This is the face of someone that deals with extreme anxiety and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Not so much at this point in my life, but there was a time. A very deep, dark, dreadful time I do not often speak of. I was a mess. I could not function as a ‘normal’ person.
Germs taunted me, people offended me, the threat and fear of infection, an accident or unsafe situation made me a prisoner in my own mind. It made others that loved me prisoners as well. If they did not enable my bizarre compulsions, I lashed out. If they did enable my peculiar methods in an attempt to bring temporary peace to my ragged mind, the OCD won. Making me weaker, more fearful and less able to fight the silent monster so many deal with, but seldom speak of.
We have to talk about mental health
I do not share these personal, embarrassing facts for sympathy or attention. I share them because I know this past year has escalated mental issues many were keeping at bay pre-Covid. Anxiety, OCD and other neurological issues are heightened during times of economic, global and National insecurity. Having more than the typical amount of time on your hands is an insatiable breeding ground for these chemically imbalanced disorders to mature past an otherwise controllable level.
I have seen a very similar onset of symptoms in my ten-year-old son. It breaks my heart because I do not wish him to suffer as I did. However, it also clicks into place for me why I was chosen to walk this particular path. I, more than anyone he knows and loves, understand the demons he often deals with.
I may not always know what to say or how to make those demons disappear, but I do understand. And we have started down the road of counseling. Medication may come at some point, but for now, his OCD has been treated well with behavior modification and seeing a lovely counselor on a fairly routine basis, more so if the OCD flare its ugly head.
You’re not alone
I write this, completely exposing myself and the inner workings of my brain because I feel that when we know better, we do better. When we walk a path and are blessed to find light, we are then responsible to share with others. Therefore, I want this message to be, please know you are not alone. There is help. There is healing. There is light at the end of the dark tunnel in which you may feel trapped with no means for rescue. I am here to tell you, no matter your situation, it can be better. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
That is my PSA for the day. I had a conversation earlier that led me to open this can of worms, because I am quite sure it is more prevalent than we know.
And if we can’t use our scars to teach and help others, we are grossly missing the point of this shared human existence.