In my place, in my place
Were lines that I couldn’t change
I was lost, oh yeah
I was lost, I was lost
Crossed lines I shouldn’t have crossed
I was lost, oh yeah
Yeah, how long must you wait for it?
Yeah, how long must you pay for it?
Yeah, how long must you wait for it?
Oh, for it
I was scared, I was scared
Tired and under prepared
But I wait for it
You know what it feels like to have a song stuck in your head?
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a song you hate. Or even one you really love. It could just be a song you only know a few words to. Or maybe you know all the lyrics. It doesn’t matter. My point is, we all know that feeling, right?
We all know what it’s like to sing the same little bit of Ke$ha lyrics over… and over… and over again. We all know how it feels to have that fucking “Work, work, work, work, work, work…” song playing on a continuous loop in our minds throughout the day. (It ain’t pretty, is it?) And who hasn’t felt the frustration of breaking out into the intro of the goddamn Lion King every time they see a kid being picked up by an adult?
We all know this feeling. We all understand how maddening, and frustrating, and annoying, and exhausting this process can be. We also know there is absolutely nothing you can do to remedy having a song stuck in your head. All you can do is wait.
But what if that song actually kept you up at night…
Imagine spending hours tossing and turning to the same jam. Imagine doing everything you can to calm your mind but every time you start to drift off – “Cause… tha… players gon’ play, play, play, play, play. And tha haters, gon’ hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” Imagine dreaming of T. Swift and her crew. They’re all up in your grill, drinking Starbucks, petting kitties, wearing Tory Birch and shit. Imagine you wake up in the middle of the night to pee and there’s no toilet paper – “Just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off…”
What if that song stuck on repeat in your mind actually made you physically ill…
Imagine your stomach churning every time, “Hello, it’s me,” echoed through your head. Imagine a lump permanently lodging its way in your throat each time a “side” is mentioned. Or maybe you have to run to the restroom and stuff your head in the toilet every. single. time. Adele hits a high note.
What if that song significantly altered your mood…
Imagine you burst into tears each time a certain beat dropped. No words, no explanation – just a goddamn mental breakdown. Maybe, for whatever reason, you become a blubbering fucking mess every time you think, “Shawty git down, good Lawd. Baby got ’em up open all over town.” And then suddenly, the total emotional mind collapse is put into motion. And because said beat dropped – triggering a Blackstreet memory – your No Diggity water works just keep on coming.
Now, what if I told you to take all of those song lyrics, all of those silly situations, all of those “imagine if”-s and swap them out… for real problems.
Hi. Welcome to OCD.
It occurred to me one morning last weekend that I had never really addressed my OCD. I have talked in depth about my struggle with depression and anxiety but never have I really discussed their equally unattractive and annoying little sister – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Yeah, well, I have it too.
I read this fantastic article the other day. It does a good job braking down the disorder and making it relatable. Ironically, the morning after I re-posted it, Kristen mentioned to me, “I really liked that article you shared. It made a lot of sense. Where did you find it? So weird that we were literally just talking about this last night.”
The night she refers to is last Friday.
Kristen, Tay, and I were on a date. We had been “dating” all week long. Wednesday was “Pasta” night at Kristen’s, Thursday was “Movie” night, and Friday was “Out-on-the-Town” night in North Park. We were having so much fun with each other and really enjoying our BP3 quality time.
On the other hand, specific bizarre events had transpired throughout the week to me personally that had me in a funk. I was robbed. I managed to tear, yet, another piece of my undercarriage off my car (seriously, how many pieces are left under there??). And How to Be Single – uhh, most certainly not a comedy.
My aura was off.
So, what happens?
First thing Tay says when we get in the Uber, “Chelsea didn’t like the movie last night. It made her upset.”
Hey, thanks, Meredith. Thanks for really kickin’ this bitch off right.
I tried to deflect, “Yeah. It definitely wasn’t very funny… that’s for fucking sure.” But Kristen’s the kind of friend who is always asking, “Are you okay? Tell me what you’re feeling. How ya doing? Let’s talk about it.” She pulls things out of you. Even if you’re not aware that you are, in fact, feeling some type of way, she can make you stop and think, “Waaaait a second… ammm I okay?” She’s like the Feeling Nazi. And typically, I let her draw it out of me.
Not on this Friday night. On this Friday night, I thought, “Nice try, ya tricky whore, but I’m not falling for the ol’ bait ‘n switch.”
