On The Torments Of Living With OCD In Your Life For The Last Nineteen Years

Thoughts Upon Entering The Darkness Within The Disordered Mind And The Beliefs That Control It



Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

People think they know what it means to be depressed. What it means to have OCD…

They have no clue.

OCD isn’t about odd obsessions. Or only liking even numbers.

OCD is hell.

It’s being stuck in a neverending loop, where if you don’t do something, you have to live with a constant niggling, crippling doubt, and the only way to get rid of it is to do that thing over and over and over again, until it feels ‘just right’.

You hate yourself so much, and the more you have to do it, the more you hate yourself, the more you beat yourself up.

It’s a sickening, vicious circle that you have no chance of breaking.

Is that how people feel when they joke about OCD?? Is it?

They think it’s all just fun and games; that being a ‘little bit ocd’ is joke.

It’s not!
It never has been!

It never will be.

They don’t have a clue what it’s like for me. How long it takes me to do things… To get ready in the morning. To make food. To even leave the house.

If they knew. If only they knew, maybe they’d be a little less quick to joke!

It takes me over an hour to get to bed each night, because of my routines. I have to go to the bathroom over twenty times, just to make sure.

I twitch.

I have to perform rituals, and if I do them wrong, I have to start all over again.

I have to wash my hands over and over again; scrubbing them, and scalding them with boiling hot water, just to make sure that they’re clean.

I try to fight it, but then I worry. What if? It’s THE OCD question. What if I don’t do this? What if [insert terrible thing here] happens because I haven’t done this? What if? What if? What if?

Every time I do anything I have to think of the consequences. The results. Everything. EVERYTHING has to be pre organised and planned.

I can’t be spontaneous, because, what if something goes wrong. What if I do something unexpected and something terrible happens. What would I do then?

No one understands. People laugh at my little oddities, but they don’t get it. They don’t really see how important it is, and they never will, because they don’t live within my disordered brain.

I am not ‘a little bit OCD’. I have fully blown OCD, and it’s HELL! It is not a quirk. It is a living nightmare that I never wake up from.

It is not a joke, so please, don’t treat it like one…


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.


The Truth About Anxiety

And why it is NOT the new buzz word.


Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash


I was diagnosed with anxiety over ten years ago. This diagnosis is one that I have mostly tried to keep hidden. It has been a source of shame and disgust to me. I saw it as a sign of my own weakness and ineptitude.

My anxiety takes the form of panic attacks, an inability to breathe in certain situations. I twitch, even though I try as hard as I possibly can not to. I shake, often violently. Again, I try so hard not to, but it isn’t something that I can control.

There are other things. Things that are less obvious. These include me often not being able to enter into new situations. I also find that familiar situations are overwhelming when my anxiety is particularly bad.

I tend to avoid these situations if I possibly can. I generally think of it as my being socially inept. I don’t cope well in large (or even, medium) sized groups. There are times when I can do it, but there are also times when it feels like a task that is simply too much.

It doesn’t stop there. When I am able to enter into these situations, I always come away from them feeling completely exhausted and wiped out.

I think this is partly down to the fact that I am an introvert, but it is also more than that. The constant worry and nervousness caused by anxiety makes it practically impossible for me to maintain any kind of ‘normal’ social life.

I have a small group of close friends, who understand; who get me, and who are happy to spend time with me, but who are also able to accept when I simply cannot be social. Sometimes, they even just let me sit in a corner and read or knit.

The thing is that I think, lately, anxiety has become a bit of a buzz word. More and more often, I see posts on social media with people talking about ‘my anxiety’.

Now, I am not, in any way, trying to dismiss these people, if they have true anxiety, but at the same time, I feel that I must draw attention to the difference between nerves, and being nervous, versus true, clinically diagnosed anxiety.

It is all on a spectrum, I know, but the difference between the two things is vast. In fact, it is as vast as the difference between a turned ankle, and a broken leg.

All too often, I have had people telling me that I should just get over it, or that I’m simply not praying hard enough, but it isn’t as simple as that.

When it comes down to it, the difference is that with nerves, they are usually surrounding a singular event, whereas anxiety spans multiple events, numerous times.

