Hey guys it’s Casy.
In past posts Ive mentioned that one of my mental disorders is OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. First of all, this does not mean my pencils are in perfect order or that my food is colour coded. My day does not consist of cleaning a table that’s spotless or washing dishes five times. Everybody’s OCD is different and of course a majority of people actually will suffer with this stigma associated type of OCD. But there is a vaster majority who suffer with it in many different ways.
For me, my OCD really developed about a year ago. Looking back there were symptoms from quite a young age, including checking behind our bathtub every evening for ‘monsters’ which then extended to checking every corner, but this isn’t really uncommon in young children so we didn’t take a lot of notice from it. Other OCD behaviours included having to repeat certain things a few times until it felt ‘safe’. To be honest it never occurred to me that it was OCD because these behaviours usually didn’t last long.
It started to creep in probably two years ago. Every holiday Id put my school stuff somewhere that it wasn’t going be seen by me, but just like my school bag. Again, my parents kind of saw it as a way of me relaxing, which is how it appeared to me as well.
My OCD revolves around school. My school life has always been rocky particularly after joining my High School.Id never been bullied, nobody ever picked on me and to be honest Id got on well with a group of friends and appeared pretty confident. Looking back it’s obvious to me now that Id been incredibly insecure and unconfident for a lot of my life. My way of kind of dealing with life was putting on this confident personality and it even fooled me. It sounds so cliche but that was really how it felt.
First year of High School wasn’t too bad. Like Ive said, it’s obvious now that my self esteem was quite low and there were lots of insecurities but it didn’t ever occur to me. Next year was when things started to go down hill and this is where my Eating Disorder and anxiety really started to take hold.
It started out with skipping lunch. My days weren’t short either so it usually resulted in going from about 6:30 am till 5pm without food but it didn’t bother me after a while. Of course my stomach was starving and a day didn’t go by that it didn’t feel like ice cold conditions, but to be quite honest I’d didn’t seem to me that big of a deal. Id go back on a bus and my stomach would be completely empty and Id always feel cold and sick but didn’t link this to skipping lunch.
This continued for a good five months. It’s scary how oblivious people can be. It resulted in a lot of weight loss, especially as my anxiety began to kick in resulting in a lot of stress about everything. Eventually, after five months a few people noticed and it took me to get weighed and contacting my parents to realise maybe this wasn’t a great idea. So slowly,Id started bringing in food that was able to eat, and for a while it did get better. It got better towards summer, and Im guessing that was because of being away from school and not feeling like constantly being judged and paranoid of my appearance. People sort of expected it to just go away and it sort of seemed like it had, but things like that never simply vanish.
That next year things took a real turn for a worst. As well as skipping lunch, Id then skip breakfast, which led to going 24 hours without good everyday and then eating a small portion of dinner then every now and again binging everything in sight. My weight dropped dangerously low, but nobody realised. My hands shook a lot because of low blood sugar and there were a lot of occasions where my body just gave up and Id collapse. It still didn’t occur to me that this was an Eating Disorder. With skipping lunch this allowed me extra time to work on school stuff. My friends have now told me how worried they were because of how Id not eat and then overwork. ‘It’s not healthy’ they’d tell me.
My body couldn’t deal with school for much longer. It caused me an unreal amount of anxiety. Panic attacks were a daily occurrence even though it often just looked like crying. My OCD then decided to appear out of almost nowhere.
It caused me to obsess over perfectionism. With my work mainly. Constantly re-reading and checking every little bit. It was all that was in my head. It was suffocating. It carried on for a good four months. To this day there is still no way of explaining how much pain it caused and how distraught it caused me to be. It was impossible to relax.
For a while it caused me to be extremely depressed. Id bawl my eyes out every day not wanting to go to school because of knowing that Id obsess over every single piece of work. Id often lock myself behind doors begging not to go. It was like being forced into a torture process Every. Single. Day. Nobody will ever understand that it completely destroyed me and how it physically hurt.
After months of this there was a point where it was dangerous to be there. Id never ever shown any of this in front of my friends or anoybody else but people such as there nurse knew because it was where Id spend a good half of my day.
Getting out of school was all Id hoped for for half a year. And it did relieve a lot of anxiety. But it brought a whole new set of problems. First off, Id put away my bags. Then school possessions. Then anything that had been in school from hair bands to lip balms. Then other people’s possessions that were in our house had to be hidden away. Then anything remotely related. It was soon impossible for me to say ‘school’ or talk about it. Any food that was similar to things that had been eaten there were impossible for me to eat. Half of my clothes were put away because of them being worn in school. After a month, most of my possessions were away from sight.
My phone was put away, and Id stopped talking to my friends, without even telling them that Id be taking a little time off. My Eating Disorder got worse, and Id continued to lose weight while my depression and anxiety evolved. Id be so down. Id not leave my house for days and spend most of that time crying for no apparent reason. It’s so strange. U just feel empty.
All this time we were waiting for a referral to therapy which took over six months.
So here we are, six months later. Ive still not been back to school. There is still a cupboard containing every item that was ever in school. But Ive now been in therapy for about four months and my life has changed. Im on medication which can be controversial for a lot of people but it was a best decision we ever made. There is no way to thank my therapist enough for what she has already changed for me. My weight is going back up, it has been two months since my last panic attack and everything just seems better and happier. Sure there is still a long way to go but my Recovery has been nothing short of a miracle.
Please seek help. Even if u don’t really think anything wrong. It’s tough but sooner is better.
This was a really personal post for me to write. If Im being honest there are parts of his that choked me up a bit 😂
Thanks for reading this far.