By Tara

My OCD Story…

Hello everyone! I wanted to write this little article to further discuss the topic of… I’m sure you can guess… OCD! I try to make it seem exciting when in all honesty, it is probably one of the worst things one can have. I wrote a long note a few years back in detail about how each day went for me from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. Although, it has been better, it’s not gone. I can honestly say, I haven’t functioned like a normal person in 12 years. Now, I don’t need sympathy, I just want people to be more educated on the true meaning of OCD and how tough it is on us OCDers. So again, no sympathy or hugs, I just need people to be by my side and fight with me. Everyone with OCD has a different story, but here is mine…

My compulsions and rituals started when I was 16 years old, I know exactly how they started too, but it is not something I feel comfortable posting about on the internet. I started with counting. I have always had a thing with odd numbers, but at first, it started with just a few things. Once I had done something once, I would do the same thing twice every time to keep it at that odd number. One of those things was switching the lights on and off. If I flicked a light on once, I would flick the light on and off twice every time afterwards. I still, to this day, still have to position my fingers a certain way when touching light switches. As time went on, it progressed into everything I touch, look at, think about, and even my breathing. Yes, I have a ritual for everything. I feel as if I look ridiculous when I publicly do certain things, such as turning my head. If I turn my head one way, I have to do it again, sometimes up to three or more times. I often have to repeat words when I am speaking, but I repeat them silently to myself so people don’t question me. I even have rituals with my thoughts. There are times that I have to repeat the same word or phrase in my head. All of these rituals are to prevent bad things from happening. Sometimes the bad thoughts are specific, and sometimes they are just random, such as any bad thing could happen if I don’t perform my rituals correctly. If I force myself to NOT perform a ritual, the mental turmoil is indescribable. My breathing gets heavier as my anxiety starts up, then I find myself constantly watching every detail of my surroundings, because I am aware that anything bad can happen at any given moment. The long note I was referring to discusses, in detail, when my compulsions were at the very worst. As I said, I have been better, but since I still have it, I believe that all lives depend on my rituals… all lives are in my hands.

It’s not easy to feel that you control all lives. Someone can die simply because I didn’t touch the bathroom door with the side of my pointer finger on my right hand. Someone will get into a car accident if I don’t position my cup in just the right spot exactly two inches from the edge of the counter, and I have to make sure to turn the cup around until it feels just right. Or someone will be diagnosed with cancer if I don’t turn the radio up to volume 21, back down to 20, then up to 21 again. Sadly, these are just a few examples. I have a ritual for literally every single thing I do. Everything.

It wasn’t until just a few years ago, I developed obsessions. These obsessions cause intrusive thoughts. I don’t feel comfortable going into detail about my thoughts, but they are based around me thinking I am a really bad person. Only a select few people know the details of my thoughts: Steven, my cousin Jenna, my mom, and John. I would obsess over it so much that I started to convince myself that I actually wanted to act on my thoughts. At that point, I felt that I wasn’t worthy of love, and worse, I felt that I wasn’t worthy of God. When I feel that I am not worthy of anyone, friends get concerned that I am mad at them, since I get pretty quiet. When actually, it’s quite the opposite, I’m mad at myself, and feel that I don’t deserve anyone. I feel that they don’t need to be in the presence of such a terrible person.

As these thoughts continued, they started to consume my life. I would spend hours in tears while looking up information on my thoughts. I learned that these thoughts are a symptom of OCD. Learning this calmed me down immediately, but the problem with OCD is that it is relentless and does not give up. It doesn’t matter how many times one can tell me that I am a good person, my brain tells me that I am not. The worst part about all of this is that if I feel better about one thing, my OCD starts to dwell on another. It started out with me thinking I am a bad person, then I started having negative thoughts about my relationship, then I started feeling guilty for things I never did wrong, then I started feeling ashamed of myself because of simple habits that I do… and these are things that everyone does! As I said though, OCD is relentless, so it doesn’t matter that I know the facts, I still have anxiety over my thoughts.

It wasn’t until recently that I finally learned how to stop the intrusive thoughts and calm my anxiety… I have to accept them. I accept all of the thoughts that I have and I accept my anxiety. When I have a bad thought, I don’t fight it off, I just think about it. When I am having anxiety, I don’t try so hard to get rid of it, I accept that I am having anxiety, I just feel it and ride it out. I have discovered that accepting the thoughts and accepting my anxiety helps to alleviate them. In the meantime,  I continue to do yoga and meditate when I can. It seems to be working for me so far!

