Reillys story

Reilly’s Story

October 22nd 2014

* Possible Trigger Warning *

By Reilly, 16 years old, from Australia

Having OCD is like being allergic to life – every waking moment is spent in a state of mental hyper-sensitivity.-Unknown.

Never before have I come across a statement that so accurately, depicts the extent to which OCD can torture and challenge a sufferer’s perception of this world. Life can sometimes be a battle of power, between what could potentially destroy you and your ability to stop it. But, OCD eliminated my battle and instead, its power defeated me into a quite a disabling state. Right now, I feel like I’m in a pretty sweet place, both mentally and physically. With that said, I’m still a fair distance from where I want to be and where I know I can be. You see, the old me would’ve been pessimistic with that idea, but now, it’s an exciting challenge that gives me motivation to keep kicking goals at every level, until I’m at my prime.

As you’ve probably guessed, the last couple of years haven’t been smooth sailing for me. In short, they’ve been a nightmare. I’ve experienced depths that I never imagined existed, where I honestly felt that I didn’t want to be alive. Sometimes I don’t know why or how I kept fighting, but there’s one thing I do know, and it’s that I’m so insanely glad that I’m here today. I’m not going to waste words explaining where I’m at now, because I’m sure everyone reading can appreciate how great that feels/will feel one day. But now, I want to tell you a bit of my story, because I’ve been so positively impacted by people being vulnerable and sharing themselves, so it’s time I put myself on the line, in hope that I just might help someone.

Growing up, I definitely had some distinct OCD traits. But these were largely overlooked and seen rather as a result of having an alcoholic father and everything that came with that. For the most part, my early evidence of OCD was completely manageable, because the adults in my life would play into the compulsions and viewed them more as quirks and a need of mine to be in control.

It was only as I turned 15 that intrusive thoughts began to take over my life. The thoughts started bothering me more than ever, because not only did they not agree with who I was, but they weren’t accepted by society. My thoughts go through phases of different topics, but they began as being sexual thoughts. Just like people have intrusive thoughts of killing people, I had thoughts and images of raping people. They were the most demoralising type of thoughts for me, because they disagreed with everything I believed. The thoughts about adults, I could hardly cope with, but when they started involving children, that was the end for me. The thoughts had me convinced that I had an unconscious agenda and I started to really hate myself. The hardest thing was that the thoughts were about people I knew. These thoughts catapulted me into the darkest of places I’ve ever been, I started to avoid situations that could give my mind any fuel to think, I didn’t go to school and I pretty much stopped living. My compulsions of having these thoughts were checking them over and over and over and over, until it took up hours of my day. Just self-checking them never worked, so after hours of wasted time, I would pour them out to my mum, just for her to reassure me. The reassurance would sometimes work, but as soon as relief came, more thoughts would bombard me, starting the cycle all over again. It’s so hard to travel back there, so I’m sorry if this section lacks in emotion.

While these thoughts continued, a whole new chain of thoughts began, which involved questioning if I myself had ever been raped. The compulsions for this continued in the same way, except now I would systematically go through every man I ever knew, in every situation I could think of, just to make sure nothing happened. But when I would get stuck, not knowing if something could’ve happened with a particular man, a whole new train of thoughts began. Before I knew it, I couldn’t keep track of all these awful thoughts, I would consider one, putting it to rest, before addressing another one, then to go back to the previous one that I thought was ok. My mind was literally torturing me. Life wasn’t worth it anymore, because all I was feeling was shame, fear and sadness. Panic attacks would occur amongst all of this, but really, they were the easy things to deal with.

Somehow, after months, my thoughts began to take a different path. Over the past year, my thoughts have changed topics multiple times, all coming with their own set of rituals. A sexual thought will pop into my head sometimes now and there is still a significant amount of time spent on checking it, but less than before. Now my problem intrusive thoughts are about my body image, harm happening to my mum or sister and questioning any conversation or interaction I have with anybody because I feel like I’ve done something wrong, or caused them harm without meaning to.

These new obsessions don’t take up as much time as all my old intrusive thoughts, but still a fair amount of time that they shouldn’t. But, I’m happier living with them, because to me, they are of a less threatening topic. I have a few obsessions that turn into physical compulsions, like having to have my hair at a certain tightness when in a pony-tail or bun, but most of my physical compulsions come and go.

But that’s a little bit of my story and why I’m here writing. I wanted to give you a little insight into my experience so hopefully if I get to write more, you’ll have a little bit of context.

On that note, I just want to give anyone reading this who is struggling a little bit of inspiration; Keep pushing through until the very end, because one day, you’ll feel happy again, and it’ll be the type of happiness that you’ve never experienced, you’ll value it, because you will know what it’s felt like not to be happy. I’ve had a pretty horrific time in the last couple of years, but at the moment, I’m finding one more reason every day to smile.

Even though OCD is still a part of my everyday life, I’m learning to manage it better and I’ve done things that I never thought were possible. I actually love my life right now and I’d really love to expand in another piece of writing how I ended up separating myself from the OCD and started living again. This is where I have been, but I’d love to share where I’m at now and how it’s possible to get there.


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One Response to Reilly’s Story

Avatar of decode12

Question from Subscriber.

Wow, this is a truly moving piece. Thank you for sharing your story.. I think it's such a brave thing to do.. Very inspiring.

Posted on November 13th 2014 @ 00:14:16. [ OTkz ]