Love in Times of OCD

Arboretum Flower: Another random flower pic that I love and that I took on campus.  Thought it went nicely with this theme :)
Arboretum Flower: Another random flower pic that I love and that I took on campus. Thought it went nicely with this theme 🙂

Childhood can be such a beautiful thing.  I wish I enjoyed it a little more at the time.  Honestly, I would NEVER want to go back to being a child, but the thing is, I wish I had that same ignorance.  I actually remember not worrying about being ill and actually welcoming it so that I could stay home from school.  There were countless times that I played sick (and the truth comes out), to stay home for fun or because I was tired of being teased by a giant, cruel girl in 7th grade.  It is strange for me to look back now and think how I used to be.  I’m not sure what changed.  

I have one memory that goes back to the 2nd grade.  It is the first recollection I have of an OCD tendency, besides the sensory sensitivity to chewing.  I had, and still have, a terrible texture issue with paper, but only after my hands are damp, or if I’m writing with a pencil.  It’s very strange and probably doesn’t make sense, but it definitely exists for me.  I remember wearing my favorite red, Mickey Mouse sweatshirt that my mom eventually threw away because it got so tattered, every day to school.  I liked wearing it because it was comfortable, but also because I could pull the sleeve over my right hand as I wrote on paper.  I couldn’t stand the feeling of the paper moving beneath my hand as I write.  I still can’t stand it!  Funny though, I wasn’t afraid of illness back then.

It seems to have escalated when I went to college.  I think going from a rather small high school to a large, university setting may have triggered it.  In high school I was always afraid of “germs” and used hand sanitizer often, but the true terror and fight-or-flight responses I get now at even the mention of someone getting sick (I mean the physical act, not just a cold or something similar) didn’t come on until later.  I hate this about myself and this is the main reason why I’ve sought some support from others through writing.

I met my boyfriend at the end of my senior year of high school.  He was a junior in college and at first we only saw each other on the weekends.  When I graduated and started my first semester of my undergraduate program, I moved to the same town that my boyfriend was living.  Although we went to two different universities, it was still easy to see one another.  Eventually, I moved in with him.  We have been living together officially for nearly three years now, unofficially probably four 😉 shh…  In total, we have been together nearly 5 years.

What I love and admire most about my boyfriend (I use this word because it’s most convenient for everyone to understand, but he’s more of a spouse, or long-term partner) is that he is always supportive of me.  I do wish he wouldn’t object to me getting a tattoo, but I understand that it is taboo in his culture.  I’ll win him over eventually 😉

A day I remember quite well was the day that I truly confessed my inner turmoils to my boyfriend.  It’s funny, we had been dating almost 4 years at this time, but I still didn’t let him in on this secret.  I felt ashamed and embarrassed and didn’t want him to think differently of me.  He knew I was different anyway.  Whenever we go out, I always force him to use hand sanitizer.  I know he hates it when I “nag” about keeping the house clean too.  It’s not just “oh, honey, pick up your socks please.”  It’s more like, “I can’t stand the socks on the floor.  The sight of them ruining my clean floor is stressing me out!”  These are just some of the few quirks I’m sure he noticed.

It was a Friday, the day we usually went to an international student group to socialize and have dinner.  Of course, someone at the meeting was recovering from the “stomach flu.”  Immediately, the panic took over and that fight-or-flight response kicked in.  I took my boyfriend into the next room and asked him if we could leave immediately.  It was at that time that I saw him going for a piece of pumpkin roll, with his hands!  I envisioned the worse, him eating that slice of pumpkin roll and ingesting whatever virus that was and then getting sick.  I yelled at him to, “don’t eat with your hands!”  It was my first breakdown.  I couldn’t breath and I was crying uncontrollably.  It felt like I could do nothing.  I was helpless.  My body and my brain were fighting against me.  They were the enemy.

Needless to say, we left.  We were regulars there, but we haven’t been back for quite some time and I think it’s for the better.  I really didn’t have anything in common with most of them anyway.  After that incident, in the car on the way home, I told him everything.  I told him how I have “emetephobia” which is the fear of “vomit” and the act of “vomiting”.  Honestly, I even have trouble saying or writing that word, so that was a big step for me!  I didn’t think he could understand, but he was more than understanding.  He genuinely listened and offered words of comfort.  He was sincerely worried about me.  I knew he would be there for me.  He encouraged me to seek help.  The very next day, I made an appointment with a psychologist, who then later referred me to a psychiatrist.  This was, for me, the best move I could have ever made.  I feel like I finally have some sense of control over myself, although I do still struggle with this daily, but there is “a light at the end of the tunnel,” to use that old cliche.

