Tag Archives: self-help

My OCD Story, Part 1: Hand Washing and Worry

This is the first in a series of posts about my obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’ll be part biography, part documentary about the disease, and part self-help manual. If you struggle with OCD, I’ve learned some tricks and habits that may help.

Starting this is really difficult for me, but I feel like this is the block that’s preventing my life from moving forward. My OCD story is stuck in the machinery of my brain, and I feel like I’ll never be able to write again unless I tell it.

That’s the thing about obsessive-compulsive disorder. It loves the dark. It hates when you reveal its secrets, or talk about it like it’s no big deal. It taught me, at a very young age, to hide, to fear, and to lie.

My Beautiful, Anxious, Shitty Childhood

I grew up in an idyllic middle-class household in Northern Alabama. Two parents, a brother 2.5 years older than me, and all the toys and video games I could handle. We had a huge backyard festooned with fire flies and honeysuckle, and we pretty much always had a pug and a cat. My mom made us Kool-Aid and Jello, and sometimes she’d fry baloney with a slit down its radius to make little Pac-Men.

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What To Do When The World’s Crashing Down

I’ve had a couple of major sky-is-falling crises in my life. Times when everything was going wrong, and my brain wasn’t helping matters one bit. Money stuff was all wrong, relationships were going to shit, and my anxiety was through the roof. Every waking moment was a nightmare because of depression or grief, and there was no end in sight.

Maybe you’ve never had an era in your life like that, or maybe you’re feeling a little queasy seeing someone talk about it so openly. Either way, let’s figure out how to weather the storm. Let’s punch disaster in the nuts. How?

Survive.

That’s number one. I know it seems trite, but sometimes all you’re capable of is crouching down and covering your head as the blows rain down. You won’t win the round, but you’ll make it to the bell.

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