Bracing for Impact

The title to this blog post is the best way to describe how OCD makes me feel. 

This week, I have had lots of good things happen. Here, I will give you a list to prove it:

  • I had my appraisal for ChildLine in which I was told I have answered a total of 232 contacts from children and young people, completed 75 hours on shift AND been given an option of training to become a mentor for other to-be-counsellors at the base.
  • I received my mark back for my very first Masters level essay, a mark of which I was only 2% off a distinction!
  • I officially have a placement sorted to complete the 100 hours on my course.
  • I have been signed off as “ready” to start placement ASAP!
  • I got a new jumper from New Look and it fits real nice.

I’m sure you’ll agree, I have had plenty to be happy about this week. Any “normal” person would probably be walking around with a smile plastered on their face, constant Facebook status updates of all these wonderful things happening and a feeling of content, like everything is going in a direction it should be.

Not me.

OCD makes me feel like something awful is about to happen ALL THE TIME. I can enjoy a good thing happening for maybe, on average, about 30 seconds. When I got my good essay mark back, I did frolic around the house for those 30 seconds. When I got signed off for placement, I did get a surge of happiness through my body for those 30 seconds. But then, it’s almost as if the horrible bully that is OCD tells me that I shouldn’t be happy, I shouldn’t let my guard down.

“Even if you’ve had these good things happen to you now, what about all those possible bad things that could happen? Remember them?”

It’s exhausting being on constant alert, of shunning my real happiness deep into the tips of my toes. I feel like good things shouldn’t happen to me and that they don’t. But upon writing that list and thinking about my week, it has been one full of lovely things happening. I feel, as the title of this post suggests, that I am in a constant brace position waiting for the bad news to hit me from all directions. I convince myself that it’s not really a case of “what if?” this bad thing happens but “when?” is this bad thing happening. I almost feel like I want this bad thing to happen to me now because I “know” it’s coming and I want to get it over and done with. Like an embarrassing doctor’s appointment or a presentation in front of 30 people.

I know there is a way out of this sort of thinking and that I have managed to find that place before but OCD is like a habit. I find myself battling with this bully and occasionally even verbally telling it to “piss off” (not in public though because that would look weird…). I want to be left alone but the habits OCD has forced me to adopt are so addictive. Like any other though, OCD is a habit and habits can be stopped. This chant runs through my head nearly every day.

Luckily, after being on the waiting list for CBT since August, I have been given an appointment towards the end of December. I will share the little gems of wisdom I learn in these sessions in my future blog posts that may, hopefully, help some other OCD sufferers challenge their mental illness too. I’m really hoping that I will look at these posts in a few months’ time in utter disbelief at what I was dealing with now and to really value any progress I’ve made.

I will end this blog post with a wonderful little quote I saw this week that has really stayed with me and might stay with you guys too!

“Worrying is like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain”

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

(P.s. When I googled this to make sure I had quoted it right, apparently it was said by the rapper and marijuana entrepreneur Wiz Khalifa. Who knew he was so full of wisdom?)

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3 thoughts on “Bracing for Impact

  1. I definitely have experienced that type of thinking and feeling as part of my mental health symptoms…not being able to enjoy the good things. It can be for any number of reasons–for fear I don’t deserve them, or that something bad will follow the good. You worded it really well. Your achievements sound impressive and I really hope you are able to enjoy them somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

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