I didn’t feel like spending any time discussing “my issues” on this particular Friday night. I feel like we’ve spent years on me and my issues. I feel like a broken record. I have to be inside this head, hear these thoughts, and deal with these feelings day in and day out. It’s exhausting. Can’t it just be about someone else and their fucked-upery already? Can’t we coddle, and “Oh, poor you,” and back-pat someone else yet?
I shot her down, “I don’t feel like getting into this right now.”
So, they talked about it around me – like I wasn’t there.
I played on my phone.
Dinner was good. We shared lots of great food and had a bottle of wine. We talked about all kinds of things. I even gave Kristen my other meatball. But the next thing I know, one thing lead to another, and suddenly we were talking about how sometimes I “victimize” people.
And then I said something like, “Fuck her.”
“See,” Tay said, “that’s aggressive.” Kristen gave me a look. I threw my napkin on the table, “It absolutely is not! It’s a suggestion!”
Later, while at a brewery, the Feeling Nazi successfully used her sorcery to manipulate me into talking about all the things sad and melancholy. At one point, Tay said, “Just hearing you talk about this makes me feel like I can’t breathe.” “Y’all,” I replied, “I had to take showers with the shower curtain open sometimes just because I felt so trapped…”
Fast-forward to this blog post and you’re probably thinking, “How does this have anything to do with OCD? This sounds like anxiety to me.”
Let me explain…
Go back to the very beginning of this entry.
Now, get that song stuck in your head. Get those few lines of lyrics running rampant through your mind. Think non-stop about that problem – that bill, that fight with your boyfriend, that work thing, that 5-year plan, etc.
Obsess over that one particular issue.
OCD isn’t always counting, or checking the oven knobs, or flipping light switches on and off. For me, it consumes my thoughts. I have other OCD-related habits but they don’t trigger my anxiety quite the same way my obsessive thinking does.
I hone in on why someone used a particular word in a sentence when speaking to me. I get consumed with certain memories or conversations and replay them over, and over, and over again. Sometimes, my fixation can be on something as silly as feeding a tiger at the beach. Other times, it could be on something as serious as what went wrong with the 10-year relationship with my ex-boyfriend. My obsession could last a couple of hours or it could last for months. All compulsions can cause over-stimulation, impatience, irritability, and mood swings. But the ones that last for months – the heavier, darker thoughts – cause me lots of anxiety, and inevitably, lead to depression.
Think of OCD as depression’s gateway drug. It’s the first domino to fall. It’s the Jenga block everyone holds their breath on as it’s yanked from the middle of a lopsided tower. It’s the top of a house of cards.
There’s a good chance this episode could cause everything to come crashing down… but then again, there’s a good chance that it won’t…
Thankfully, I have dealt with my OCD, anxiety, and depression long enough that I can now recognize when I’m going through an attack.
Isn’t that ridiculous?
I legitimately just said, “I’m really thankful I’ve been struggling with this bullshit for so long.”
It’s so fucking true though. Just three weeks ago (umm, actually two days before I posted the super empowering, “Untitled“…), I found myself sobbing on the bathroom floor. Over what? I can’t even remember now. It had been a few weeks coming though. Anyhow, I’m on the floor, crying, “No one loves me… blah… blah… blah,”-ing to myself, and all at the same time saying out loud, “This isn’t real. I know this isn’t real. This. is. absolutely. not. real.”
Because it isn’t.
I pray for those who aren’t as far along in their journey with this illness as I am.
To bring it even closer to home…
On Monday, someone very close to one of my extended family members felt as if the only way off this roller coaster was to end his life.
He was just eighteen.
It brakes my heart to think a kid – a baby – could feel that low.
When I found out about SA’s passing I thought to myself, “What if I had ended it every time shit got hard for me? What if I had just given up when I was 19? Or last year? Or whenever I found myself taking showers with the curtain open? What would I have missed out on?”
That’s when I realized, I would have never known the good. I would have never known the good in-between the bad. I would have never known the good now.
I have said it so many times before – life is hard. And sometimes it really sucks but it is also really, really, really good too.
Every day is a gamble. Sometimes you lose. And sometimes you lose big. But other times you win. It’s a shame that a kid – an 18-year-old kid – thought that he had lost it all. It’s a shame that anyone would feel that way.
What can you do though?
It’s a sickness only you can pull yourself out of.
The semicolon is an important piece of punctuation and is a perfect symbol for those who are struggling. As Amy says, “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.” – SarahWild
Never. Ever. Be too quick to judge.
‘Cause you never can tell why a person sings the song they sing.