Why aren’t you as pleasant as people expect you to be? When people tell me that having you around is a good thing, I find no strength to argue. You’ve protected me for years, and yet I have nothing to show for it. I believe they are mistaken.
Others laugh when you take over their thoughts. Why must you make me cry when I can’t push you away? Are you easier on those people? Do you aim to torture me?
OCD, you work in deceptive ways. The mask you wear convinces people that you’re nothing more than silly preferences and quirks. You had me convinced for quite some time. I had no idea you were the monster in my head. Was this your plan all along?
The effortless way you move through my mind is haunting, striking me down at any place or time you feel necessary. I get stuck anywhere from five minutes to three hours, not able to move from where I stand. This is where your sufferers differ from those quirky people, particular with their cleanliness, organization, or inability to dispose of things with sentimental value. The overwhelming anxiety that takes over stops us from doing anything but our compulsions. You make us believe that you’re protecting us. In reality, you want absolute control.
I will change the way people see you. It will be a tough battle, but more people will know the truth of your existence. These knowledgeable people will hold hands to form a wall against your plague. They’ll share what they’ve learned with family, friends, and strangers. My entire family already knows how damaging you can be. You’ve shaken up my relationships. Reputations and personalities are warped in your presence. I won’t let you stop me, though.
Some days I falter under your strength, believing the twisted images you project. The amount of days I cower will decrease, and I will stand taller in your company. Those dangerous words you whisper will do no harm to my usually sensitive mind.
I will use my strength to help others stand up against you. The people you have forced to hide in their homes, wasting their life away doing hours of compulsions, will learn how to live with your annoying voice in the background. They will go to school, work jobs, clean their homes, raise families, and achieve their greatest dreams. Because you tore them down, they will rebuild themselves ten times higher, just as I have.
OCD, I fooled you into believing you had won. After quitting my job in an anxious fit, dropping out of high school, losing financial aid in college, and fighting more with my spouse than I ever had, I hit rock bottom. The lowest of lows had been achieved because you taught me to be scared of everything: my spouse, my animals, my body, food, everyday materials, and nature. You claimed years of my life, but you have not won. You never will completely defeat me.
Instead of the mindless rituals you encourage me to perform, I will write about the ways to defeat you and my struggle doing so. Beyond sharing our story to the world, I will work on the fictional novel I’ve always dreamt of creating. I know you’ll always be on the sidelines, pouting when I don’t obey you. There will be moments when I will feel low enough to succumb to you, but I promise to fight the urges. I’ll wear a smile, spread positive vibes, and keep trekking through. Your enticing voice will only fuel me to check more items off of my to-do list.
OCD, from this day on, people will know the truth about you. I will no longer live in shame of your unfortunate existence. Others will understand my compulsions and know there’s a huge amount of anxiety overflowing from within. They will know that I am only trying to protect them and myself when I fail to smother your tempting voice. Instead of ridiculing me for my failures, they will patiently help me, and others, to tell you no.
It’s about time we end the continuous cycle of your existence. Although it’s highly unlikely, try to give your sufferers and me a break as we pick ourselves up from the debris of your unexpected attack. We’ll be putting all of our energy into defeating you; when you feel us getting tired, give us our space. You claimed to want us to be happy, so why not let us be?