You're not unique
And neither is your OCD.
If it seems like you haven’t heard from me in a while, it’s because… you haven’t actually heard from me in a while. And if you didn’t notice I was gone—maybe think about someone else every once in a while, you dick.
I missed a Psychology Onions post because I finally got COVID and it obliterated what little motivational mojo I try to cling to.
So instead of writing a cheeky Psychology Onions piece, I just sickily binged the first season of Quantico.
Sickily? Sickly? Sicily? Pizza?
“The ah-OCD is ah-like ah-pizza pie.” —me, but Italian
Anyway, if you haven’t seen season one of Quantico… GEEZUS. You need to. It’s 990 minutes of nonstop plot twists.
Alright. Still with me?
Let’s move on and talk about how you’re not unique.
It’s really easy to fall into the woe is me trap when you’re in an OCD spike. I would know, I do this constantly.
“NOBODY HAS EVER FELT THE PAIN I’VE FELT” —A poor way to frame your obsessive-compulsive disorder
I think there’s a self-identification to mental health that a lot of people struggle with. I definitely struggle with it. You almost have a sense of pride and ownership with your mental illness. It’s kind of a weird perk of being traumatized by the disorder. Your OCD gives you so much discomfort and agony and distress—except, without it, you’re afraid you’ll lose your sense of self.
But OCD isn’t an identity. It’s a mental illness.
You don’t own your OCD. It owns you.
OCD isn’t your friend. It isn’t your confidant. It isn’t your identity.
OCD is a liar. A thief. A snake. A bait-and-switch scheme.
OCD is like a guy who gives you a thousand dollars and then… rips your thumbs off.
OCD can’t be reasoned with. It can’t be rationalized. It can’t be bargained with.
OCD traps you in a loop of wrongness and to get out of it—you need to fight.
You owe it to yourself to fight.
What quickly follows from the reductive “I am a unique little OCD flower” line of thinking is that the thoughts you are having are unique to you. You think you ran someone over with your car because… you ran someone over with your car. You think you’re a pervert because… you are a pervert. You think your face/bed/clothing/sink is contaminated because… it is contaminated.
But that’s the unsettling elegance of OCD.
You don’t need to check the space heater a hundred times. You don’t need to drive back and check you didn’t run someone over. You don’t need to check the light switches, bother your wife for reassurances, wash your hands again, obsess over whether you’re a criminal, smear rubbing alcohol all over your mouth, reset your phone, buy into the idea that you’re a pervert, or succumb to the paranoia.
But this time is different! It might actually be true this time! If I don’t go back and check, I’ll die. Or my wife will die. Or I’ll go to prison. I might have hurt someone. I will hurt someone. I’m in danger…
When a thought hits your brain, it’s just that—a thought.
Accept it. Live with the discomfort. And scoff at your OCD’s pathetic attempt to distract you from living your life.
You’re not unique. And neither is your OCD.
Don’t let it tell your otherwise.
Some resources and links that have helped me
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Missed my last Psychology Onions post? Read it here.
It turns out that my dad’s pick yourself up, dust yourself off, slap that stupid OCD off your face and let’s fucking gooooo wisdom is… actually decent advice?