I think I hear voices
Yup, I hear voices.
I’m 17 lying face down on the kitchen floor, head pressed against the refrigerator to convince myself the noises I hear are actually coming from the refrigerator.
But I still think I have schizophrenia
I spend the following 2 months triple checking every noise I hear
I am 30.
I am sitting in the Target waiting room
Because a few minutes ago the thought crossed my mind:
“What if I suddenly forget how to leave the store?”
Naturally, I panic.
I forget where the doors are.
I sit in the waiting room for the next 20 minutes reminding myself
It’s just your anxiety. It’s just your OCD.
I am 7. And 8. And 9…… and 32.
I am examining and cautiously tasting my food. Everything feels contaminated.
What if it’s not cooked right? Did they check the expiration dates? Did they wash their hands? Did I wash my hands? Did I wash them enough? What if I didn’t wash them but think I did?
I am 32 and….
I have ERP. I have Mindfulness. I have ACT. I have a community of people like me
I have: “I’m going to bed so I get enough sleep. Can you turn the TV down, please?”
I have: “The thought paralyzed me for a minute but I’m eating that pizza” because exposures and stuff
I am 32 and I have OCD.
And although I am typing this with cracked hands from the latest episode of excessive hand washing, I am grateful, most of the time, for this thing that causes me to be intimately aware of the complexity of the human experience.