The point of all this is that I’m not sure how long it would have taken me, if ever, to seek professional help if it weren’t for him.

Have someone who you can trust, lean on, and confide in.  It only takes one person to change a life.  I love you Won.

Peace, love, and blessings,



103 thoughts on “Love in Times of OCD

  1. i see something on tv and i go well i’ll be that is part of ocd too..ok, you just gave me another one..the emet,thing i won’t say the word for either of…i think seinfeld had an episode where he was afraid….
    also, when i was little it was ocd , but now it’s i could die /salmonella & an asthma attack./ not breathing.

  2. This is so true, My boyfriend and I have been together over 4 years, we’ve known each other for 8 – & we’re only 22, no one thought it would last cause we’re so young and all. But he makes me a better person and he makes me WANT to be a better person. He is my best friend and I don’t know where I’d be without him. He can be a right pain in my butt sometimes =] but that’s normal. He’s perfect and I wouldn’t change him for the world. I wouldn’t be anywhere I am today without him. He pushes me forward. I hope I can do the same for him.

    1. I am pleased that you shared your story with me. It seems like our paths to love are quite similar 🙂 It sounds like you too have a loving, supportive partner who is willing to be there for you always. It’s great that you have such unconditional love for him. This is what life is all about 🙂


      1. This was beautifully written poignant, and deeply insightful. In my experience, sometimes, opening up about my “secrets” is actually easier with complete (or near-) strangers than with those whose opinions and regards for us matter most. And I’m so glad that you have such an understand boyfriend (though, sounds a lot more like a spouse, as you’ve also mentioned). Having that support system in place can make a world of difference in terms of recovery and overall quality of life. Keep up the seeking, keep up the writing. Two thumbs up…

      2. I couldn’t be more appreciative of your kind words. I’m just a humble writer, sharing the few life experiences I have. When it comes to sharing secrets, I most definitely agree that it is easier to share them with strangers. Although I feel like some people out there are friends and kindred spirits 😀 You are a caring individual and I sincerely appreciate your recognition.

        Peace, love, and blessings,

  3. It is wonderful that you have someone like that who supports you and wants to help you. Having OCD is like being imprisoned within yourself. But, having someone there to lean on and to stand by you makes a world of difference. Kudos to him!

    1. It is definitely difficult to go through something like this without a strong, loving support system. I’m glad you can understand how it feels to be trapped by this illness sometimes. It’s good to hear from you again, my friend 🙂


      1. Hi again Megan,
        It’s only recently I’ve become willing to speak up about my experiences, and while a comment here is no place to share them with you, I just might get them out and on paper (on screen?) in a page (The Journey) on my blog… Feel free to visit if you’re so inclined. Take care.

  4. You too? I have a terrible issue with touching paper and especially newspaper!!! And I work for a newspaper and have to touch it every day. There is just something about touching it that I can’t stand it’s like fingernails on a chalk board but to me it’s more like putting a piece of gauze in you mouth…now that is simply I can’t tolerate and when I go to the dentist I cannot handle them wiping my lips with that gauze..ugh. I LOVE YOU Megan, I am so very very proud of you and you are a fantastic person 🙂 and I love you too Won, you’re like my other son from another mother.

  5. What a great read and am so glad that you’ve found such a wonderful partner and friend who cares about you. It always warms my heart when I hear such awesome stories.

