january-2015-3-iHello, dear reader!
To start out my blogging journey on my life with Harm OCD (Harm Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), I’ve decided to post a piece of work I wrote about 2 years ago as a jump-start, letting you all in on what is going on with me and what has kept my mind spinning for so many years. I still stand by every word I wrote then, and I wanted to share this with you because it was such a proud moment for me to have written such a piece of work as this.

They’re going to judge you, the enemy wants me to believe.
Actually, people come to respect me even more after they hear my story. I’m not looking for affirmation or more respect. It just takes a whole lot of courage to share such a story with the whole world.

God wants to deliver His beloved people from hectic and scary illnesses, and we know that it is not easy, but it is worth every single moment of the strife because we know we will see His face one day!
So, enjoy, and just know that this life hasn’t been easy, but it’s been WORTH IT ALL.

December 14, 2014
“I have had a really good day today. I went to Planet Fitness as I have been five out of six days this week so far, ate lunch at Panera Bread, and now, here I sit at Starbucks with my Windows tablet and my Venti Decaf Skinny Peppermint Mocha (my favorite drink of theirs, may I add).

I have a story to tell. A story to tell that no one else can tell, and a story that I have been yearning to put out into the world for such a long time. I’ve been longing for someone to understand me.
If you make it to the end of this post, you’re strong, and you’re a blessing.
I was given a vision some two years ago that I’d write a book about what I’m about to reveal to all of my readers.

It’s time to start.

It’s worth a book, it’s worth telling, it’s worth revealing. It’s real.

I’m not here to start a riot.
I am not here to make much of myself.
I am not here putting myself out there without knowing the risks of what I’m doing.
I could lose friends over this, but if I lose them, were they really my friends?
I could scare people, but if I scare them, they need to know me better.

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I know what you may be thinking, and I don’t blame you for it. You might be thinking something along the lines, of “She washes her hands, she organizes by color and size, she cleans nonstop.”
My story is much more complicated than that, and if you choose to read further, I promise that you will learn something new today.

There is such a negative stigma associated with mental illness, and my story serves to attempt to destroy that stigma.
I’m not in the business to need or want anyone to feel sorry for me.
I’m just a woman who has suffered IMMENSE mental trauma and has a story to tell about what it’s like for me and people like me to live day by day with a mental illness.

Maybe I’ll even reach someone else who suffers like this, too. They’ll know they’re not alone.

I become frustrated, and sometimes even livid with the stigma of mental illness, but especially with the stigma of OCD because people are all, “Oh, I have OCD because I clean my room a lot,” or “I’m SO OCD, these things have to be in order”.. Yes, those are symptoms of OCD, but EVERYONE has thoughts and happenings like that without giving any regard to true suffering.

OCD is a chemical imbalance in the brain that, in most cases, people are born with. Each case is different, but I believe I was born with mine.
People are just ignorant to what a mental illness really is:
Not just an emotional problem.. A chemical, medical problem.

Now, here’s my particular case.
I have a form of OCD that is described on various websites that define different symptoms of OCD. But the kind of OCD I have is not what people who know little or nothing about OCD think it is..
I have what’s called “Harm OCD”.
There are tons of resources online about what Harm OCD is, but basically, Harm OCD consists of unwanted thoughts of hurting and even more unwanted impulses to harm other people, and the brutality level of the thoughts varies.
Harm OCD also persuades sufferers to fear that they will act on the thoughts.
Coming from someone who has been medically diagnosed with this disease, it’s often like you’re living in hell, and that hell is your mind because you’re scared you’re going to kill somebody.
When people jokingly or casually say things about hurting other people, it bothers me deeply because to those like me, that’s the scariest and worst thing we could ever think or say.
Now, I’ve never hurt anyone, and I know in my heart and every part of my being that I NEVER will, but the urges are real and the DESPAIR, SHAME, and GUILT that I feel after have I have an urge is REAL.

The compulsions are real, too. For example, when I have a declaration thought like, “I’m going to kill someone” (the simplest one), I make the first noise I can think of, whether that’s uttering “Uhhhh”, or singing a song. That’s the “compulsion” part of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: an attempt to relieve the anxiety.
The worst thoughts for me and the most distressing are the thoughts that I’m “planning” something awful. I try to stop the thought from even completing itself. They scare me the most. I would never act on these thoughts, so I ask myself, “Why must OCD be so cruel?”

It’s awful, folks. Not fun. I am aware that everyone has thoughts like these occasionally.. I’m not blind or ignorant to human nature. I just have a disease that increases mine significantly and in a scary way.

Everyone who knows me knows that these thoughts and urges are completely against my value system and personality, let alone my heart.
I have false “movements towards” acting on the thoughts within my body that no one else can see, and they’re mostly out of compulsion, the rest out of obsession, but they scream inside of me so loudly that I feel like I’m actually in hell.
I move away from people if I have an urge to lash out.

I plan on disclosing more as I progress with this blog; this will NOT be my only post. This is a journey of letting people know what really is real and destroying the stigma.
For now, just know, reader, that my disclaimer should go without saying:
People with this kind of OCD who have the same, uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts as I have want to be loved and accepted for who they completely are, OCD and all.
I’m simply speaking on behalf of those out there like me, or with any mental illness, who need help getting their voice out there to raise awareness.

I take six different medications for my OCD. It does NOT go untreated. I see a psychiatrist, who I will often refer to as Dr. E, and I see a psychologist, Dr. N. I also go to group therapy on Thursdays. I work with Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is tremendously helpful if the homework (literally) is done with it. So, I have three opportunities to receive help and do good for myself and my mental health.

I’ve been hospitalized three times, and I am not shy to talk about those three instances. The first time was for 10 days, the second time was for 6 days, and the last time was for 23 days. I am NOT ashamed of my hospitalizations. I will, definitely, talk more about them in the very near future.

I am not ashamed of myself or my OCD. My Savior isn’t ashamed of me. When he looks at me, He sees Christ, because He’s my everything, and I’m not just saying that.
Had you looked at me three years ago, you wouldn’t recognize me.

I know, friend, that this blog post was not easy to read, so, if you made it this far, I genuinely thank you.

Here’s to this journey toward something bigger..something “beyond anything we could ask or think”. (Ephesians 3:20)
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted about measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – II Corinthians 12: 7-10″

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