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What I Learned Watching LeBron James During My OCD Treatment
Finding unexpected therapy in playoff basketball.

“I have lived with OCD since I was 13 and can remember the roots of it taking hold in my mind far earlier than that, but learning to sit with uncertainty has begun to loosen OCD’s hold over me, ever so slightly. It’s possible that things will all work out well. It’s possible that they will all go to hell. Nobody really knows. And that’s okay. My doctors taught me that every day, and LeBron reinforced it every other night. We may not be able to run or dunk or fly like he can, and maybe we’re dealing with struggles that are far more complicated and serious and significant than a basketball game, but the parable holds weight. The approach can be the same.”

I really want to bring up the OCD thing to my mom but she doesn’t seem to understand that OCD isn’t just physical actions and that it can be constant thoughts that you can’t get to stop.
I’m so fucking tired of being anxious and upset all the time because I associate stuff together and can’t stop.

Like, it’s fucking ridiculous. An example:
I see or hear something about grandmas and then I think about how I hate my grandma and how I wish I could have a relationship with my grandma like Dan does which then goes to how fucking destroyed he’ll be when she dies and then I start preemptively panicking because of something that will eventually happen that I have no control over and have NOTHING to do with

Or I think about someone I love traveling and I either worry myself insane that their car will crash or their plane will crash and they’ll fucking die

Or if I smell something I think is kind of odd I immediately think that it must be a gas leak and then I’m terrified to move bc anything can set off a spark and my house will explode and we’ll die

I can’t fucking live like this man
I can’t

You are not “unnatural” or “bad” if you 

  • Have low to no empathy
  • Have hyper-empathy 
  • Have a personality disorder
  • Have more than one person in your mind
  • Have scary/violent thoughts
  • Don’t have the energy for interaction every day
  • Can’t take a shower/brush your teeth very often
  • Don’t like certain noises/textures
  • Don’t want to forgive them
  • Know you did nothing wrong
  • Love yourself 
PSA

i’ve been seeing this post a lot lately:

which means a whole lot of you don’t know the difference between an intrusive thought and an impulsive thought.

intrusive thoughts are a symptom of ocd and many other disorder, they are upsetting and often graphic, they are thoughts you do not want and that scare you, commonly thoughts about doing something violent or about abuse. i suffer from intrusive thoughts, they are triggering and upsetting and yes, dark or about killing people.

an impulse can also be a symptom of a disorder, impulses are not inherently bad and are just your brain telling you to do things with no thought as to why. some can be unpleasant, but they can also be things like “cut all your hair off” or “eat the cardboard”.

please stop saying that intrusive thoughts and impulses are the same thing, you are only adding to the stigma and misunderstanding people with intrusive thoughts face.

thank you.

honestly, shout out to those who’re balancing mental illness and school. i know it’s hard. i know it’s stressful. i know it’s overwhelming. i know it seems like no one understands, especially when they call you “lazy” or “dumb,” but i am so, so, so proud of you for making it this far. go at your own pace. everything’ll be ok!

Mental Illness in the Horror Genre

Something that pissed me off the other day.

Talking to a guy who knows my parents but doesn’t know me very well, and he tells me that his friend (indeed, a very nice and talented actor) recently put out a horror movie. And I’m interested until I hear the words “So it’s about this guy with OCD…” and at that point my mom and I give each other a sidelong glance.

I say, “I don’t know, because I have OCD and it’s a pretty serious thing for me.”

To which he follows up, “Oh, you don’t have it like this guy! You’re totally functional!”

Okay, dude. Yes, I am standing before you in a fancy club, dressed nice, and looking relatively balanced. But you do not know me. You do not know OCD.

You do not know that I have been non-functional, and that in order to maintain my current balance of sanity, I take daily medication and see a weekly therapist, and I still have downward spirals and panic attacks.

OCD can add to a story, for sure. The Aviator is a great example–albeit, it was on the voyeuristic side, kind of “check out what a weirdo this guy really is”, but his condition was portrayed in a realistic and *sympathetic* manner, because it focused so hard on his anxiety and entrapment.

I don’t need a horror movie about my disorder for a couple reasons.
1. I already live the horror movie that is OCD.
2. Just like people with psychosis, schizophrenia/schizotypal disorders, dissociative identity disorders, and any other number of mental disorder that makes us act in unusual and yes, sometimes frightening ways, I don’t need it to be the hinge for your horror flick, a handy device that makes more people like you scared and misunderstanding of people like me.
3. And for people with the above disorders who may not be diagnosed, they don’t need to be told that they are dangerous monsters and cause them to avoid treatment out of fear. (This goes double for people who experience paranoia or delusions as part of their symptoms.)