    Do you believe there are various levels of OCD and that the condition waxes and wanes? I ask because I have a couple of dear friends who are OCD but for different reasons than what you describe. It took my friend, Julie, quite some time to find the right psychiatrist and psychologist. She went to many and then found the perfect combination. My friend, Kevin, hasn’t been officially diagnosed because he hasn’t met up with the right health-care professionals with the exception of a wonderful psychologist. I am presently trying to hook him up with the psychiatrist who brought Julie so much success. I did notice when he wasn’t drinking so much that OCD appeared to be one of his strongest issues, but now to get him to this doctor (sigh). Speaking of OCD in variations, I found myself very much leaning towards hand sanitizers several years back. It came when I was working in a juvenile facility where they bring kids in with all kinds of illnesses and, of course, mainly criminal offenses. We would have to counsel and/or talk to them and familiesl on the detention side. I noticed that many of the officers headed straight to our shared kitchen after coming from the detention side and getting in the fridge and touching everything. It freaked me and to this day, I carry hand sanitizer in my pockets. I don’t worry about it though…it is what it is and if I can keep myself healthy then so-be-it!

    Again, thanks for sharing . . .

    1. Hey there,

      I definitely feel that there are different levels of OCD. I look at is as sort of a spectrum, if you will. I know some people that have minor issues with things, such as books being out of place, and people like me, who are constantly consumed by irrational thoughts 😉 For me, I find that the severity changes with the seasons. Sounds odd, but I hardly have issues in the summer time. I guess because it is not flu season and what not. For other people, it might be stress induced, so experiencing more stress can exacerbate OCD tendencies.

      I am proud of your friend Julie for finding someone who works for her. It is not easy to seek help and then find someone who you feel comfortable working with. Good for her 🙂 It’s true that individuals with OCD often struggle with substance abuse. I am not sure how much your friend is reliant upon alcohol, but this is something that is common. It is great that you are encouraging him to see a psychiatrist and just to get help in general. I know for me, the simple act of support from family, friends, and professionals did a lot and still does. You are doing the right thing.

      As for the hand sanitizer, I would not worry at all 🙂 People from all walks of life use it on a regular basis. Who wants to be sick? No one, right? The only time you should be concerned is when you feel the sudden and dire need to use it, a panic when you cannot use it, and uncontrollable and irrational thoughts about the consequences of not using it. If you feel your hand sanitizing habit is interfering with regular, daily activities, then this is when I encourage to maybe search a little further into this issue. Otherwise, I’d say no worries 🙂 Be healthy!

      I appreciate the time and care you took in writing this comment. I look forward to what else you have to say!

      Blessings, peace, and love,

      1. Thanks, Megan, for taking the time to share so much! Yes, Julie, does wonderfully with the exception of weight gain and not being able to have a child due to not wanting to risk going off her medications. I can’t tell you how well she does but most likely a lot of it has to do with not only the right medications but because of a wonderful psychologist (she traveled many miles to counsel with him in the beginning) who walked her through many changes of thought processes. As for Kevin, I am losing patience. I feel he’ll get much better as soon as we begin having tastes of spring, however. He doesn’t answer my text messages, nor my phone calls even with dropping off soup and treats. . . .it’s because of being in such a bad way and not wanting to put this on someone else I am certain. If only he would write like you. I do believe that the alcohol interferes with him not being able to raise his thought levels like Julie has been able to do. Maybe my hand sanitizing has been a blessing in disguise but didn’t mention that I also wipe off all my groceries with white vinegar when returning from the store and spray my shoes with Lysol before entering my home)….so laughing here, but ever since the experience at the juvenile center I have never been quite the same. Thanks for the tip on not panicking about it . . .it doesn’t occupy much space in my head but am prepared nevertheless!

        You are very blessed to have such supportive friends, companion and family. Your encouragement and understanding with others has to be a blessings as well. Keep on spreading the light ~ you are definitely a beacon. I do look forward to reading your recent posts but running behind some. I will get there soon!!

      2. That’s very intriguing about the vinegar and something I never thought of doing, but perhaps you’ve just given me an idea 🙂 I kid. Don’t worry about spraying the lysol on your shoes. I do this all the time and then run all over the house spraying the air and using Clorox wipes on almost every touchable surface 🙂 I’m weird like that.

        It is great to have so many who love and support me, but we have not been without trials in our lives. It has taken my family a long time to get where we are now, but I wouldn’t change any of it. I finally feel comfortable talking to both of my parents, not just my mom, and I actually enjoy seeing my grandparents, going to their homes, and hearing their stories. I know this sounds weird, but I never remember that as a child. I hope you too can have such love and support in your life.

  6. It’s great to have someone in your life like that. Hold onto em. 🙂
    For me I have my wife, if not for her and my kids I don’t want to think about where I would be now.

