Last September, I wrote my very first Odyssey article on what it is like to be someone diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have found that article to be very therapeutic for me to look back on, and also a good stepping stone for deep reflection. Nearly nine months later, I am still struggling with OCD every day and it is not always easy. Let me address some misconceptions about this disorder. Firstly, I am not incredibly neat to the naked eye. If you observed my room, my car or any other one of my personal spaces, I am not the "typical" person with OCD. In other words, I have mentioned my diagnosis of OCD to friends and they have not believed me. (Sorry, I can be messy but what is important is I know where I left everything!)
My OCD looks different than what a lot of people think it ought to be. My OCD is the obsessive thoughts that keep me awake at night for hours, and my OCD is thinking about an incident that happened five years ago and analyzing it down to a play by play. These are just a few examples of how OCD plays a prevalent role in my life. These obsessive thoughts turn into compulsions where I yell at my loved ones or I become extremely upset with at myself, two things I absolutely hate.
But while I reflect on what role OCD plays in my life, I also have to reflect on the large positive strides I have taken in my life with this disorder. My OCD was at its peak my senior year of high school. I was unhealthily obsessed with all of my leadership positions, my college applications, prom, a boy, making everyone happy and also having the best year of my life. While it was a great year, I can remember times where I hit breaking points. An example is that a lot of people in my newspaper class didn't like me because I was so obsessed with making sure everything was perfect. This brought out a side in me that wasn't the most compassionate.
Two years later, I can now say that I don't act out against others the way I used to. In simpler times, I am more chill. I take a step back and look at the bigger picture rather than just the moment.
In conclusion OCD is always going to be a part of who I am, but it does not define me.