OCD Tales – Repeat Ad Nauseum

I’ve been on my phone a lot during lockdown. I’m aware of this and it annoys me. I try to curtail my checks but the little voice in my head often wins out. Just one more scroll through my social media accounts, another glance at book sales, a quick nosey at the news headlines or coronavirus death toll. I often give in when I know there is other much more relevant stuff in the real world I could be doing. As I said, this annoys me.

It’s just another aspect of the many headed beast that is addictive, obsessive behaviour. I struggle with moderation, my brain cannot apply the brakes or flick the off switch as easily as others might. It’s a double edged sword. When I launch into a project I tend to dive in with both feet and give it everything I have. That’s probably why I’ve run ten marathons and am now starting work on my third book.

I often wish I was wired differently. It would make my life a whole lot easier. But I am who I am. I try to moderate my behaviour with medication and talking to Fionnuala when I’m faced with a niggling urge or unwanted thought. But sometimes I keep it bottled up and the pressure builds until I think my head is going to burst. The beast unfurls within my stomach and it’s icy tentacles grasp at my tightening chest.

This is OCD. Doing something you don’t want to do but feel compelled to in order to ease the building panic and anxiety within. If I don’t check my Twitter feed religiously, I could miss a potential sale. If I don’t get 100 likes a day on a blog post then I’m a writing failure. If I don’t…if I don’t…if I don’t. These words beat a relentless rhythm through my head as I struggle to juggle competing priorities and demands. It’s an endless war of attrition.

They say a watched kettle never boils. Well, I can’t afford to take my eyes off the stove for a second. For if I allow the contents of my mind to bubble over, who knows the damage that might be caused. Scalding, scarring, searing through flesh and destroying anything it touches. These are the thoughts that race through my mind like a runaway train, hurtling towards the end of the track, where devastation and destruction await.

Perversely all is calm and tranquil on the surface. I come across as day dreaming. You might ask me a question and I’ll not answer. I’m a million miles away, waging a brutal battle against an unseen enemy, going toe to toe in the trenches. There can only be one winner and no parley will be called for or given. OCD is a dirty fighter, it does not abide by the rules. It is seductive and vicious in equal measure. It knows no boundaries.

I must always be on my guard against its lies, for it argues that excess is the key to success. Excess can be good for you cannot give or love enough, right? But it wraps me up in a Gordian knot of selfish strands that envelop me within a web I cannot cut my way out of; even with the sharpest of blades. I writhe and wriggle in vain, awaiting the coup de grace, where the beast sinks into venom into my veins. Obsessive thought. Compulsive action. Repeat ad nauseum.

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.

37 thoughts on “OCD Tales – Repeat Ad Nauseum

  1. Yes, I hear you – those same words go through my head and it paralyses. I can’t move forward until it’s done and safe to do so. Which is never. This is why I don’t sleep. Thank you for bringing this to light. This pandemic has exacerbated so much.

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  2. I think you’re being hard on yourself. I don’t have OCD but I’m doing similar things. This situation isn’t helping anyone. Be kind to yourself x

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  3. I am so glad you are able to reign in the beast to focus and collect your thoughts, sharing them vividly with us. Your insight and mastery of the language help your readers to better understand this illness and some of its effects. It is wonderful that you have and appreciate the support of your family.

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  4. I wouldn’t say that I have OCD but more of a need to have a purpose. Make sure I’m doing something all the time and it gets out of control fast. I can overwhelm myself with the amount of duties I give myself in the day. If I miss just one I feel like a failed the entire day or even my whole family… maybe my life… so Dramatic but I can get spinning pretty easily.
    I feel like you so much. Fighting to keep my thoughts in what I call the yellow or green light area.
    Red is full anxiety and I’m not able to make decisions at all.
    Yellow is not great but I’m wise enough to know I’m being attacked. I need to remove myself from stressful decisions and come back to them when I’m in the green or get help. But I can still manage my day.
    And then green is a proactive day- I’m functioning well and flowing with more ease through my day and with others. I can bounce back from road blocks without struggling.
    I seem to have more yellow day and have had a few red that last 3 months but I know we all are in history making times -with power hungry Governors…. so what helps me is remembering no matter what happens in Government… God is King 👑 and He has totally control. Keep the Faith ❤️

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  5. I can’t even take the medication Dr. R prescribed for my OCD as one of my fears involves taking new medications and what may happen if something goes wrong. I was given a pill in my 20’s that lowered my BP to the point I fainted.

    I hid about 95% of my blog for the reasons you mentioned. I re-read them, saw no engagement and realized,” wow, I really am a writing failure.”

    My OCD is winning right now.

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