    1. Thank you Amba 🙂

      It is indeed a blessing to have someone so loving and supportive in one’s life. I try to write with honesty and I am humbled that you appreciate it 🙂 It’s good to hear from you again.


  7. As for the old cliche, the light at the end of the tunnel, it always grows brighter as you move forward, being the light of love in your life, shedding the past makes way for the new you and yours too. Love the flower.

    1. Billie,
      I couldn’t have put it better myself 🙂 Love is most definitely a light in my life and I hope in yours as well. I look forward to the future and fondly look upon the past without regrets. I’m glad you like the flower! It’s one of my best shots.
      It’s good to hear from you again.


  8. You’re lucky to have someone who cares for you so much. And just as importantly, it’s obvious that you appreciate the support he gives you. I love your photos by the way, have you taken some sort of photography course? xxx

    1. Thank you 🙂 I always look forward to your comments. No, I have never taken a photography course, but looking back on college, I think that would have been really interesting! I love to take photos, but am no professional 🙂


  9. Good posting you are that Arboretum, time to stand tall and start enjoying the age you are now living in?
    I was wondering if you have ever run into the elementary school GIANT? I am betting that her life has now changed into someone that wishes for your friendship and that she could go back and learn a better life?
    I also have a partner and my life is so much better than my past!
    Love and respect to Won. Thank you for writing (Without a pencil).
    Help and love is always only a computer away.

    1. That is very sweet of you my friend. I will take your advice and try to enjoy life a little more everyday. We do live in such a wonderful time, don’t you think? I can’t believe how incredible our modern world is.

      Indeed, I once saw the giant while out shopping once. I don’t know if she recognized me because I was quite a bit older, but the funny thing was, she didn’t look like she changed a bit. She was with the same people she was with in school. I feel for her.

      Thank you again for your loving words.

      Blessings to you and your partner 🙂

  10. I think it’s wonderful you’ve found love and support…and also that your boyfriend has YOU to love and support you. You’re no less valuable or worthy of love because of your disability. I’m sure you have qualities that make you shine. I don’t have OCD but I AM a perfectionist and that causes me more than enough pain because I now live with a stepfamily who are really messy and whose standards of cleanliness are well below mine. It stresses me out completely as I see things being mistreated and allowed to become dirty and deteriorate. In the past two years it has, along with some other dysfunctions in the family, led me into a deep depression at times. So I know that feeling of being ‘imprisoned’. Thank you also for finding my own blog and taking the time to read the post on depression and for considering it interesting enough to ‘like’. Stay well. Love and light.

    1. I honestly know how that feels. My dad remarried and his wife and stepdaughter moved in. The house never feels clean and I am usually totally uncomfortable when I go there. My stepsister is very messy and destroys things, like what you describe with your stepfamily. I know how that feels and you have my support there. It can be a terrible feeling if you live somewhere that you feel is unkempt and uncomfortable. You are a great writer. I don’t think I could ever write so elegantly. This is truly a gift.

      Blessings, peace, and love my friend,

  11. Thank you for sharing your experience with this debilitating illness. It is wonderful that you have someone like your boyfriend to support you.
    Is there a root cause for the OCD? In reading your experience, I find myself recognizing OCD tendencies in my own behaviour. I have my husband and I and my mother constantly using hand sanitizer, a dirty kitchen stresses me out, and once when we were in church, a little boy two rows in front of us threw up and I couldn’t get out of that pew and the church fast enough.
    Is there a scale to measure OCD?

    I really feel for you–having had to live with this for so long. You are a strong woman, and someone to be admired for that strength.


    1. What you describe is so similar to how I feel. I can’t imagine how awful it must have been for you in church that day. I am truly sorry for that experience. I can only remember a couple of times in my life that I feel are potential triggers for the emetephobia. My psychologist does not believe OCD has an origin, such as a traumatic event, but rather that it’s a physiological/biological disorder (you might find my post about Physiology and OCD a bit interesting). However, I still have strong memories of two traumatic experiences. The first being a time when my entire family was sick with the “stomach flu”. It was horrible. The second time was when my grandmother was on her deathbed. Otherwise, I’m not entirely sure what the trigger, if any, might have been.

