All right, you aren’t getting a one-person invite to a pity party on this site or by way of this article. However, it is important to note the way I feel with my OCD and other metal disorders (which are mostly centered around anxiety, if that hasn’t been noted yet) relative to how I think one should feel.
Well, sheesh, we’ve opened up quite an entire universe with the word “should” there. That is where things become tricky—because how should things be, in life? And, well, we can’t just say “in life,” because that encompasses the feelings and life quality of every human being. Suffice to say no matter how verbose people thing I am, I cannot contain such in an article. Thus, I can only focus on me and how I think I should feel given the life I have. More apt—given the brain I have, and the environment outside but just around it.
Let’s stick there and go no further beyond that. I can obviously face the fact that I am of a particular culture, socioeconomic strata, and all those things that can muddy the waters when all we’re really talking about here are feelings and the brain.
I think I’ve been pretty even1 about positives and negatives of my world with OCD and anxiety. But it, in reality, tilts a lot more toward the negative than the positive. But the purpose of this site is not to give a blow-by-blow diary of me. That you would not be interested in—only I would be.
So we’re not going to have a pity party, and we’re going to leave the culture I was born into out of this—and what we are going to do is focus on my brain and how I feel it should work, and how it does not work.
Nobody should feel this way, that which I feel most of the day.
I take effort not to show it, but I walk around in what I call the Fog of Anxiety for pretty much most of a typical week. This fog is a soupy mess of known anxieties and fears and ones absolutely not understood in terms of source, meaning, or—anything regarding why said anxieties are present. I do not know, I just know I am afraid. I am nervous, tense, and the pit of my stomach is not unlike any normal person2 dealing with their worst fears. It is this soup, this Fog—capitalized because it is such a real part of my life—is a weight that I truly believe is added on top of anything anyone else deals with.
How do I know this? Or should I say—how do I think I know this? Because I see what is asked of me in life from others on a daily basis, and no one would ask someone to do these otherwise normal things if they knew the weight I was carrying while doing such. And it is not their fault—I am not open about this!
Everyone has a different level of difficulty waking up to face the day, but the average person would love a little more time to dream and a little less time being needed in the morning for work, parenting, and the like.
But nobody should absolutely not be able to wake up for six to eight hours past their normal wake-up time because of the oppressive force of just trying to deal with a brain that is in constant over-analysis, over-sensitivity, and over-work even before the day starts. (This being where OCD and anxiety mix.)
Yet, there I am at 11:30am, still holding onto the escape that dreaming brings. Because in my dreams, I have no mental issues at all. Oh, but all the while I go through a constant fight between wake and sleep… between the weight of my OCD-enhanced worldview into a worldview of escapism—ironically built by the same brain.
I step back and reiterate the phrase here “not able to.” This is sometimes misunderstood about those with mental disorders that affect the ability to face the world. And I am not going to pick a fight via words with people who suppose differently. Some of us are very literally not able to get out of bed. And it is hell, because the world continues without us, around us. The shame alone adds yet another dimension—as if other dimensions were needed.
I’ll move on to socializing. No one should have to enter every social situation with their brain insisting on the precise outcome, and see that obviously derailing constantly throughout the conversation(s)—obvious because of how precise the outcome, the destination, is in my head not possibly matching the final eventuality of the event. An eventuality that weaved through so much reality, that I can be nothing but disappointed with it.
My OCD in social situations requires specific outcomes. Those around me may not notice it3, but I am socializing with the constant clinching of my muscles—seeing things not going how I wish them to. This, it must be noted, is not a need to control others. What happens to others, I view as their freedom and that is perfectly fine with me. However, my end of socialization—what I need is so precise I can only see things derailing. There is something somewhere around a one in one-thousand chance of things being remotely close to the outcome my brain thinks it needs.
And thus, that last phrase—segmenting out my brain on its own—that is what no one should have to deal with, and no one should feel.
I don’t consider my life pure hell. At least not all the time. I just know that regardless of any externalities, I should not feel the way I do most of the time. And while I can write about it, and thus have a handle on the genesis of said feelings—I cannot do anything about them. I can just feel them. I must feel them. Must.
No one should have to feel this way.