Psyche is powered by Vocal creators. You support Cindy Brunswig by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Psyche is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Living with OCD

It is harder than you think.

Drawing by me, copyright if used.

OCD also known as obsessive-compulsive disorder is an illness that cannot be cured, but can be treated. A couple of months ago I was diagnosed with OCD. Many people diagnose themselves with OCD not really knowing what OCD is. To be honest, before I was diagnosed with OCD I just saw it as a habit of wanting things straight or in order, when really there is much more to it than just that. I was always a perfectionist and what came with that was a severe amount of anxiety. Everyday I was challenged with a new day of exhaustion and because of that I started going to therapy. In therapy, I talked about my everyday activities thinking that they were just normal things everyone does. My therapist then described to me what OCD was and she had me get tested for it. In a short amount of time the next thing I knew I was working on all my abnormal habits that were linked with my OCD. Living with OCD is so much harder than most people think. The illness haunts you, controlling you every single day. I am going to run you through a day in my life and tell you all the things that I do because of my OCD. 

I wake up in the morning and turn off my alarm. The OCD starts right there. Yes, from the minute I wake up. I turn off my alarm with my right hand, but in order to continue with my morning I have to also turn it off with my left hand. That goes for everything else that I touch throughout the day. If it’s not touched with both hands, then I feel unbalanced and I become filled with anxiety. After my alarm is turned off with both hands I will get up and get ready for school. I go in the bathroom and get dressed making sure my hair and clothes are perfectly straight. After that I will go and grab my backpack from my room and bring it downstairs. Before I leave for school though, I have to unzip my backpack at least ten times before I leave to make sure everything is in there. My OCD tells my mind that I am missing something so, in order to help calm those nerves I unzip and zip my backpack as many times I can until I find a feeling where I am comfortable with knowing that everything is in my bag. I then go around the house to make sure everything is turned off and organized to my needs. I will then get into the car and go to school, right. When I get in the car I put in my earbuds to distract me from the voices in my head. 

My OCD tells me that every time I get into a vehicle I will die and my mind will start coming up with possible situations of how my life will end. After an anxiety-filled ride to school, I go to my locker and put in my backpack and take out my folders for my first class. So, of course, I open and close my locker an excessive amount of times making sure that I put my backpack in there. I then go to class and start my day. In my classes there will always be some type of thing that triggers my OCD. 

Sometimes my teacher will assign us four questions to ask. My OCD tells me that the number four will kill, that it is death. I can’t tell you why, honestly I don’t know why and I find it quite stupid but I can’t help not doing anything in fours. So if a teacher asks me to ask four questions, then I have to ask five or three, I can’t ask four. That goes for everything else to, I can’t eat four pieces of food or say something four times or even write the number four. Writing the number right now in this paper is making me stressed. There will always be things that are not straight or wires that are too close to other objects. I will always fear ways I can die when in school. The weird thing is in my favorite class, that is when my OCD is triggered the most. Art class is a nightmare for my OCD. When I get into class and I start painting, if one drop of paint hits my hand I will freak. I go to the sink and wash my hands about six different times making sure all the paint is off, because with anything, food, paint or chemicals on my hands if the smallest thing touches it, my OCD will tell me that I will die in a matter of minutes. The amount of perfectionism I have in art class can be exhausting. The rest of the day will go on with the same struggles. 

When the day ends, I get my backpack from my locker with all my stuff and unzip and zip until I feel comfortable that everything is in there. By the time I get home I am so tired. The amount of energy OCD takes from you is unbelievable. When I get home I usually crash and go to bed because then I don’t have to think about dying, the number four, organization, wires, balance the list goes on and on. When I wake up it starts again and never stops. During therapy, I have started to work more and more on my OCD, but it will take a long time to lower the number of times I check stuff, or use the number four, or anything else on the list. Although OCD can’t be cured, I am determined to fight it and not let it control me. I have been through a lot of pain in my life, but nothing compares to the amount of pain OCD has given me. It will forever be a part of me, but soon, it will no longer be controlling me.