First, the steps I took toward beginning a blog were:
1. Create blog with no idea what you're doing, but you just lived through hell on earth and you must help others.
2. Post while still struggling, but eventually stop because you aren't sure if anyone's reading.
3. Completely heal and have another baby.
4. Realize you are still getting contacted regularly by women searching for help even though you haven't touched you blog in a year.
5. Do the blog, and do it ALL the way. (Also, try to learn how to actually do a blog.)
I'm pretty sure blogs are 99% more popular if they have pictures, so here's a picture with me and the boys : )...I wanted to jump out of my skin here and run away in case you were wondering.
So here I am, doing the blog. Now, unless my dad visited this page over 600 times yesterday (hey Pat Suiter, love you!) there's a lot of you who are reading that don't know me personally. I want to tell you a little bit about my background and then get down to the dirty truth of OCD. I'm a regular Midwestern girl from a Christian home. We were always middle class growing up. I went to church weekly and went to private school. At no point in my life was I ever abused in any way (sexually, verbally, physically, etc). I'm not violent, don't have a "hot" temper, and definitely have never hurt anyone or been in a fight. I've always believed in being totally honest, I'm a HORRIBLE liar, and try to never break rules because I'm such a fierce believe in karma. I'm writing this small synopsis of some of my characteristics to illustrate the fact that mental illness can affect ANYONE. Intrusive thoughts or "bad" thoughts happen to everyone.
Now, back to the topic of the hour, OCD. We all hear it everyday, someone likes to have their house clean so they say that have OCD. I WISH that was all it was or could be. There are types of OCD where people have rituals and do need to obsessively clean, and I'm not downplaying their pain. I experienced OCD differently though. My OCD began with anxiety. I was overly anxious about my children's safety. At one point, my brain began to see danger everywhere. When I had my first intrusive thought about smothering Easton, my anxiety shot THROUGH THE ROOF. Now, I don't know any other way to describe it than that I could FEEL the thought. It was that strong. In my mind, I didn't know what that feeling meant. I became scared because I thought that feeling was an urge, meaning I WANTED to hurt Easton. Now I know that it meant the exact opposite, my body had gone into "fight or flight" mode because it misinterpreted the thought as being harmful to Easton, so it raised my anxiety more and more.
Here I am, I had "the thought"...so I should just be able to let it go, right? NOPE. My mind had to find a reason for having such a thought. I had to obsess over the thought. Why did I have it? Am I capable of hurting him? Does this mean I don't love him? Seriously, the horror was unbearable. Once I began to question his safety around me, I started to see danger in almost every object or situation I was in with him. I was so scared to even hold him because he was "safer" when he was away from me. I'm about to get real REAL with you all. I don't like sharing this with people, because honestly it's hard. That is why I need to share it. Women are feverishly Googling symptoms right now because they believe they are going mad from their thoughts. They are scared. I need to write these things down so that they recognize their symptoms and reach out for help. It's a mental illness, its powered by anxiety and fear stemming from the need to PROTECT your children, and its treatable.
Here is a comprehensive list of the items I hated/would avoid if my baby was anywhere near me:
- Sharp objects
- Dull objects
- Plastic bags
- Changing diapers
- Seeing my kids without clothes on
- Being alone together