole garment of your sanity is falling apart at the seams. All it needs is one gap, one opportunity, one second of weakness. It will take root and flourish. Watch as it’s thorny vines engulf your battered mind.

These are thoughts of death and misery, these are visions and images of unimaginable suffering. I succumb and check again, watching the tide of despair sweep all before it. The voice inside me, my personal Skelly, smirks and says they deserve it for their staggering ignorance and stupidity. But nobody deserves this, you wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy, on a dog in the street. Yet still I ruminate and succumb to the thoughts, kicking and screaming every inch of the way.

OCD plucks you from the straight and narrow, the well trodden path. It senses, it smells your vulnerability and drags you from the safety of the herd into the long grass. There it can paw at you, probe at leisure, until you split open like a pregnant peach, exposing your inner workings to its ravenous intentions. It will feast upon your essence, drain you dry until nothing remains but a desiccated husk. You will be tossed aside and left to rot, a putrid irrelevance.

We are fighting a war. The daily casualty list rises as our politicians, physicians and scientists fight to curb this killer virus. There are many heroes, genuine and worthy. There are others less so, clinging to the bandwagon and strutting about like pampered peacocks. We clap, we cheer, yet the voice is capable of drowning out every vacuous platitude and overused cliche. It grinds the soul, scatters the powdered remnants to the four winds. This is OCD in a time of plague.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

48 thoughts on “OCD In A Time Of Plague

  1. You have such a wonderful gift, describing and defining this enemy within. Surely others find comfort in knowing the fight is real, their enemy is relentless and that they’re in good company. I do wish you the best in reclaiming all that you battle so hard to control.

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  2. I am a big RUSH (the band) fan & I adored Neil Peart. In his book, “Ghost Rider” (I highly recommend it), he talks about those kinds of thoughts & he says, you have to “keep moving”. In his case, he got on his BMW touring bike & went for a ride, but in your case, GO FOR A RUN. In my case, it’s just get out of the house for a good brisk walk.

    He also said to tell yourself (your thoughts) F off. Sometimes that’s what you have to do.

    Hang in there. As they say in AA, “This too shall pass” & it will. Hugs

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  3. This time has changed our routines…the things we have in place to cope and I suspect before this is all done we will use all the coping skills we have and had to learn some new ones. Keep going Stephen, Go play a game with your family?? Whatever you can think of.

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  4. Thank you for powerfully and vulnerably sharing the inner workings of your struggle. Hopefully speaking it (writing it) is one way of dealing with the demons. As this virus has goaded me into worries and obsessive patterns of behavior, I have wondered about you. Stay safe… be well… keep fighting the good fight.

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  5. I’be been noticing little “tics” that have to be done a certain way, or certain thoughts that come screaming in from out of the blue. I know this is depression and anxiety, in one of his demonic guises. I don’t know what this is going to look like – I’m presuming the same 4 walls for a while – but I sure do want to see what happens when we walk out on the other side of this.

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  6. I see you, Stephen. Up and down the hills of life we go, together. We will get there in the end, and my goodness we’ll have some stories to tell by the time the final curtain closes. You’ve got this. As always. 💪🏻🌸xx

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  7. Poetic and beautiful… “Unraveled. That’s how OCD works. It picks at a loose thread until it pulls away and soon the whole garment of your sanity is falling apart at the seams.” To this I can relate. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. I’m so sorry for this struggle. Thank you for giving words to what you are going through, as I know that it brings hope to many others. Sometimes fighting the battle is actually the victory, not necessarily the outcome. You will get through this. You are enough.

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  9. I know you and I both have OCD. I was diagnosed at 23. My birthday is next week.

    My OCD (germ-phobia variant) because of its presentation, has increased in severity since this novel virus has manifested. As you know stress makes it worse.

    The obsessive thoughts slither on an incessant loop in my cerebellum until I cannot bear it and then I have to perform a ritual. If I don’t, the obsessions become twice as loud as before. I am so desperate for anxiety relief but as soon as I give in, the cycle begins again. I suffer greatly.

    I have other fears too, one of them is taking new medication. Still haven’t taken the OCD meds. Ironic isn’t it? My psychiatrist thinks it’s a real hoot.

    I truly emphasize with you. and as another OCD sufferer, know I’m always here for you. You’re not alone with this thing.

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  10. Although I don’t think I’m OCD, I do think that we all have a certain amount of these nattering kinds of thoughts. My husband and I like to call them “nattering nabobs of negativism” using a phrase one of our politicians used many years ago. It describes them perfectly (they are relentless!) and reminds us to stop the negativity.

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