This is my story which i hope helps someone else SUFFERING from this disorder i have come to call “The Devil.”
My name is T and I have been suffering from OCD symptoms since i was a teenager. I am now 23 and i feel my mind is no longer in my control. There is a “monster” in my mind, a parasite of some sort which tells me what to believe, whether i know it is ridiculous or not. If anyone else would think the way i do, i would tell them they were crazy and needed to let it go…easier said that done.
It all started with minor checking rituals…if the doors were locked, the stove was off, etc—obsessions and compulsions which did not upset or control my life at all. I developed an eating disorder in my junior year of high school and was placed on anti-depressants. I have been on them ever since, even though I really don’t believe my “problem” is being fixed or treated with them. When I was about 19 I had an abortion and my regrets and guilt from my actions led me to constantly believe that I needed to be punished and that punishment was unavoidable. I feel that God’s wrath is just around the corner and I am going to die from some horrible, painful, shameful and embarrassing disease that will shatter all my dreams of living happily ever after with a husband and kids and a prosperous career.
Shortly after my abortion I began to fear that I had somehow contracted the HIV virus. I had had sex with only one person in my whole life but I was sure that I had somehow gotten it, even though he lost his virginity to me as well. For three years I had a grey cloud over my head and every time someone mentioned something about being proud of me or how wonderful my future was going to be, I could never enjoy the compliments because I thought, “one day it will all come crashing down because I will find out that I have HIV and my life will be over and everyone will be disappointed in me. I will be a failure and be punished for my evil sin.” After having a PROTECTED sexual encounter with another guy who I dated for a while and was in love with, I thought about his sexual past and it made my OCD / HIV thoughts get stronger. I decided that after 3 years of constant worrying I needed to get tested.
The first time I got tested was one year ago exactly. The results were negative, but the OCD got stronger and stronger. I have been tested five times since then and have forced two people that I had “made out” with and had protected sex with get tested for HIV. All the results were negative, yet I still think I have HIV. I have never participated in ANY activity which “normal” people would consider risky, but in my eyes everything I do is “risky.” I constantly live in fear. AIDS, HIV, AIDS, HIV…it’s a constant terror in my mind…a terror that I think will come true if I don’t constantly worry about it. I NEED to know that I am ok, but every time I get tested and everything seems to be ok, I do something or get myself into some situation which I consider “risky” and my life turns upside down again. Since the HIV virus takes months to be detected, I must suffer for at least 6 months until I get another test to confirm that I am HIV negative. I know this sounds crazy. I feel crazy. My thoughts are getting worse—I think that I got AIDS from toilet seats, my tooth brush touching someone else’s, my boyfriend’s razor…etc…
I am currently waiting until next month to get tested again. I was just tested last month, but I feel that I must get tested again because I had “messed around” with another woman only a few weeks before the test and the virus takes time to be able to be detected. I have researched the virus and learned that what I did was EXTREMELY low risk, and that there has only been one case of female to female contraction. I think I will be the exception to the rule. My obsessions went from reasonable to insane and I am really, really tired of this monster controlling my mind. I am going to law school next month and moving to a new city which I should be really excited about, but my thoughts of impending doom have taken over my mind and my grey cloud has become a black cloud which constantly hangs over my head, pestering me even when I am not consciously thinking about AIDS.
I hate this disorder, and I am starting to hate myself. It’s gotten to the point that I have thought about suicide to solve my problems. I know that I will never actually kill myself, but it scares me to think that here I am worrying that I have AIDS and that I am gonna die, and my solution is to kill myself? STUPID. I hate OCD. I know its OCD. And I cant stop thinking about it, no matter what anyone tells me. I don’t want to suffer in silence anymore. This disorder is so painful, and sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. I hope that someone else reads this and tells me that they feel similar to me so that I don’t feel psychotic anymore, and can get the strength to fight this. I want to fight. I know it’s the only way to get rid of it. No medicine. No doctor. No parents or friends. Just me. I am the only person who can fix me. I have to fight. I am going to fight…after I get that negative HIV test next month!