One of the many contradictions of OCD is that you are fighting with your life to take control of everything, trying to make sure that you don’t let anything bad happen; but the thing you want most in the world, or at least what I want, is to not have any control. I crave relief from this feeling of impossible responsibility for things I cannot control. I want permission to not be in control. Ever since I can remember, people have always come to me for help. I don’t know why, they just always came to talk to me whether I was in a position to help or not. They never asked if I could help, they never worried about whether I was scared about something too, whether this problem of theirs that they were bringing me would be the one to overload me and cause me to crash. And I always put them first. Until I couldn’t. I think my mom warned me; she probably told me that my desire and willingness to help others was beautiful, but that I mattered too. That I shouldn’t forget about myself. But I did. So I was trained by my mind from the beginning that it was my responsibility to take care of others. It was somehow my innate role to make sure that everyone was okay, happy, comfortable. It started with small things and turned into full blown OCD, convincing me that I alone am responsible for the lives around me; that I somehow have the ability to make or break someone’s life. No one has that ability. I had created for myself a false sense of duty, that I had to be in control. After my mom died I tried to stay in control. I got good grades, I tried to make sure our new family was comfortable and happy with the two teenagers that just got dropped into their lives. I went to college. And my peers kept coming to me with their stresses and fears so that I could be in control instead of them. But then I decided that I wanted a two sided relationship instead of an unqualified-doctor-patient one. I didn’t want control. I was exhausted. I finally realized that I was angry, and that I was sad. And I decided to pull away and give up control. But I had held onto it for too long, and then dropped it too fast. My mind decided all on its own to get control back and it did so by taking responsibility for everything. Everything. I don’t want control. I don’t want to care so much. I just want to live. I’ve missed out on so much of my young adulthood. I want it back. I just want to lose control. But that thought brings me so much guilt. I need someone to tell me that it’s ok. I need someone to tell me that it’s ok to stop now, that I’ve done my part; that I can lose control.
OCD is the feeling of having far too much control, but not having any power over it, resulting in a constant sense of failing.
OCD has taken the joy out of many things I once loved, but I am fighting to get them back. I hope soon I will be able to be there for others in the way I once loved. Maybe writing these things down and getting them out of my head will free up some of that space I so much need.