The subject of loss

When I think about the person I used to be, I can only muster feelings of loss.

Now, people may say that this is an extreme view to take. ‘You haven’t changed, you’ve just got OCD!’ they cry. But what people don’t realise is that OCD doesn’t just change who you are or how you behave, OCD removes pieces of you silently and swiftly. You lose the parts that make you, well, you.

Grief is the word that comes to mind, because the fun, confident and calm person has died and has been replaced by a depressed, anxious, frantic, frustrated, rude, sleepless, snappy, irritable, controlling and heartbroken one.

I have lost myself. And the hardest part is recognising this and knowing that I haven’t got a clue where to start looking.

OCD, you are a thief. An uncontrollable stealer of motivation, happiness and, ironically, control. I have given into you and I don’t know how to fight back. I haven’t got the tools or the will or wherewithal to stop you. I feel defeated.

But I can’t let you win, because if I say those words, ‘You win’ I really might as well be dead. All my past victories and the love and support of my family would be worth shit. So I can’t let you win. I have to somehow hold on, grip that ledge and never let go. I have to beat you, I must beat you, my life depends on it.

You may be controlling me and keeping me down for now, but as Arnie famously said, ‘I’ll be back’.


One thought on “The subject of loss

  1. Hi Richard

    I watched Horizon last night and I must say it was like watching myself a few years ago.

    I know you will have been told this many times before but what you did was incredibly brave and you and your family should be immensely proud of you.

    I soooooo remember chucking food away (even when I was starving), spending like an hour to make a coffee, having nights out ruined because I was convinced I had caught something etc.

    But what is really strange is this blog post. Because I actually wrote something very similar! In my diary I wrote also about the physical things it had stolen from me. I ended up selling my computer, TV etc because as far as I was concerned they were contaminated.

    I even washed my expensive camcorder and not surprisingly it broke – that was my pride and joy as a wanna by filmmaker.

    I could go on but the reason I am messaging you is to say (and I can’t believe I am the one saying what others said to me!) is that the future is not bleak.

    I would say I’m mostly recovered. I will always have it, but it no longer ruins my life like it once did.

    I wish I could reveal some amazing cure or strategy but I can’t. I have been on citalopram most of my life so they may have taken some of the anxiety away, but I can’t even remember the day, week, month or year it stopped.

    I’m not in anyway saying that you should not take any treatment offered. I wish I did – I never kept up the counselling. But I do remember the sheer bleakness and torture of OCD – being trapped in a mental loop where every day was a struggle.

    But I promise Richard, what you have will not be forever, despite what you might think now. And one day you will have the honour of supportive others with the same condition as you will be able to relate what they are going through.

    Single handedly you did that by appearing in last night’s documentary and you will have given thousands of others comfort knowing they are not alone.

    If you ever need to have a moan, let off steam, ask any questions, feel free to drop me an email.

    I would love to be able to give back somehow after all the support I was given.

    Stay strong Richard. It’s only a matter of time when that monster is destroyed!


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