The OCD struggle has been real the past couple of weeks, and when it takes hold like this, inaccuracies and contradictions traumatise me.
Compulsion at the wheel, Obsession on the gas. I realise I’m being held hostage to unachievable standards, and the people around me don’t deserve the same. But often Rational is gagged and bound in the trunk. The car racing out of control horrifies spectators, though they often don’t notice Emotion dragging behind, tied to the bumper by the neck.
At the age of about 15/16 years old I was notorious for my social media interactions. Cut throat comments and issues stripped bare, I was savage. Some people found entertainment in my posts, others took offence, either way it was a whirlwind of extremes; and I hated it. This continued up until I saw my first psychologist at the age of 19. At the time I didn’t think I had made a lot of progress with her, but looking back now, she gave me the most useful coping mechanism for my OCD: to write, privately.
Slowly I managed to retreat into a more casual usage of social media. My rules were that I’d only share positive events from my life, and I’d avoid the comment sections on other posts – hoping the monster would not take to the stage.
The notes on my phone are in the thousands, they help me to work through episodes without an audience. They let me see my progress and identify triggers. This private outlet has been essential for me – and it protects others from the hurt that can come with the rigidity of my mind.
Lately I have been under a lot of stress and I have found myself slipping. A comment here, a correction there, I’m losing control. There is no grey in this black and white mind as I frantically sort things into the boxes in my head. The pain I feel when flaw appears is unbearable, and the need to fix the world is overpowering. But the slightest surrender amounts to significant suffering. I irritate people on my quest for constant rightness, and they don’t understand I despise it more than they do.
I remember an acquaintance approaching me on a night out some years ago, they said “You are the most controversial person on my Facebook.” – my heart sank. My OCD had crashed that car so many times, people thought I was the bad driver. Their words have stayed with me ever since.
Social media is a wonderful tool in highlighting mental health problems, but it can also exacerbate them, like ice beneath your wheels. So for the time being, I think I’ll park up this crazy car, get some fresh air and walk for a while.
I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and if you need a break too, take some time to slow down and recuperate.