Now, when you see me, just know that I am a good person, I’m smart,  I choose to live a happy and healthy life, and I do everything in my power to not let OCD and anxiety control my life. It’s a constant battle, day in and day out, but I also know in my heart that God is there for me, and I will always win. 🙂

 

 

Quick to get married…

Sorry it has been so long since I have made a new post… I bought a new book on Friday, I am sure you have heard of it… Fifty Shades of Grey. This book has me possessed… I can not go five minutes without reading it, every once in a while at work I sneak a few pages in. I purposely did not go out on Friday and Saturday night, just so I can read it. (Well, John and I went to a comedy show on Saturday) but after that, I stayed home and read my book. 🙂 I can’t stop thinking about it, I even have dreams about it… I am that obsessed… and I can’t wait to buy the other two. So ladies, I recommend reading this book!

Anyways, I was having a discussion with John the other day and there is something I have to say… because it’s really bugging me. Why do couples, especially at such a young age, feel the need to get married so early? Wait, actually, I can name a few reasons… but sadly they are pathetic reasons. ONE… as I mentioned before, some get confused between lust and love, and when they’re in “lust” they automatically think, “yea, this is the one.” Let’s get married!!! …and as I mentioned, get to know each other a little bit. (lol) TWO… the girl gets pregnant so they think they HAVE to get married now. Not true. There is no written law stating if you have a baby, you have to get married to the baby mama/daddy. Besides, having a baby and getting married will not solve any problems. THREE… I see a lot of couples break up, get back together, break up, get back together, break up, get back together (again, as mentioned before) then they decide to get married. What, do you think that getting married will stop you two from fighting and splitting apart again? No. The only difference is, it will take a lot longer, and it’s not free. Not even close. FOUR… Mostly girls think this. They think that marriage will change a person… in a better way. NO, it will not. If anything it will backfire on you. A piece of paper, proving that it is legal, does not change someone’s personality. If they treat you like crap before the wedding, they will after the wedding. Please get that through your head. And FIVE… I have seen this many times, sadly… they get married for attention. I mean, I get it, wearing a big beautiful dress, walking down a beautiful aisle surrounded by all of your family and friends watching you, as you approach your fiance’ with three or four of your best friends standing at the front, with ALL of the attention on you. The entire night is yours… yes… it sounds wonderful. Something every girl dreams of… but guess what? After the big, beautiful, all-of-the-attention-on-you wedding… is a marriage, and that’s not easy… it’s a job. The rest of your life. If you want to spend all of that money on a big beautiful wedding, wouldn’t you rather do it when you are actually ready to settle down, and actually be happy the rest of your life? Amiright?

Think about it.

The Move

I don’t show it too well when I am stressed. To be honest, I hate sympathy. Which is why I don’t really talk about my problems too often… but I will tell you this. The move is more stressful on me than I have expressed. I am excited to go but there is a part of me that doesn’t want to go. It seems to be putting a lot of strain on my relationship as well… I want it to work but sometimes it gets so tough, that I just want to shut everyone out… including him… and give up…or just be left alone.

Confession: …people always ask me why I don’t talk much over the phone or in text… I just don’t like it. I have my phone to keep me entertained sometimes, but mostly I have it to talk to my parents or in case of emergency. I would much rather speak to someone in person, I am so much better at that. Just an FYI. 😉

That is all.

The “Spark”

The beginning of every relationship is always the best part. It is so exciting and fun… and probably one of the best feelings you will ever have. Sometimes people get confused between lust and love. In all honesty, sometimes lust is a better feeling. Except, of course, that moment when you realize you are truly in love. Personally, it took me about a year into our relationship before I actually realized it. It was Thanksgiving 2006, John went out of town with his uncle, as they did every year on Thanksgiving, and I wasn’t sure why at the time but I couldn’t eat, sleep, or had any sort of energy. I had no motivation to do anything. It was the strangest thing, I felt such a deep depression. I honestly had no idea what was wrong with me. Then I received a random phone call from John telling me that they came home early… and it was right then that everything changed, I felt SO much better. I immediately felt my spirit lift and I was able to laugh… I was even able to eat… a LOT! I left that afternoon to meet with him and on the way I had many thoughts going through my head. ‘Why all of a sudden was everything ok again?’ …and that’s when it hit me… I’m in love with him! The feeling I had while he was away was my other half being taken away from me. 🙂

Anyways… this is actually not what this post is about. I wanted to write about something that I notice people do… now this is something that I notice GIRLS do more than guys. So girls, please read this because it’s important. That fantastic, awesome, and GREAT feeling doesn’t last. It is mostly the beginning. The rest is just a test. If you truly love that person and actually value your relationship, you will stick around. I have seen way too many times, one person (typically the girl) will break up with the other after a few months or they sabotage the relationship and try to always blame the other person. Seriously? Please stop. There are always, and I repeat ALWAYS ways to stay happy in a relationship… and even bring that spark back. 😉 My key is to remember that your significant other is not only your lover, but your best friend. Go for a casual walk and just talk… go on a date (dinner and a movie, maybe?) Have fun… go dancing, play games, have a pillow fight… it’s ok to be immature sometimes. 😉

I am only 24 years old and I’ve been in a relationship since I was 17… that’s tough. So I admit that there are times that I still wonder, “what if.” What if I was with him, or him, or HIM? What would it be like if I were with this guy or THAT guy? Where would I be or who would I be with if John and I wouldn’t have gotten back together. I have crazy thoughts all the time… but I try not to let them get to me, because deep down inside I know what I truly want and know that it’s not worth changing that.