Nerves are something that can be overcome with relatively little difficulty, whereas, anxiety is crippling.

It can lead a person to live a half life; a life of fear, and panic and terror.

Of course, anxiety can be treated, and can be managed, but, again, this is a long, painful, and difficult road, which I would not wish anyone to have to walk.


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.



Three Years

A Personal Piece

Today, I can officially say that I have not cut myself for three years. Three years! I’m actually really proud of myself.

There have been times in the last three years, which have been the most difficult I’ve ever faced, but instead of my usual go to, when I would reach for the blade, I have messaged a friend, or journaled, or tried to focus on some other, less damaging way of dealing with things.

I won’t lie, and say that there have never been times when I’ve felt like giving up; when my resolve has been weakened, but I’ve stayed strong, and now, I can sit here, typing this post.

I have to say, I’m pretty terrified about posting this piece, but I am fed up of hiding. This is a part of my past, and this blog post is about me looking towards the future. I’m not saying that I intend to shout it from the roof top, but I don’t want to make up excuses any more.

The fact is, that there are times when life becomes hard; overwhelming, even, and in these moments, I used to turn to something self destructive, but now, I am choosing to look for other ways to cope. Sometimes, that takes the form of medication, and sometimes it means simpler things.

The fact is, that I am not ashamed of my scars any more. They are a part of me, and they show the battles that I have gone through; and the battles that I have won. They show both my failures, and my successes.

They are a part of my journey, but I won’t let them define me any more.

Last year, I got a tattoo, decorating some of my scars. Last Autumn was the first time in over ten years, that I have worn a short sleeved shirt, without any kind of arm covering.

Today, I added to that tattoo. It isn’t finished yet, but it will be soon.

I am not trying to glorify self harm in any way, and if you are considering, or actively self harming, then I beg you to talk to someone, and to get some support.

The thing is, I don’t see beauty in my scars. They are a visual reminder of my destructive impulses, but the fact is that they are there, and I wanted, not to cover them, but to create something beautiful out of something so negative.

I just want to say, to anyone reading this, who might be going through some tough times. It isn’t easy, and if anyone tells you otherwise, then they are lying, but you are strong, you are beautiful, and you can get through this.

And things will get better…


If you want weekly updates from me, please 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.

In The In-Between

A Short Dramatic Piece

The curse of the blank page is something that shouldn’t plague me.

I am a writer.

Words are my thing.

They free me; so why, do I somehow feel so completely trapped.

As I stare at the blank page, so fresh with all number of possibilities, I wonder why it paralyses me like this, when it is meant to be the very thing that frees me.

Looking away from the screen and around the room, I glare at the sunlight gleaming into the room, and blazing off the page, making it seem even whiter than normal.

I didn’t want to give in to it, but the words simply wouldn’t come, and as the time ticked down, slowly bleeding my life away, I realised that I really had nowhere to go from here.

The feeling crippled me, making me feel impotent; broken.

I couldn’t breathe.

I couldn’t imagine another day like today…

and that’s why I did it.

That’s why I am now laying in a hospital bed, in a coma, with only a slim chance of waking.

I know I should feel bad; wrong, even, but the only thing I feel is regret. Regret that I am laying here in this bed, rather than cold, in a casket in the ground.

Some people would say that it’s selfish, but really, when it comes down to it, if they haven’t lived the same life as I, then, do they really deserve to be able to comment.

It’s strange here; oddly white, and my body feels like it’s once removed. Which, I guess it is, in a way.

Once removed from me, and once removed from the world outside.

Should I be happy?

I’m not honestly sure. In fact, the only thing that I know for sure, is that I did not choose the state that I am now forced into living in.

People generally fall into two categories when it comes to this. One group believes the act to be selfish. The other believes that the act should be pitied.

I was never sure which side I would fall on.


If you want weekly updates from me, please 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.

Mental Health Days

And why it’s okay to take them…

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Over the last few days, I have been struggling with a particularly bad patch of depression. It has been one of those times when it has even been a struggle to get out of bed, and all I’ve really wanted to do is curl up in a ball and read, because when I read, I can escape into another world that isn’t mine.

