Mind the Itch: Confessions of an Obsessive-compulsive, In the Middle of An OCD Episode

As the OCD rolls over me , I can feel my mind itch now. It is focused on opening and closing the lid on a jelly glass jar. I know I feel anxious about something. But this is a good way to distract myself.

I resist. I try hard not to open and close the lid. The jar falls out of my hands.

I see it roll away from me. Kerplunk. Kerplunk. Forever gone, I hope.

“Let it go” I tell myself…watching my body restrain itself as the urge to grab out and retrieve the jar almost overtakes me. Some part of me wants to run out and get it again. The familiar routine is comforting somehow…opening and closing the jar’s lid, getting into the obsessive- driven thoughts and then doing the compulsive acts to free myself from the black fears that drive me crazy.

My resolve is beginning to break down again. I continue to be tormented by the two aggressive mind giants: one that says, open up the jar. Unscrew it off again and again. Get into the old familiar routinely. It is an old friendly voice that I have known for years. The other voice, a new healthier one says, resist. Get free this time. Don’t let yourself be gobbled up by OCD. It has taken over your life’s. These sad little voices are joined by yet another, The Magical Thinking Voice. The voice makes unlikely connections between the obsessions and the act they drive me to do: if I don’t pick up the jar and listen to what it tells to do, I will not be able to make tonight’s speech at Toastmasters. I will not be confident. People will see me for the scared, insecure raggedy person I am inside. They will see me as a fraud.

“What should I do?” I ask myself as I am riddled by the internal voices and can feel myself going into the OCD trance, surrendering to its power. Woosh.

I am being swallowed up by it. The old familiar seductive routine is wrapping itself around me again. Swirling around my brain like emotional flies buzzing on a succulent sweet somewhere in an open-air market…the urges are swift and hard.

I feel myself sliding into oblivion. I am the torn lover of my OCD master.

He rules me. I am his prisoner. I have to obey his orders. For if I disobey him, I will be exposed for the torn person I feel inside me. Everyone will see her. She will become vulnerable. They will cast her out as a loser. She will be stoned with large, unforgiving boulders.

So I find myself back again into my checking routines. Check the kitchen cabinet door. Make sure they are tightly closed. Like your fears and anxieties will be closed and screwed down. Impervious to the world. No one will see your hurt parts this way ..or hurt you.

Now pound those cabinet doors closed three times…three is the magical number You are safe with three pounds…you are strong and powerful with three pounds.

In my sickening addiction, surrendering to the power of the OCD, I slide into a kind of nightly comfortable resignation. I am safe with my glass jar and my most recently checked cabinet doors.

The author refers you to ocd.bayarea.com. The contact person for OCD Group Support in east bay is Tim Quinn at 510-654-6216