We all seem to refer to OCD as a separate entity; one that is part of us, but held as far away from us as possible. It’s unlikeable, unpleasant, challenging and uncomfortable to say the very, very least. I called this OCD-part of me my “evil brain”. I learned that science had backed this connection I made of OCD/brain when study after study found the serotonin link; telling us that OCD was in fact a problem with chemicals in the brain.
I am deeply afraid of chemicals. I use vinegar to clean instead of harsh chemicals, I eat organically to avoid artificial whatever, and avoid pharmaceuticals if at all possible. And, yes, I am a hypocrite. A girl afraid of advil, but alcohol and painkillers…no problem!
But, the hypocrisy has a rational basis, because what I think I’m really afraid of is the uncontrollable chemical responses. The anxiety that comes from the obsessive thoughts that pop in my head, the shame from the compulsive behavior that I didn’t notice start to become pattern, the hypochondria induced panic from the bad reaction to an antibiotic, and the unfamiliar uncertainty of love.
It struck me today like lightning punching through a dark ocean. Those of you who have read my blog know that I am divorced. It was a tough time, but the hard part was recreating a life, not so much the loss of a love, because the truth is I never loved him. He was my best friend, which is why I married him. Until him, all of my relationships had been incredibly short lived. We’re talking three months tops. It seemed odd to me that I had such short relationships in my past, yet a seven year long relationship with my ex. It was not odd though because he was just as emotionally distant as I was. Sex was almost always without affection or romance and I was always drunk. Every other person I had a slept with, I did not care about. I preferred it that way because emotions really scare me. Why wouldn’t they? After all, anxiety is the main emotion I had experienced so trusting myself was not an option.
Letting myself be vulnerable, open, to fall in love, was not an option.
So, back to today. My OCD has been under serious control from about a year and my first crush happened today. At first, I felt elated and all the flowery things that come with a crush, but this feeling was followed by uncertainty and panic. Of course, I know that feelings of uncertainty are normal, but as someone with OCD for most of my life, the tolerance to uncertainty and lack of control is not very good. This low tolerance makes me defensive and I try to get rid of the feelings. I try so hard to get rid of the feelings that create any sense of vulnerability and so far I have been successful. The price I pay is that I have never been in real love before.
Fear really is a powerful thing and so much of my life has been utterly ruled by it. I do hope to let go of that fear and fall in love someday. If my inability to get close to someone is based on this fear like I believe it is, then my prescription for love will be to continue practicing acceptance, to be honest with myself and others and most importantly…..baby steps!