The thing is that I had to decide which battles were worth fighting. I could have dragged myself up and forced myself to persevere with what I ‘should’ have been doing, and would have probably got none of it done, or at least, done it very badly.

I couldn’t concentrate on anything much at all, and every time I tried to think, I just kept falling back into that black hole.

This is when I knew that I needed to make the decision on whether I carried on throwing myself against a brick wall, or whether I just decide to practice self care, and give my body and mind what it wants.

That’s the thing with depression, or any other kind of invisible illness. Sometimes, you have to pick your battles; and sometimes, it’s okay to accept that you need to take a minute, or an hour, or a day.

My usual limit on mental health days is three. If I need to, I will allow myself three days off, but after that, I try and get back into some kind of routine. Although I still try to practice self care.

There are several ways of self care, and they can range from simply watching a favourite movie or tv show, or reading a favourite book, to taking a bath, or giving yourself a manicure, or even taking the dog for a walk.

The thing to remember, no matter how guilty you feel is that the world won’t stop turning just because you need to take some time to look after your own mental health.

It’s a battle sometimes; I know that, but it’s really important that you learn to accept your limitations and that you listen to your body and mind, because, when it comes down to it, if you’re not going to listen, then who wil



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.

On Being An Outcast

On Being An Outcast

And Why We Should Let People In

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

There are times when you feel like you just don’t fit in; times when you couldn’t feel more like the odd one out. More often than not, I feel like I am standing on the outside, looking in, but then something happened, which made me realise that this was more to do with my feelings than with anything else.

Sometimes, we can think that we are all on our own, when, really, there are people out there who care, and who want to be there, if only we let them.

In the midst of a depression, it can be all too easy to think that nobody cares, but we need to remember (especially during these times) that people do care, and that they want to be there, but in order for them to do that, we need to actually let them in.


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.

The Bridge

The Bridge

A Poem

Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash

It comes to mind,
In darkest of times,
A place to go
To make everything end.

The pain to stop,
The hurt to cease,
The memories that make,
Her so ill at ease.

She can’t go there,
Or she’ll be nowhere,
She has to resist,
Pain that’s too much to bear.

Things will look different,
When another day is spent,
In time she’ll feel better,
Her life will depend.


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.

Piling On The Pressure

Piling on the pressure

And why I’ve decided to give myself a break.

Photo by Lysander Yuen on Unsplash

Being a carer, there is a LOT of extreme and constant pressure on you. Your life becomes something that is not about you at all. Your entire existence becomes wrapped up in looking after the person that you care for.

A large number of these carers will, at some time or the other, experience burnout. They will get to the point where, no matter how much they want to, they literally cannot physically or emotionally, give any more.

I know this feeling, and it isn’t a nice one. Dependent on the needs of the person that you’re caring for, there can be immense pressure:

“If I’m not there when they need me, will they hurt themselves?”

These thoughts can go round and round in the mind of a carer, until the fear is almost crippling. I know it was for me.

Carers very rarely put themselves first. They always come second, never will they put their own needs above their loved one.

I can remember days when I was so exhausted, and had the beginnings of a migraine, and even then, I made sure that my sister was okay and that she had everything that she needed before I actually took the painkillers I needed and took myself to bed.

Since my sister passed away in 2017, I have been struggling to adjust to a life where I am not a carer. The habits I learnt back then have taken a long time to break. For example, I used to try and cram as much of my writing and art and craft into the morning as I possibly could, because I knew that the minute that midday came, I would be needed to fulfil my carer duties.

Although this has not been the case for more than a year now, I have only just been able to allow myself time in the mornings in order to relax, in the knowledge that I can now, also work in the afternoon.

It sounds so simple and so stupid, and yet, it has been a real issue for me.

This week, I have, rather than giving myself daily schedules, simply set out the minimum number of hours I wish to spend on each thing (writing, studying, artwork, crafting). I haven’t really looked at whether I am on track or not. I am just simply allowing myself to spend the time working on these things, but the targets being there helps my badly behaved brain to not panic about not achieving enough.

