OCD Is Not A Joke

So why are we so quick to trivialise it?

From https://www.apost.com/en/blog/how-sensitive-is-your-ocd-radar/2197/

I saw this on my news feed and it made me really angry.

Far too often, OCD is used as a term to apply to people who are perfectionists, or who like things done a certain way.

This does not mean that they have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I saw another meme online a while ago, which stated “Just because I like things a certain way, doesn’t mean that I have OCD, it just means that I like shit done right”.

This is so true. People are always so quick to say that their “OCD” makes them do something as if it’s just some kind of random quirk.

Take it from someone who suffers on a daily basis (yes, SUFFERS)! This illness is not a quirk that I can pick up and put down.

Tell that to my aching muscles that are so tight from twitching already, but I can’t stop until it feels just right.

Tell that to my red and swollen hands that I’ve just had to scald with water.

Tell that to my chin, where I have picked and picked, just to get that single hair that has suddenly appeared from nowhere, that no one else but me can see.

How I wish that I could just pick these things up and put them down when I want to.

Imagine sitting on the floor, almost in tears because you haven’t managed to complete your routine ‘just right’ and now you have to start again.

Does that sound like a fun quirk to you?

Yes, being a perfectionist is part of it. We tend to see them: all of the small, insignificant things that no-one else notices, but what all of these memes and “How OCD are you?” quizzes miss out on are the crippling fear of these things not all being lined up in a neat little row.

Imagine seeing a pencil on a desk that’s not straight and worrying that if you don’t straighten it out, then your Mum will die.

Imagine straightening it up, and a moment of calm before the doubts that maybe it’s not straightened up enough come creeping in, and you’re left feeling like you have no choice but to keep straightening it over and over again until it feels ‘just right’.

Is it funny now?

From: https://me.me/i/people-who-always-feel-the-need-to-correct-other-peoples-20101873

I’m not saying that this research is untrue, but really, it just helps to further the misconception. I, too, correct grammar when I see a mistake. I do the same with spelling. This is not a part of my illness. I do it because I think grammar and spelling is important. There is a right, and a wrong way for it to be.

This is not the case with my other obsessive compulsive tendencies. A lot of the time, there is no right or wrong for these, only my perception of them.

Imagine if I were to say that my ‘diabetes’ was going into a hyper just by looking at that dessert on the menu… would that be amusing? I think, more likely, I would get some very strange looks, and some very judgemental ones, and yet, when people say that their ‘OCD’ is not happy, people just smile and laugh and nod.

In the UK alone, approximately 12 out of every 1000 people suffer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

For them, this illness (because that is what it is) is a crippling, life consuming thing that they must try and live their life around.

It isn’t just a case of “Oh, that sign is slightly crooked, let me correct it because it offends my eyes”, it is more a case of “Oh my goodness! That sign. It’s not straight. I must straighten it. If I don’t, then my house will burn down, possibly with my family inside it”

It is a completely unrealistic, and irrational fear, and do you know the craziest thing?

More often than not we know it’s stupid and we spend hours telling ourselves this; telling ourselves off, but when it comes down to it, we still have to do it.

We still have to make that sign straight, and then check it, and check it again.

This is something I can’t even imagine choosing to label myself with. I would give anything to not have this label, but it’s one I am cursed with, and one that I have to live with.

So, to all of you out there, that choose to do these ‘OCD’ Tests, please, just think a little before you share them on social media.

I understand that to you, it is just a fun quiz, and a bit of a time killer, but if you really had OCD, you would be begging for that little bit of time back, because we sacrifice so much time to our illness on an daily basis, that we can sometimes lose hours at a time, just trying to get away from the most recent compulsion that threatens to completely overwhelm us.

This is my reality. This is my life. It is not a joke. It is not fun, and it is not something that should be ‘tested’ for and commented about in such a flippant manner. I wouldn’t dream of making a joke about asthma, or cancer, or pneumonia, so why is it ok for you to make a joke about an illness that makes me and thousands of other people worldwide’s lives miserable.

