Give OCD A Break

Yesterday I went back to the local park again, just to take some photos for my blog. If you are into social distancing, a park like this is quite a nice spot to be alone by yourself, gather some thoughts or just do nothing.

As a long term OCD sufferer, social distancing is part of lifestyle. But lately it’s been very fascinating to watch how the world has gone crazy about hygiene, cleanliness and anti-bacteria during the coronavirus outbreak, and started to do those things that I have been doing for decades – disinfecting stuff.

I went to seek medical help for my OCD conditions in the mid 2000’s and I was told by the shrink that there was a chemical imbalance in my brain that one way to curbing my OCD thoughts was taking medicine – the antidepressants. If I remember correctly, I was on that shit for 2 years before I decided to withdraw from it. At the peak, I was taking the highest allowable dosage – 4 tablets a day. The results? The OCD conditions never left me. I was still the same OCD person.

The real relief came when I started to accept myself – I was born this way. Also, when I had Jamie. If you are scared of dirt, forgetting about having a dog. Luckily, my love for Jamie outweighed my fear of contamination. The rest is history.

I admit my OCD conditions are driven largely by anxiety I experience. Those rituals I perform look ridiculous from outsiders but they are my coping mechanism, my safe haven – to help me stay in control when the world around me gets out of control.

Funnily enough, during the coronavirus pandemic, I have been surprisingly calm. So calm that I haven’t done anything extra to complement my fixated cleaning rituals. It is business as usual for me. I still go to shops and still take public transport like any other day. I don’t wear a mask when I go out and I rarely carry a hand sanitiser and if I do I only use it occasionally.

Early this week, I had a dry throat and also a bit mucus build up in my nose so I went to see my GP just to be sure. After he did a few checks here and there, he told me I did not have any flu-like symptoms which I already knew – no sore throat, no running nose, no sneezing, no coughing, no fever. Amid the spread of coronavirus everywhere in the world, he said the best defence is nothing but your immune system. Eat well, rest well, sleep well, take exercise, drink lots of water. That’s it.

I did exactly what the doctor ordered. I began to recover in a matter of 2 days.

On the subject of OCD, I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. All the time I thought there was something wrong with me but as the number of people that have contracted coronavirus continues to increase worldwide, each day it passes, I am led to believe that I have been doing the right thing – to keep the germs and viruses at bay.

I admit life as an OCD sufferer is not easy and those rituals I do to keep things in order drain me completely but I must also say, I have “toned down” a bit.

What now? Stay healthy. No panic about pandemic! When it comes to disinfecting, my challenge is to give my OCD a break and do only what’s necessary and sensible. House work, as they say, it will always be there tomorrow…

Ted

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