I am a lifer. 45 years of the disease. A ruined life (or should I say a severely compromised life). How good it could have been, if only. . .
I function in society, run a business, but feel pain and anguish most of the time. I won’t even try to go through the evolution of my OCD, as I have had probably every conceivable configuration and iteration of the disease, since age 13. Medicine and cognitive therapy have provided occasional relief, but it cycles in and out, affixing itself to my most difficult times in life, as my constant companion. It knows how to maneuver in such a way as to attach itself, as a leach attaches to the skin on your body and sucks your blood. Instead it attaches to and sucks your brain. It sucks out the rationality and intelligence of reason and composure. It works its way into your deepest desires and potential triumphs, and preys upon your fears so as to overcome and counteract the joys that you may have. That is the goal of this insidious disease, and it can succeed if allowed to flourish on its own. OCD is a villain, a rapist, a murderer, a molester, a monster of the worst kind. It selects innocent people and distorts their sense of intellectual well-being, causing doubt and uncertainty to pervade one’s mind, until there is nothing more than doubt and pain. It competes with good thoughts and normal feelings to sabotage one’s intellect and sense of being alive; it is a fierce enemy.
I know you well, OCD. I feel your constant efforts to create havoc with my mind. As a youth, you played with my immature brain and attempted to destroy it, just as I was trying to create a sense of self-value. In my most formative stages, you attacked. As an adult, you convinced me that I was dying and didn’t have a basis to be comfortable with each day of my life. You eroded my sense of self, my enjoyment of life. You deprecated and depreciated the good things that I had, by forcing a behavioral pattern of fear and defeat. There were not even drugs or therapy for OCD for the first twenty years of my disease, so I was left to work through it on my own, too embarrassed to tell anyone in the world what my mind was doing to me, all the while attempting to fight this enemy by myself.
As a mature male, I fear everything, I distort the reality of what I have, I find faults and constant defects in myself and those near and dear to me, and I obsess about all of these things constantly. After ruining my marriage, now in separation, I fear having contracted HIV from heterosexual safe sex partners, and even from kissing women, attractive, healthy women. The fears are overwhelming. Thanks OCD for so cleverly working your way into every crevasse of my life, so as to make it as unbearable, even the parts that are supposed to be good. And the sad part is that my life could be pretty good, were I to lose this miserable partner – my OCD companion.
I will continue to fight, saddened by the length of time that this killer has engaged me. I will attempt to be strong and beat this thing, and I will not give up. Even on the worst of mornings when I do not want to get out of bed, and when I want to check myself into a hospital, I will endure the agony and I will survive; no I will conquer, for the alternative is to allow this miserable disease to have triumphed over me, to gloat and wallow in its defeat of good and well-meaning people. None of us should let that happen. Fight for