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.


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.


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.