Disgusting or Terrified?: Can intrusive thoughts turn you into whatever it is you are afraid of?
Does breaking your rules mean you don’t have OCD?
I’m afraid of…. Sometimes I’m scared that… I’m…I can’t actually type it. Think of the worst thing you could do to someone, and you are on the right track.
But I’ve been breaking my rules. I work with ____, and I don’t even think I should be near them. My job requires that I am around _____, and I feel like I am already a thing that is bad and may have done bad stuff but probably not but you never know. This is killing me. I feel like if I actually had OCD, I wouldn’t break my rules. Ever. Period. But since I have been breaking my rules I’m worried that I am actually ____.
Yes it is still OCD, if you break your rules.
I used to have all sorts of insane rules that I had to live by. They were secret, and I never told a soul. But I was terrified of breaking them. I slowly got up my nerve and started breaking them one by one. But as soon as I broke a rule, a new one would come in! Not as bad as the previous one, but still. It was like the illness was mad that I was breaking the rules that it set up for me, and it was retaliating by setting up new rules. Then I would get up some nerve and break the new rule. It went on and on like this. This was over 30 years ago when I was in terrible shape.
If the illness gets bad, the OCD pretty much takes over and even though you know it’s insane, it starts running your life. Your mind goes split between the crazy part (the OCD) and the sane part, and you end up with a war in your head like all such people have. But if the illness gets really bad, the sane part of your mind will slowly get weaker and weaker. Like it’s a voice in your head, and it gets softer and softer and quieter and quieter. At the same time, the crazy voice (the OCD) will get louder and louder. Eventually the sane side says, “OK, look, forget it. You win. I give. You take over and do what you’ve got to do. We are running up the white flag here.”
And then the crazy part takes over. It tries to screw up your life by making you miserable and saying negative things all the time. In my case, it set up all sorts of lousy rules designed to screw up my life and make me miserable. But I became convinced that this was how it was supposed to be. I had to suffer in all of these ways because the voice (the OCD) told me that I was the worst person on Earth, the worst person that ever lived. I actually became convinced that this was true for some time.
The craziness was very carefully calibrated. I remember I used to ask the voice (the OCD) about being crazy. “Well how crazy am I going to go anyway?” The voice would come back that I had to be crazy, that there was no alternative to this. This was somehow logical, don’t ask me how. It would say that the craziness was going to be completely invisible, all in my head, and I wasn’t going to do anything even 1% crazy because we had to keep the crazy stuff secret.
We were not going to believe anything too weird, and we were not going to see things. We were not going to commit any acts of violence, and we would try to be as rational as possible. Actually one of the Rules of the Craziness was that my actual behavior had to be as close to 100% normal as possible. All the craziness was supposed to be in my head. It was amazing how calibrated the whole thing was. It implies to me that I actually was not all that nuts.
It took me about four years to work my way out of this crap. It was like a journey to craziness. A trip to Crazy World. While I was crazy, I tried very hard to fix all sorts of things about myself that I thought were screwing me up in life, so that was beneficial. I was working full-time or in school the whole time. Most people figured out that there was something wrong, but the illness was pretty much invisible and all you could see was a strange or bizarre stare in my eyes along with a lot of anxiety. I didn’t actually do much of anything nuts.
Eventually after four years, it was like I just got sick and tired of it. It was like I took some sort of a journey that I needed to take for some reason, like I got something out of my system. Being crazy is pretty lousy, and if you have any self-esteem at all, you will get pretty sick and tired of it after a while and just want it to be gone. I also grew a lot as a person and changed a lot of things about myself that needed changing.
I had one other episode five years later in 1991 that was very, very bad, but I went on pills for the first time, and that dealt with it. I haven’t had any serious episodes like that in 25 years.
Even though I have not had any serious episodes in 25 years, I am still very much afraid that it will come back, and I will be like that again. But if you take pills, that seems to keep it away. Also it seems like you have to work on your head a lot, like all day, every day to keep your mind in a nice, sane place.