1. I can't eat in college at all. Meaning that I go 12 hours without food every single day. Due to this I have meal replacement drinks instead
2. I can't eat anything without using knives and forks. Which means in public I have to eat with plastic cutlery
3. I wash my hands continuously. Sometimes it's 20 or 30 times. Sometimes it takes half and hour. Sometimes I have to do it till it feels just right
4. I have to check the door 50 or so times before I leave the house until it feels just right
5. I can't work at a table in college until I've wiped it down with an anti-bac wipe
6. I have to wear gloves when I leave the house, whatever the weather, hot or cold
7. My feet and elbows are excellent at opening doors and flushing toilet handles.
8. Public toilets terrify me, so I avoid them at all costs.
9. My hands are sore, bleeding and cracked because of the over washing
10. I struggle to touch people. I'm not too bad with hugging but kissing and holding hands is a massive no
11. Which currently puts any form of relationship off limits
12. As a result, I spend a significant amount of my time alone
13. I have poured neat bleach over my hands. Sometimes up to five times a day.
14. I've struggled to sleep because I would wake up in the night in a panic that I wasn't clean enough.
15. I hoard empty hand sanitizer bottles in the fear that if I throw one away something bad will happen
16. What and where I eat is decided on the ease of eating that food with cutlery.
17. For example, I eat crisps with a spoon. I try to avoid crisps when I'm out and about because I get a lot of stares
18. As a child, I was paranoid of the house catching fire or people breaking in.
19. I was always asking my mum for reassurance that the door was locked be the smoke detector was in
20. I have anxiety and panic attacks
21. Sometimes I burst into tears, start rocking back and worth and start hyperventilating
22. Other times I go really quiet. I don't move and stare into the distant
23. And sometimes I have a fit of anger and rage. Afterwards, I break down
24. Panic attacks mean that I miss a lot of lessons at college and sometimes can't even get to the lesson at all.
25. Going to public places and using public transport scares me a lot
26. I get panicky in places that I can't escape easily. I worry that people are going to be sick and I won't be able to get away
27. I sweat and overheat in the summer as I have to wear long sleeves to cover my hands to avoid me getting contaminated
28. I can't even hug or kiss my own parents
29. I've sprayed my hands continuously with antibacterial surface spray.
30. I have come incredibly close to burning myself because I've refused to touch the kettle handle with my hand and instead use my jumper.
One of my friends, Rich did a blog post just like this a few weeks back. You can read that post HERE. Both rich and I suffer from OCD. When reading his post, I found that I could relate to it a lot. I loved the twist on the post. Using the phrase "I'm so OCD" which is often used in such a loose and misunderstood way to accurately highlight the reality of what it's like to live with OCD.
This week (20-26th Feb) is OCD actions, week of action in which they focus on taking action to get help for your OCD, to help others with OCD and to have meaningful conversations about OCD. Lots are going on in OCD Actions HQ this week and right across the country to help fundraise money for OCD Action, which proves second to none support for those suffering from, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If you would like to find out more about the work OCD Action do, you can check them out HERE, follow them on Facebook HERE and TWITTER HERE.
In light of OCD Action week, I thought I would share 30 reasons why "I'm so OCD" and actually hopefully help you understand that OCD isn't all about being neat, tidy and organised it's actually a severe mental illness that completely tears life's apart. Hopefully, by continuing to talk about my own experiences with OCD, I will encourage others to do the same and maybe, just maybe, over time help reduce the stigma.
Thanks for reading as always X