      As far as a scale, I just googled it and found something called the Yale-Brown scale, you might give it a try 🙂 I have never heard of it before, but it could be interesting. I do the same things with hand sanitizer. I stopped using it so much when I found out it doesn’t kill viruses, but I still use it. I’m really into hand-washing right now. Ugh, it’s quite annoying to do three or four times in a row.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I look forward to what you have to say.


  12. The “Normal” brain sends out signals to protect us from things we do not understand. The normal brain receives a micro millimeter of adrenalin or other signal substance, however, in the OCD or other brain dysfunctional people the liquid is manufactured by the gallons and or not at all. Unfortunately the neuro-sciences are still in the primitive stages of patient…the Doc will prescribe many drugs, some may work, others may backfire. The brain itself and the disease of old age will keep the organ changing, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, sometimes it will appear that the wall is insurmountable, sometimes the pit will be bottomless, but hold the hand of those who love you, trust them, learn how the feelings are created within you and most importantly, keep writing.
    The more you tell others, the better you are explaining to yourself the dysfunctions of your brain.
    Love, hugs and prayers, from a fellow dysfunctional, ME and the Boss

    1. Neuroscience is a vastly interesting field. I have written several papers on the brains of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and found it highly interesting. I would like to have researched OCD and the human brain too as more of a personal interest. Your words are truly inspiring and kind. I will keep writing in hopes that people, like you, will keep supporting me.

      Peace, love, and blessings,

  13. It’s wonderful to have someone who compliments you so well! My husband and I have a similar story of being young and in love and moving to be closer to each other. He has also always been a great source of support for me. I recently let him know how serious my anxiety issues are and he’s been incredibly understanding and non-judgemental. It means the world to me.

    1. It is wonderful to hear that someone has such a loving partner as well. I understand how great of a feeling it is to have someone who supports you in your times of need, through thick and thin.


  14. Ok, don’t have kids, they vomit over anything. Of at least mine do, and my eldest is 14. Fever, the dog food they ate, the snack they shared with a sick kid….you get it. And of course the teenager who decides to get alcohol intoxicated and vomits all over his room is a must do as well. I can totally understand the issue with vomit. It comes from deep inside of a person, who knows what it is composed of and it is a horrible messy, “textury” item to clean up. As a nurse I am not fond of it. As a parent I hate it. At least at the hospital it isn’t messing up MY floors. LOL

    1. This is perhaps the biggest reason why I do not like children. I know I was one once, thank you mom, but I really don’t feel that I can be a good mother. I have never been attracted to the idea of having them, but I commend anyone who does. You are a stronger person than me 🙂

  15. Hey Megan,
    You are the first person to have dropped by my “Escape Your Chains” and I have only just started making the site and begun playing with it. When I looked at your blog, and have read some of it – I am moved by what you have to, and do, cope with. I am amazed, sad and also inspired at the same time! You probably would enjoy escaping some of your chains. I dont know if I am going to keep this current site, cos as I say, I am playing. However, I will be getting something going in the next 6 months to help people change things in their lives that they might not believe is possible to change. I believe I have some powerful tools. I hope I can help you in some way.

    1. Hello Sarah,
      I’m very pleased that you stopped by as well. Even if you don’t decide to continue with that theme, I do wish you to continue to write 🙂 It makes me so happy that someone feels inspired and amazed by my writing. Never in my life did I think that would happen! Maybe one day I will be free from these chains. Keep on inspiring.


  16. This was such a thoughtful and genuine post. It was my first time stopping by and I don’t have too much experience with OCD (aside from the few MTV True Life episodes), but I could really relate to your story on just having someone wonderful in your life. I look forward to reading more of your writing!

    1. I’m very happy that you did stop by 😀 My life isn’t as dramatic perhaps as it could be were I to be on True Life, but it does give others an insight into the struggles of others. I hope to continue to write interesting posts 🙂


  17. Megan, truly admire your honesty and your quest. Making lists of things you want for the year is a great idea. Sometimes if one puts the list in priority order and focuses on the first one until it is nearly achieved, it can sometimes be easier to avoid overwhelm, unless you are one of those people who can easily multitask.
    Unconditional love is something I did not know I would ever achieve and when I began to feel it in my late 40’s it was quite a welcome surprise. Once I felt that feeling it never left me, like a deep well of love. It wasn’t due to another person, but something in myself. Some never reach that place in this life. You look young … for you to contemplate such a thing is amazing, and no doubt you will have it. Thank you for liking my blog. – Corri

    1. Very inspiring, loving words, Corri. I do not know for certain if I’m great at multitasking, but I’d like to think I am! I do a lot of singing and driving, sometimes singing, dancing, and driving 😉 I hope to one day, if not already, achieve an understanding of what unconditional love is. With time, age, and every growing wisdom, I feel it can be possible.