I would give anything not to have this condition.

It is the dark shadow always hanging over my shoulder, and the chain I must carry behind me.

Please don’t try to give yourself the same chain, and please don’t make light of mine.

If you can joke about it, then you clearly have no idea what it’s actually like to live with it.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.


Brainstorming Ideas

Some of my tried and tested techniques

Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash

If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re a blogger, or at least a writer. The chances are that you know the struggle to come up with new ideas.

This is the question that I get asked all the time: “Where do you get all your ideas?”

The thing is that there is no simple answer. I’d love to say that a fairy-like muse swoops in and drops off ideas for me every day, but that simply isn’t true!

The truth is that I have to search my imagination and rack my brains to find my ideas, just like everyone else.

do have a couple of tried and tested techniques, though:

1. Write lists.

Write lists of anything and everything. Write lists of words that stand out to you. List names- you never know when you might be searching for that exact one for one of your characters. List settings, and situations. This is an absolute blessing when you’re really struggling for an idea.

2. Look for a prompt.

There are so many sites with these on, and often one prompt will just stand out to you. Once you have that, start freewriting- even if you think it’s rubbish. I guarantee that you’ll find a story fragment in there, if you just look hard enough!

3. Just start to write.

I know it sounds too simple, but freewriting, or stream of consciousness writing is a veritable goldmine. You will either find something to write about, or at the very least, you will find that you’ve emptied your head of all those thoughts, thus freeing up your mind to be creative. It only has to take ten minutes- give it a go. It’s never failed me yet!

4. Read.

If you’re really stuck, look to the stories you love- the books that you could read again and again and not get bored with. You’re bound to find a spark of inspiration in there- after all, there’s something in them that you connect with- something that keeps you coming back to them!

5. Play “What if?”

I really love this one! I simply look at a situation, (real or imagined) and write down a list of what if’s.

For example: If we take the Harry Potter books…

a) What if Harry ended up in Slytherin?

b) What if Voldemort tried to kill Neville instead of Harry?

c) What if Harry had listened to Malfoy and not befriended Ron?

d) What if Harry had refused to believe that he was a wizard?

e) What if Snape had actually liked Harry?

Here, you have five ideas, all primed and ready to go. Now, I’m not suggesting you try to rewrite Harry Potter, (although fan fiction can be really good fun, and an excellent way of keeping those writing muscles active when the dreaded writer’s block strikes!) but you could try this with any of your own stories- you never know, you might actually come up with something you enjoy writing more!

So, there you have it! Five of the ways I use to brainstorm ideas.

Have fun!


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.


NanoWrimo

And why I’m breaking the rules

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

This year, as with every year since 1999, thousands of writers around the world will take on the challenge to write 50000 words in November. I defy anyone that writes, to not know this.

The thing is that Nano can set you up to fail if you don’t approach it right.

I’ll be honest, I have failed at Nano more times than I have succeeded-

So, this year, I’m doing things differently.

I’m not aiming to write a fully functioning first draft of a novel in thirty days. Hell, it takes Stephen King three months to write a novel, and he is a writing genius, and prolific, to boot!

Instead, I plan to write the first 60,000 words of a novel draft.

This will not make a finished novel- not even close.

That’s the problem with Nano- it leads people (myself included) to believe that a novel finishes at 50000 words, when that simply isn’t the case.

Not even a middle grade novel averages 50000 words. You would need to add 5000 words to it to get an average middle grade novel.

Another issue with it is that a lot of people think that come the 30th of November, then will have a novel that’s completely ready to submit to an agent or a publisher.

This is not the case. There is so much more to writing a novel than just getting the first draft on paper- truth is, that is really where the hard work begins.

For this year’s Nano, I plan to just have fun with writing. I am just going to show up, every single day, and use this month to get my daily writing habit back on track!

Good luck, Wrimo’s!

Onwards to the 30th!


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.