So often, I am reminded that I am a statistic. Without a diagnosis, it’s easy to feel crazy and wonder what the fuck is wrong, all the while fearing that any clue you accidentally leave behind will lead to an involuntary hospitalization in the dreaded psych ward.
On the other hand, when the questionnaires are finally finished, and the therapist tells you that in fact you are NOT crazy, but there’s a name, it’s liberating. This is where my crusade to label and diagnose everything started.
Trying to find a reason, a name, and simply just an understanding of anything wrong with me seemed a mission worthy of my time, and the relief I felt is something I crave more than sugar. Each time I realized my behavior was “text book”, a statistical characteristic, my identity was both comforted and threatened. Again, relieved to have a name, but now chased with an empty sense of self.
We are more than our mental illness. We have to do more than just say this; we have to do things to remind ourselves we are more than statistics.
It’s difficult to do what I like because I feel guilty for not being productive and working on self improvement, but the ironic thing is that self improvement also comes from participating in activities completely unrelated to mental health.
We are more than statistics.
Hi y’all. I mentioned in my last post I would be taking a break, and wanted to update you that I still need some time to find some inner truth, and that I will not be able to respond to most messages or comments at this time.
Firstly, if I can respond with what I feel to be sound insight, I absolutely will. Partly why I am taking a break is I am back in therapy for some issues I am not ready to disclose and these issues require all I have, which does not leave me much to give right now. I feel incredibly vulnerable at the moment and must take care of myself.
Secondly, I get many messages with inquiries regarding particulars I have already mentioned on my blog or in a video. If you have a question, I encourage you to look around my blog and see if I have already covered it or if it’s in the comments sections.
Thank you for understanding. I will be back and stay strong.
Hi y’all! I am taking a break for now from my blog to do some soul searching. I will still be available for discussion and messaging, just there won’t be any video posts for a little while. Stay strong!
Here is my TEDx Talk! This was very personal, but I’m glad I did it, and hope in sharing my story with OCD, it will encourage others to share theirs as well. Please share!
All artwork for slides done by Andrea Britz :)
My interview with Downtown Podcast is up! My segment starts at minute 12:45
Watching my OCD symptoms diminish was the most incredible and empowering thing, but it scared me because as my compulsions slipped, so did my emotional sensitivity and I was left feeling numb.
This is a frightening feeling. I wondered what parts of my personality my OCD would take with it and I felt my identity threatened. What if Van Gogh or other tortured artists never had their depression? Would they still be artists? Do you need misery to fuel passion?
I saw an episode of “House” where Dr. H discusses this in a great way:
“Miserable? You think that by taking meds you’ll lose your edge? Stop making the unique connections that make you a successful doctor?”
“If Van Gogh was your patient, he’d be satisfied painting houses instead of ‘The Starry Night’.”
“Van Gogh would still be making inspired paintings of the night sky. Just maybe not from the room of his asylum.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I know both his ears would be intact. And I know his life would be better.”
My therapist showed me to look at my numb feeling like a concert. When you walk outside a concert where the music was blaring, you feel like there’s clouds in your ears and everything is quieter than it should be. It’s not that the world suddenly spoke in a whisper, it’s that you get used to high volume and moving into a normal range feels quieter than it really is, BUT it eventually levels out and that “quiet world” starts to sound normal.
With OCD you feel everything extreme in your emotional range. Everything is severe, so when you start to turn down the volume on your emotions, it feels numb.
After my OCD became asymptomatic, I felt euphoric, but then I crashed into an identity crisis. Who was I without my OCD? It felt wrong and bad not knowing who I was because I questioned everything in my life from my breakfast choices to my husband, but what I would tell someone else going through the same thing is that don’t beat yourself up during this search for the self. You’ll find your identity, but it will take time.
Today I am no longer the “OCD Girl”, but I am a girl with OCD. My OCD is not the star of the show, but it’s a part of my story, and that’s ok.