An Open Letter To OCD

Oh, obsessive-compulsive disorder. In your true form, you are more than just a nuisance. Last time, you had me tapping each of my feet a hundred and sixty times every morning before leaving the house because I was convinced I’d develop a terminal illness if I didn’t. Funny, because you make me feel like I’ve got one anyway—only it’s in my mind.

Lately, you’ve been retreating predominantly to the fortresses of thought and cognition. This might sound like a break for me, but it really isn’t. The obsessive thoughts and worries and anxieties and fears and ideas haven’t left, at all. Termed “primarily obsessional”, the “pure-O” version of OCD means that instead of others being able to outwardly notice compulsions, the actions mainly reside inside the head—counting, checking, avoidance, listmaking, reviewing, mental erasing and repetition are all common, but they’re not the only rituals I use to seek relief from. And to be frank, I’m getting really tired of it.

You’re the bastard at the back of my brain asking, “Did you lock the door? Really? Are you sure? What if you forgot? Leave the window open? Can’t remember? What about your keys? Did you leave them behind? How can you say that without checking?”. You’re the idiotic drone within my skull saying, “If you don’t kiss your boyfriend in multiples of six only, he’s going to get hit by a car. You’re only resting one elbow on the table and it doesn’t feel right, where’s the symmetry? Fix it. Avoid the number five at all costs because that’s the amount of people in your immediate family, and shit will go down if you use it. That includes typing it.”

You’re the bully who taunts me with absurd possibilities and makes them all seem real. Honestly, I must thank you for taking my unwilling fixation on doing things in sixes and further leading me to a crisis over whether or not there’s a chance I’m the spawn of the AntiChrist, because this number seems to be innate. For enabling common existential questions to grow and grow and grow, into an actual breakdown. Oh, and also for the intrusive visions; because the thoughts aren’t bad enough, you grant me the gift of visually seeing the people closest to me brutally beaten.

You’re an illness, but you’re one therapy has yet to shake. So in the mean time, I’m pleading—shut up. Shut up. Seriously, shut up. If there were a switch to turn you off and rid me of your incessant and irrational worrying, I’d gladly flick it before a doctor could even mention the words “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor”; and believe me, that’s fast.

Kindly leave me alone, you repetitive, angst-producing, fear-invoking fucker. We’re not friends.

Written by Indigo Blue. Photo by BurlapZack.

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