A Very Long Absence

I am writing this from a nook by my patio, listening to fireworks and the emergency sirens as those in my neighborhood celebrate the 4th of July. Today was a beautiful day filled with family, Jenga, good beer, and lots of macaroni and cheese. As my husband and I were driving home (yep, that happened – I got married), I passed landmarks in my home city that stirred up core memories from the past four and a half years. There’s the apartment where OCD first began to  really bulldoze through my life. There is the Target parking lot where I was stranded for hours, petrified by my OCD that is focused on driving. There is the loop I used to drive for hours, checking that I had not unknowingly caused some kind of harm along the route. There is the neighborhood where I once hid in my car and talked with a good friend for hours about my latest obsessions and compulsions, reluctant to talk in the house I lived in for fear that my housemates would hear me. There is the office of the psychologist who helped me find myself again. Oh look – a salad that reminds me of the time I was petrified that I might accidentally make my friends sick at a dinner party because the crumbled blue cheese I used smelled a little strong. I actually obsessed over the possibility that I could accidentally harm someone with perfectly good blue cheese crumbles. Sounds hilarious now – it was painful at the time.

The way that I spent this 4th of July is more than I could have imagined for myself years ago, when I first began this blog. I am very grateful to have won back my identity from anxiety and OCD. I even acknowledge that I owe OCD and anxiety parts of my identity, that I am a better person because of those experiences. What is strange is that I have been staying away from this blog and this topic. I guess I might be trying to bury and forget this part of me as I strive to develop myself and move forward with “adulting”.  I feel good these days, so I feel that I should forget. The truth is that OCD and anxiety will never be gone. It is in my brain and apart of me and shapes who I am. I still need to acknowledge and wrestle with it. The truth is that I still give in to the  occasional compulsion in order to silence the ever-present, albeit softer,  obsessions. I am in a place now to be able to show my OCD who is boss, but I cannot pretend I never “had it”. And my anxiety is not going away, though I am getting better at distracting myself. Although my mental health challenges are no longer debilitating, I still have some unfinished business. So I am back, after a very long absence.

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One thought on “A Very Long Absence

  1. All in all, it sounds as if you are doing great! As you say OCD might always be there, but if it’s the background and not ruling your life, it’s okay! Wishing you all the best and look forward to keeping up with your blog again.

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