This post ended up way longer than I meant, but really, truly, hear me out creators:

MENTAL ILLNESS IS A TRAIT AMONG AN INFINITE VARIETY OF PEOPLE. IT IS NOT A CHARACTER FLAW, AND IT IS DEFINITELY A POOR PLOT DEVICE FOR THE HORROR GENRE. YOU CAN DO BETTER.

shout out to people who have really morally wrong intrusive thoughts! people who know those things are wrong and can’t stop thinking about them, people who are disgusted by themselves. you aren’t disgusting! those thoughts aren’t you and you can’t control them! it’s ok, you’re a good person.

when i was four years old, i was very obsessive about having my socks at the same length.
if they didn’t align to the t, i’d throw fits. and for the first few months, my parents saw this as a cute little quirk - something that made their darling daughter a tiny bit more interesting.
but what what was interesting was how my mind would refuse to let me step a foot out of the door if i dared to mismatch my socks, or god forbid, have them anything but at the same length. doctors would’ve jumped at getting the chance to examine me, and why i was so fucking obsessive. that’s interesting. that’s different.


when i was eight years old, i was teased for the way i ate. small, precise nibbles or else your family will die in a car crash in exactly ten minutes. oh, and you have to eat in twos or fours or tens otherwise you’ll get food poisoning. but my quirk made me different, right? and how could any of these people eat the way they did? weren’t they concerned about their loved ones burning to death because they forgot to take a fourth bite?


when i was nine years old, i was shouted at for using all the hot water. but i had to. i had to scrub and scrub and scrub at my flesh until it burned bloody and raw, otherwise the water would transform into acid when the next person used it. i had to, otherwise the bugs would squirm under my skin and lay babies there. i could feel them brewing, and so i scrubbed. i scrubbed. i scrubbed. i scrubbed-


when i was ten years old, i was grounded for changing the volume on the tv remote to an even number. my hand was quickly slapped away, and i was reprimanded immediately. but why? why were they so ungrateful? i was just trying to save them. thirteen is a bad number, you know; unlucky. do you want to be unlucky? do you love my quirk now?


when i was twelve years old, i convinced myself i was a murderer. i convinced myself that my favourite celebrities had hurt me and i wasn’t allowed to like them anymore. i became so sick with guilt that i was either throwing up or hiding in my bedroom. how did my friends do their homework when their minds were focused unwillingly on knives? why was my ‘quirk’ keeping me hostage in my own mind?


when i was still twelve years old, i ended up confessing everything to my mother through a flood of tears after an extreme panic attack. and she didn’t really understand, but our doctor insisted i had something called obsessive compulsive disorder. and finally i could breathe, i could loosen the chains on my wrist and stop worrying. my quirk wasn’t so interesting as it was daunting, after all. my prison door was still locked shut, but at least i had the courage now to attempt to open it.


when i was fourteen years old, i would constantly be reminded of embarrassing situations. they’d play in my mind like a jukebox or a tape recorder, and i wouldn’t have the heart nor the wits to press pause. i’d be haunted by visions of my dead family, their graves a mock gift from one side of my head to another. and yet,why couldn’t i unlock the door? ocd had stepped into my mind without even shutting the door or wiping it’s feet, so why couldn’t i return the favour?


when i was fifteen years old, everybody would be staring at me constantly. they had to be, didn’t they? they could see the intrusive thoughts blaring in my brain and the neon sign above my head reading ‘FREAK’ and the note stuck to my back saying ‘KILL ME’. the prison door still won’t open.


when i was still fifteen years old, ocd had swamped my life like it wanted to consume me. and i let it; guiding it around like a shadow on a leash. the door is still locked, and whenever i try to open it, the shadow looms. i’m it’s prisoner, after all, and this quirk has booked me in for a life sentence.
i stop going to school. i stop posting stories online. i stop eating. i stop showering. the dishes pile up in the sink and my dog whines for a walk. i start crying.
i start dying.


when i was still fifteen years old, i began seeing a counsellor. for real, this time, and despite her and everyone else around me being tainted by my intrusive thoughts, i saw the glimmer in her eyes and recognised it as hope. i stopped trying to open the door. instead, i saw the hand poking through the slot in it, beckoning me to take a hold and trust. trust.
and so i did, and boy did i grip tight, holding onto her like she was my only hope from a next stop to insanity.


i stopped trying to open the door. and instead, i started looking for the key.

—  “OCD”