When OCD isn’t obsessive cleaning disorder

I have OCD. Memes about it are a dime a dozen and I could write a whole post solely about the memes. “I wish I were OCD so my house would be cleaner.” “OCD quirks are so cute!” “I’m OCD but I call it CDO so the letters are in the right order.” “Wow, how can you be OCD and not be a clean freak?”

These attitudes are outright dangerous to those with OCD. OCD is both obsessions and compulsions. So for me, it may manifest as repeating a convo in my head I had YEARS ago over and over. Worrying about one little word I may have misplaced on a Facebook post, over and over. Being irrationally afraid  of one of my friends getting hurt. They’re obsessions, and they’re intrusive. They’re a major part of my life.

Compulsions are the other part. It isn’t that I don’t think I locked the door. It isn’t that I keep looking at the door for fun or getting up to check because I want to. I have to. I will literally lay awake until I can check it. I will worry myself to the point of throwing up if I don’t check it. I check my DVD folder and my game folder on a regular basis to make sure everything’s in the order it’s supposed to be. Even if I haven’t touched them otherwise in days, they’ve still got to be just right. The photos on my wall have to be hung just right – to you, they may not look straightly hung or odd but I require them to be a certain  way.

Liking your DVDs or books lined up just so is not OCD. It IS OCD when it interferes with your life. OCD is not a preference. It’s the way your life is. You literally cannot function unless they are in your so-called preferred order. Being nervous about something is not OCD. Replaying it over and over in your brain, not being able to escape from it, IS.

I am not a washer. I am not a germaphobe. I am not obsessed with keeping things clean. But it doesn’t mean I don’t suffer from OCD. Just because you do things a certain way and like it that way, doesn’t mean that you have OCD. It’s all comes down to do you WANT it that way or do you HAVE to have it that way? When you have to have it that way, it crosse from a quirk into something that makes life more difficult.

Please don’t make jokes at our expense. Please don’t claim you have OCD when you don’t.

If only it were a choice

Image is of me wearing my reading glasses, plopped sickly on the bathroom floor with my golden torbie-kitty Athena plopped on my back.

Image is of me wearing my reading glasses, plopped sickly on the bathroom floor with my golden torbie-kitty Athena plopped on my back. This picture was taken in May.

Soon, I will write about my trip. Soon, I will share pictures of my trip. But today, today I am sick. Today I am in pain. Today I feel awful.  Today, I want to badly to feel normal. More than anything, I crave normal.  More than anything, I crave living a life without pain. Right now? Right now it is 5:54 am. The medication I need to feel human, the medication I need to not feel as much pain, the medication to stop the swelling form my bug bite, the medication I need so I don’t cough when I lay down, that’s across the room. And even though it’s only ten steps away, right now it’s far. It might as well be ten miles. It might as well be forever away. And that’s just the physical side. Emotionally and mentally, the energy is gone too. It’s so much more than physical. It’s so much more than being thirsty. It’s not being lazy – I hate the lukewarm bottle of water beside me. But I’m too sick to get up and get some cold water.

This life isn’t a choice. I can’t count the number of people who have told me how lucky I am. How nice it must be to be able to sit around and do nothing all day. To watch all the Netflix I want. To play all the video games I want. But my life? My life is hardly doing nothing.

I won my battle with social security. Victory number 1. I am fighting for my Medicaid and Food Stamps back, thanks to a screw up I made (I flipped my housing and Medicaid deadlines). My days are spent making phone calls, avoiding phone calls, sending emails, avoiding emails, shuttling to doctors. And trying to actually enjoy life in-between. Doing the things outside my apartment, hell, outside my TOWN that I love doing so badly.  But right now?

I can’t even get up to get my own medication and water. I can’t get up because it hurts too much. If I move ever so slightly, oh, holy ow.

If only it were a choice. If only I could choose to be happier. If only I could choose for the pain to go away. It would be so much easier, wouldn’t it?

But that’s not how my life works.