It is so frustrating and defeating to be so desperately afraid of something that no one else can see or comprehend. That’s the way that OCD exerts its power over you. By taking away everyone else’s power to make you feel safe, by taking away your trust. Your trust in others, in simple logic and in your own mind.
In fact the more they try to logically explain away your fears, the more your OCD resists. It feels diminishing; your OCD convinces you that they’re just not listening to you, that they don’t believe you and you therefore cannot trust them.
I wish others could understand the incredible amount of energy it takes for me to carry on a conversation sometimes, or to perform a simple task. When around most people I have to keep my fears to myself. I will be out in public or with a group of people and my OCD will find a trigger, but societal expectations mean that I can’t react, I can’t perform a safety behavior. So my brain must split in half. Half of my brain is still trying to be me, to listen and respond, while the other half is controlled by the OCD, trying to think ten thousand steps ahead; how I’ll contain the contamination and what I’ll do once I get home to stop the spreading of this invisible fear. It’s exhausting. Sometimes impossible.
I’ve slowly started to build a support group of people who love me, and who have enough of an understanding of mental illness that they know there’s not always a logical explanation. I can’t explain my fear. It’s one of the most frustrating things about my OCD. I know my fear is not logical, but my OCD is strong and insistent.
She can’t understand it. But she does.
He can’t see it. But he doesn’t belittle it.
They don’t require an explanation. They accept that the fear is real and that I don’t know why, but that it doesn’t make it any less terrifying.
They begin to anticipate my fears, look for the things that only my OCD is able to see. I’m afraid that I’ll pass on my fears to them, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. But at the same time, I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day without them.
I love them for it. For being brave enough to not understand and being ok with that. Thank you for being there without expecting what I can’t give you; an explanation.
Good news, I won’t catch your fears. You can’t teach them to me. And I will always love you.
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