When I set out to write this blog, I promised myself that I would always be open and honest about how OCD affects my life. I realize now that I haven’t really done that. I truthfully feel like you’d all have me committed if I invited you to experience the craziness that goes through my head on a daily basis. It is actually quite nuts, really. I think I mask it pretty well, usually with humor, but in an attempt to be really honest here, I’ll tell you that every day is a struggle with this disorder.
Some of the things that I obsess on are actually really bizarre. I’ve been classified by experts (No, I did not self-diagnose myself with OCD on Google) as someone with classic OCD. Most of the things I obsess about or do are characteristics of many OCD sufferers. For example, I have an obsession with germs, wash my hands constantly, tap my fingers and have certain repetitions that I do for different things. I am also constantly doubting myself and feel like I’ve done something horrible and forgotten about it (see my older post).
That being said, I also have really weird things that I focus on. Today, ok not only today, maybe the last three
years months weeks, I have been completely obsessed with rabies. No, not the kind of obsession teen girls have with pop icons, the kind where I am pretty much paralyzed in fear and can’t walk to my car without thinking I’m going to be charged at by a snarling, foaming, rabid raccoon whose teeth are out and ready to sink into my exposed ankles.
It all started when I was pregnant and I read a news article about rabid skunks. I was sure I had been bitten by the one I saw from the other side of our lawn and that I was going to die before Riley was even born. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Obviously, I would know if I was attacked by a rabid animal. Right? … See, this is where OCD comes in and the doubt makes you feel like something has already happened and you (meaning me) need to do something to fix it.
A few weeks ago, I saw a raccoon by our office. I’m not sure if it was rabid, but it definitely brought back the anxiety I felt last year. Fast-forward to yesterday. Two animal control officers behind my building with a stun gun looking for a suspicious raccoon that had been spotted earlier.
No sooner had they left, without the raccoon, did this mangy, diseased animal limp out from the neighboring apartment building. The thing was gross to say the least. It would stagger like a drunk and fall over occasionally completely disoriented. Part of me felt bad for it. Another part of me would have taken pleasure in seeing it shot by the stun gun. The rest of me felt like it was my responsibility to warn the entire neighborhood by screaming from my office window ” RACCOON, RACCOON, Watch out for the RACCOON.” Don’t worry, I didn’t do that.
End of the story, I have no idea if this animal is still limping around out there, carefully planning its attack, while foaming and losing hair under my car. Sigh.
…just another day in the life.