Per the Medical Encyclopedia, Obsessive-compulsive disorder is defined as: “a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts.”
I have heard “everyone has a little OCD in them.” Wrong. OCD is the frustrated urge you get when something is out of place, blocked, or not going your way. It is an overbearing feeling, and when it is not corrected, it gets worse.
In my case, anxiety and OCD do NOT mix. I am prescribed medication for my anxiety (alot of people are on medication and it is OKAY). I notice if I go time without the medicine, my OCD spikes. I notice I get really antsy when things are not done correctly or out of place. My OCD does control my daily living. Whether it be triple checking the light switches to make sure the lights are off, not blocking the plug in with the fear of something catching fire, or my name not being written write (so I have to re-write the whole thing). My OCD controls my life.
As a new mom, it definitely set in when the Post-Partum Depression occurred. I was afraid my daughter’s diaper was too tight, so I tripled checked it by loosening the tabs. I was scared her bassinet was going to tip over, so I had my hand rested on the frame through the entire night. I was even freaking scared of my daughter drowning, so I gave her a sponge bath for over a month. Can I repeat that OCD controls my life.
As my daughter grows older, different OCD moments happen. When she eats, I have to have her food spaced out a certain way, in the fear of it dropping on the floor and I missing it when I go to clean up. I fear my daughter not breathing at night, so I check on her hourly (even though she is sleeping amazing and I could be gaining sleep). She could be breathing PERFECT, but I HAVE to check on her. I do notice some of my genes passing to her, because she gets infuriated when things are not lined up. The picture above, that is the mess before she gets a hold of it. It could be strung out all over the floor from the step children playing with it. I walk out of the room and come back to a nice, orderly fashioned line of toys (color coordinated and separated in appropriate piles). That is nuts for an almost-three year old.
With all of the OCD, I do suffer from anxiety. Not your typical what-does-this-person-think-of-me anxiety, but the what-will-happen-if… anxiety. I remember one evening, my father and I went to Denny’s for dinner when my daughter was about a month old. We sat down, ordered our meals, and my daughter decided to have the biggest blow out imaginable. I had an extra pair of clothes in the diaper bag (which is necessary for a newborn), and I quickly ran to the restroom. After getting her cleaned up, she became fussy and started screaming. Their restroom was all tile, and it echoed like you were on the top of a mountain screaming at the top of your lungs. I finished up, and as I came out of the restroom, a mature lady (oh, about 30 or so) stated, “if she is going to cry, you need to leave”. Do what now? My first comment back would have been, “if you do not like it, you can go home to a quiet place”, but my anxiety took the best of me and I felt like EVERYONE was staring, although they were eating and carrying on conversations.
I immediately went to the table, grabbed all of my things, and ran out of the door. I sat in my car for a good ten minutes just crying. As a new mom suffering from PPD and anxiety, I was so lost. I did not know what to do. I lost it. I went home. That little comment she had made, stuck with me for days if not weeks. I would always hush-hush my daughter if she made the slightest sound. Now a days, I let it go in one ear and out the other. They are kids right?!
If you take anything from this blog today, please know it is okay to have anxiety. It is okay to have your OCD moments. You are not alone. If you feel as though the anxiety and OCD is controlling YOU, seek help through your local clinic or doctor. I promise you, there are sources and methods to help! With that, I have included some steps that I took to overcome my thoughts, anxiety, and OCD.
Ignore The Comments
I know it is easier said then done, but trust me. Let shit roll off of your shoulders or it will eat you alive. Negative comments are just the devil farts! *insert laughing face emoji*
Just know, toys and messes can be picked up. I use to have to clean every little toy up right after my daughter was done playing with it. I realized that mess you just cleaned up, appears ten minutes later. I started picking up toys once nap time approached or once she was down for bed.
I know some people do not like to resort to medication, but in my case, it truly does help. It is okay to need help. Whether it be speaking to a counselor, getting on medication, or having YOU time; it does help.
Face Your Fears
I use to be so afraid that my house would flood if I did not check every faucet in my home. Therefore one day, I faced my fear. I went into the restroom, turned on the faucet and stared at it for a good ten minutes. Nothing flooded, right? Right. I then turned it off without triple checking it, and did it feel good. I overcame my fear. I did that for a few days straight and boom. The fear and action was gone. I still to this day have not checked my faucets.
“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” -Molière
Knowing that you have overcome a big jump, is so rewarding. Applaud yourself. I hope this helps you in your journey through motherhood.