Fighting

I just have to say this… I never understand those people that break up, get back together, break up, get back together and so on and so on. I do understand if you break up with someone and you realize you still love them and you end up back together (as I talked about in my last post) however, referring to facebook here… why do couples always have to change their “relationship status” every time there is an argument. I do notice that it’s the guys that do it most the time too. I am not saying it is ONLY guys, but from what I have seen… it has been mostly guys. o_O Every couple argues, that’s just a part of a relationship… you don’t have to “break” up every time there is one. Everyone would be single if that was the case.

Now, I am not trying to sound rude at all… promise! I am only saying if you are in a relationship with someone that leaves you every time there is an argument, then comes back, then leaves again, then comes back… why bother with them anymore? Girls, please, don’t do that to yourself. You deserve so much better, to be with someone that can be an adult and understands that an argument is an argument… not necessary to throw away a perfectly good relationship. Again, if they do, find a real man.

“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.”

“Don’t cry over someone who wouldn’t cry over you.” – Lauren Conrad

June!

Happy June!

Even though my day started out like crap… I must admit, this will be a good month. A lot is going on… on top of the 4 contests I am in, I have two baby showers to attend, John’s little brother’s birthday is this month, my family is getting together to say goodbye to me, my going away party is on the 16th AND the last day of our work place is on the 29th. After that, John and I will be moving to Kentucky. I have always wanted to try and live in another state for a while so I am thankful I now have the opportunity to. I am also thankful after everything John and I have been through in our relationship, we can finally settle down and move away together… as much as I hate him sometimes. I had to say this, since I know he’s reading this. 😛

Who cares if anyone wants to criticize what you do… let them… it’s all jealousy. Only do what makes you happy. 🙂

Was quite possibly the worst day of my life, or so it seemed like. John and I fought a lot for a couple of months prior to 01.03.2010. Every couple fights, that’s just normal… but the way we fought, was not normal. It was like we hated each other. I personally felt like I didn’t even give a crap.

I realized how much I truly loved him when Jan. 3rd came along… we broke up. I have never felt that heart broken in my entire life, it was like someone I loved had died. I went home that night crying… I remember my mom telling me, “Tara, if it is meant to be, you two will be together. If not, take this time to focus on yourself… make yourself happy.”

I had an anxiety attack everyday after that… as much as I wanted to take my mom’s advice, it was next to impossible. John called me everyday just to check on me to make sure I am ok, which was very sweet of him, but only made it that much harder. I knew he still loved me considering he still wanted to see me and hang out with me all the time… and that’s when I also remembered that there were a few people that really wanted him to just be single. I will never point fingers at anyone, but do you know how hard it is to know the person you love is being negatively influenced by someone else and they don’t even realize it. I tried to tell him over and over and he just denied it. It got to the point where he cut off all ties with me, that was the lowest I think I had ever felt. This time, however, I was more angry than sad. I was so angry, I spent the first few days just talking so much smack about him. (lol) … well two and a half weeks went by (which I know is not very long… but for a girl… that’s an eternity!) I received a horoscope, this one in particular really caught my eye. It mentioned that I had not spoken to someone I love in quite some time, but today is the day that will change… we will rekindle the relationship… we will have our ups and downs but everything will be ok. I deleted it. Guess what? He called me that night. Wanted to catch up and hang out for a bit. It was nice, but I kept my guard up. We saw each other everyday after that, I won’t get into details on that one, but those two and a half weeks made him realize what he was missing. Me. 🙂 …and that I was right, he was being influenced by others. A couple of months later, he took me out on a date and surprised me with two pairs of diamond earrings and asked me to be his girlfriend again. That was the happiest day of my life. 🙂

Basically, what I am trying to say here… and what I learned from that experience… that sometimes a big change is needed. To make you realize what is important. You never realize what you have until it is gone. If that ever happens to you, spend that time to focus on yourself, make that other person realize that you don’t NEED them. You will be fine on your own… and always remember, if it is meant to be, it’ll work out. 🙂

Quick change of subject… I saw this quote in an email today and thought I’d share it:

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Put Jesus first in your life. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.”