Cathy, 47, Manchester, UK

I imagine that a person I love has died in a horrific way.

cathy-no-textI was making popcorn this morning and it struck me just how similar that process was to OCD.

Prior to diagnosis, most of my strange OCD thoughts were encased in a small, tight kernel; impenetrable and hard to reach by those around me. Deliberately so, as I thought my ruminating made me peculiar and strange.

Heat was applied, in the form of a cancer diagnosis, and the kernel was no longer as hard as it once was; fissures began to show. Those closest to me began to notice a change, a preoccupation, a fear that made me withdraw from them. In retrospect, my OCD thoughts were once again dominating my thinking, and I was lost in them – so lost that I was not even aware of my own child at times.

The last time that this had happened was pre- and post-pregnancy – the very time when I should have been popping with excitement and joy. As the fissures grew, other OCD worries abounded and my head was so overcrowded with fears that they began to swell and distort inside my skull. They eventually ruptured the outer layer of the kernel and exploded in a violent tumult that damaged those around me in my panic. OCD panic is loud, chaotic and out of control. To others it may seem like belligerence, but it is terror – pure, unholy terror.

Here the similarities between OCD and popcorn end. OCD is acicular. It is damaging and it hurts. Its needle-like points penetrate everything, including love – especially love. If I could wear my OCD like a tattoo it would look like a maelstrom.

Categories: The Wall

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5 replies »

  1. Thanks for this beautifully written piece. My husband and I were on the end of those needles yesterday from our 13 year old. I am very grateful for your writing to allow me to put it back in perspective. Her anger (terror) becomes our anger(terror). What a monster the OCD can be. Love to you xxx


  2. Well put. I know that feeling all too well. At its worst you feel like you’re coming apart. You are definitely not alone in it.


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