Saturday, 12 December 2020

Leaning To Not Care


I have OCD and that means that I spend most of my day obsessively thinking about things, people and situations which are completely out of my control, yet I cannot stop panicking and worrying about them. A prime example of this is something that only happened to me yesterday. I was driving into work and going around a roundabout which I drive around every single day. The man in the lane next to me was in the wrong lane, he cut me up, yet he turned to me and flagged me off. I know that I was 100 percent doing the correct thing and he was in the wrong, but by the time I had gotten to work I was terrified and panicking beyond belief because I had upset somebody and I thought of nothing else all day long.


Occasions like this happen to me all of the time. If these things were to happen to anybody else they would probably turn into a funny little anecdote, but to me they are enough to ruin a whole week. It wasn’t until I went to see my grandma one day after one of these incidents and she grabbed my hands and said, “Darling, how much of your life do you think you have wasted by worrying”. Her words resonated with me and by the time I pulled up on my driveway 20 minutes later I felt like a new woman. I always hear about people with mental health issues having an “awakening” and that is exactly how I felt.


I sat at my desk in front of my laptop and I decided that I would write about some of the things that get to me, why they get to me, what they cause me to do, how they cause me to act and what I can do to overcome. I think that just seeing everything wrote down gave me a kick up the ass to be a little stronger willed and try to fight the anxiety and the obsessiveness which is engrained so deep within me. I don’t want to be the girl that cries if I feel like I have done something wrong, I don’t want to start to sweat if I go through an amber light because I thought I could chance it and I pushed it too far, I want to be the girl to be more laid back.


I decided that I would speak to my councillor about this and after thrashing it out with them for around 2 hours, I felt like a weight had been lifted and something had snapped in my mind. Did I think that my OCD was cured, and I would never have another negative thought again? Absolutely not. Did I feel like for the first time in a long time I could go out, hold my head up high and know that I am doing my best and trying my best? Absolutely.


My OCD started at a very young age and the professionals which I have seen over the years believe that this is because I strive for perfection in every single thing that I do. This is why when I was at school, I had passed my A levels by the time I was 14 and by the time I was 16 I had my first degree. I have to push myself until every single thing in my life is perfect, even at the detriment to my mental health. This panic and worry is again me striving to be the best possible person and make absolutely everybody in the world happy, other than myself.


I guess that for me, it just took one deep and meaningful conversation and I felt like a weight had been lifted. I realised that the only person that I had to try and make happy was myself and that nobody else out there needed any justification of the fact that I was a good person. When I think about all of the time that I have spent worrying in my 26 years on this planet, I must be into double figures at least and it really does make me think about what could I have done with that time, what happy memories could I have been creating in that time and would my life have been any different if I had taken a step back and relaxed a little more from time to time.


Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I just encourage everybody that is like me and tries to be a people pleaser, a crowd pleaser and a perfection, just let it go and take a moment to yourself.


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