Trying to explain the fear that comes from mental illness is nearly impossible. The fear that is associated with it is paralyzing. Panic attacks are there waiting to strike. And one single word or look can make it attack.
Something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember has been fear, has been panic. It’s one of those ‘fun’ things about having OCD. The hardest part about having OCD in my opinion is that it is a high functioning disorder, meaning that most of us who have it are mentally capable of understanding that what we are thinking is irrational but we just can’t grasp control to stop it.
This week has been harder for me. I got so focused on schoolwork that I allowed myself to go and go, without breaks. I did a weeks’ worth of school work in about 3 days and got assignments done that aren’t even due until next week. Because I kept pushing, I pushed myself into exhaustion and now as per my usual cycle I am having a hard time doing anything.
Today I woke up and decided to not attend my church service. At first, I convinced myself that I just didn’t want to go, so no big deal. But with every minute leading up to the time where I could get dressed and get there; my anxiety was increasing. I try to reason with myself saying, ‘you made it last week and everything worked out’, but then that stupid little OCD voice says, ‘last week was different, this week you’d have to walk home if you didn’t want to stay the whole time, if you walked home you would fall and it’s just not a good day to go.’ I knew what I was thinking was extremely irrational, but the thoughts got me dizzy, lightly shaking and left me feeling too scared to try.
The thing that really sucks is that I know the only way to overcome fear is to act. I know it! So, why is it so hard to just get up and do it? I think this is a popular thing that most people who suffer from OCD think about all the time. It gets me angry; it makes me want to punch something because I beat myself up so much that I start believing that I am not trying hard enough.
Most of the time I try to remind myself of all the things I have done well. I’ve kept up in school this summer, I have attended church this summer and I have really pushed myself to go to stores. It can be really hard to not beat yourself up for giving into a compulsion or worrying about what others think. Sometimes the tears come and sometimes you feel defeated. I do. In fact, that’s why I wrote this blog, is to show you that life isn’t easy sometimes. The best advice I can give you from what I have learned, is to never give up. No matter what comes just remember that God will never give you something you can’t handle. I’ve come to learn that as much as I don’t like having OCD, each of us is given a big challenge to work with in life, and this is mine. I’m not going to give up but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard sometimes.
I hope you can all remember that God loves you, I know it might not feel like it sometimes, but those are the times you have to really dig into your thoughts and decide how you are going to take the challenges. You are all amazing and I cannot express how thankful I am that you support me. As always remember, You Got This!