Through this process, I am giving myself permission to have some breathing room, and so far, my productivity has flourished because of 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.

Social Media Breaks

Social Media Breaks

And Why I’m Taking One

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Lately, (thank you depression), I have found myself spending more and more time on social media, not actively commenting and talking to people, but simply passively reading posts.

It has become somewhat of a time killer for me, and I have far too many things that are important to me that I need to spend time doing, so I am taking a forced social media break.

I have three deadlines coming up at the end of the month, and I have a LOT of work still to do before they are ready to submit. I also have writing ideas actively flying around my mind, which I really want to be able to focus on, and I know that if I don’t cut off my social media time, then I won’t get anything done, because sometimes, it is simply less painful to read about other people’s lives, that in is to engage in my own, but this is not something that I want to do.

I’ve also found myself becoming very jaded about social media. While it can be used massively for good, I have also noticed that so many people seem to simply play lip service to others, and this isn’t something I want to be a part of. It is fake and untruthful, and not for me.

As an example, in the last week alone, I have witnessed people leaving friendly comments on others’ posts, even though I know that they don’t get on, or even like said person. This is not for me. If I can’t say anything nice, then I will not say anything at all, but I won’t say something nice in public, simply to stab the knife into someone’s back in private. I will not do this, and I have seen it one too many times lately, so I am going to take a break for a while. I am still going to post my daily photo journal, which I named #myy33project, because that is a year long project, which I don’t want to lose. I will post this on Instagram and share it to Twitter and Facebook as normal. I shall also share my blog posts, but that’s all.

To be honest, and without meaning to sound maudlin, most people won’t really miss me anyway. I’m okay with that. I am used to being fairly invisible, and it makes this transition far easier for the moment.

So, I guess, unless you read these blogs, this is goodbye for the foreseeable future.


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.

Depression

Depression

The Cold and The Darkness

Photo by Matthias Heil on Unsplash

I’ve struggled to name this post. I’ve been wanting to write something about depression for a while now, but the words have always failed me when it actually came to writing it down.

It’s hard to write about depression. It’s even harder to live with it. Some days you wake up and everything’s good. You feel energised, and ready to take on anything. Then there are the other days. The darker ones, when all you want to do is roll over in bed and sleep and sleep until the darkness fades and the sun shines again.

The thing is that ‘depression’ has become a buzz word. It has become something that is all too common for people to talk about, with phrases like; “I’m sooo depressed” and “I’m just a bit down” being thrown about everywhere.

The people that say this very rarely have any idea of what they’re claiming to have. Depression isn’t fashionable. It isn’t a quirk, and it certainly isn’t something that is fun to have.

There are so many aspects of depression that people don’t talk about though; the unglamorous things, like when you haven’t taken a shower in over a week, because you simply can’t summon up the energy, or when you eat junk, because you can’t be bothered to cook, and you aren’t really sure if you’re hungry anyway… There are too many examples to list.

When I was fourteen, I felt exhausted all the time. I struggled to get up in the morning. I couldn’t focus for more than a few minutes at a time, and I was off school for a number of weeks. It was like life was just too much like hard work.

My Mum took me to the doctor, and they did all the usual stuff, and then took blood samples, to check if I had glandular fever. The bloods came back negative, and the doctors (in their obvious wisdom) decided that I was just making it up — nice! In their defense, it was almost twenty years ago, and back then, children and adolescents weren’t diagnosed with mental health issues.

At the time, I didn’t really know what was happening to me. I just knew that I felt exhausted. I didn’t have the energy to do anything. I was scared; and when the doctor said I was making it up, I was hurt.

I wasn’t making it up.

Back then, I didn’t understand, but now, I know what it was. I was clinically depressed, and the doctor missed it. I’m not angry with him. It wasn’t his fault that the rules were like that back then, and I didn’t tell him everything, because I was ashamed.

I still feel ashamed today, but there’s nothing I can do to change it. I have depression. It is a part of me, and all I can do is make the most of the good days, and make the best of the bad ones.

And above all: I must not give up hope.

We must not give up hope.


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.