      Peace, love, and blessings,

  18. Interesting. I always tease my husband because he has a tendency to be OCD (keeping order on the outside to calm the chaos inside) but it’s nothing compared to what you seem to experience. It must be incredibly difficult to live with OCD on a daily basis. I’m glad you found someone with whom you can be yourself without being ashamed. 🙂

    1. I do find daily life to be a struggle at times, but nothing I can’t live through (and nothing that a day off work won’t fix)! It definitely is a blessing to have such a wonderful person in my life. ❤ Megan

  19. I am glad that you have someone there to help you through like I have, when I had to tell my partner of my past and my mental health conditions, it was really hard but he understood and hes there for me. 🙂
    We are both lucky we have fabulous partners.
    I hope you carry on fighting and get better! 🙂

    1. Oh, is that the Ampelmann? 😀 Of course it is, I’d recognize him anywhere! I hope you too can share some of your experiences. My mouth is shut and my ears open (in this case, I guess it would be my eyes actually)!

  20. Thanks for liking my post. I know how hard it is to have a condition that others can’t really see. So much negativity can get internalized have some devastating results. I’m so glad I now know I have ADD. I can forgive myself for all the strange things I’ve done, for the times I didn’t measure up, and so on. I can take actions to cope with ADD in the most positive way, knowing that it’s very hard for others to understand. But now I understand. I love myself, well, much more of the time. We are all on a journey to love ourselves. Happy travels.

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself. So often in life I can remember being “weird.” I was and always will be a little different and quirky, but I think in a good way 🙂 Similar to you, I felt a relief knowing what all this meant for me, getting that diagnosis I mean. It gave me a direction to move toward.


  21. Thanks so much for the ‘like’ on my haiku, which brought me over to your blog. I love the way you write; maybe the OCD is a blessing in some ways – it certainly is for us that read what it prompts you to write.

  22. This is crazy because I have the same thing with paper. I also have a weird thing about not being able to use tools/objects with wood handles. I always have to wear gloves when working in the yard! Not only that, but I started dating my boyfriend my junior year of high school (while he was in college) and we have been inseperable ever since too. It is always hard opening up to someone you cherish so much (especially when you don’t want to scare them away!) But I’m so glad you have someone so incredibly supportive in your life too, it makes this world seem so much lighter to bear! And thanks for liking my post as well! I look forward to following your blog 🙂

    1. I actually do have issues with wooden handles too! I can’t stand using knives with wooden handles, especially if the wood is old and dry and the finish is gone 😦 It is great that you have someone in your life like I do to support you for so long. 🙂 Seems like we have a lot in common!

  23. Im having OCD myself and some other things too. Sometimes it seems like part of one madness… But you can change it, you only need right philosophy. You are not your brain. You are a spirit and your MIND is not your brain. Your mind is the one that says to your body what to do. You can learn to overcome it and actually you are learning it at the moment. It might be very hard but you can do it. No pain is here forever and while suffering be happy because you are learning many new things. Stop comparing yourself with other people. We all have different lessons during our lives.

    All the best in this world to you 🙂

    1. Thank you for your sweet words. Indeed, the only person to really change who we are is ourselves. I wish I could see that more, but I’m often so overcome by the worries and anxiety I experience so often. It’s time to sit down and look at what’s important and lovely in life 🙂


  24. Thank you so much for sharing, Megan!

    I can totally relate – I am also an emetophobe! Most people really don’t understand, as it is such a specific and “weird” phobia, so it’s nice to read the experiences of others who are struggling with the same thing. I guess it makes me feel less alone, and hopeful that I can overcome it. I am so glad that you like one of my posts, and that I found your blog – thank you 🙂

    Ms. Merlot

    1. It’s such a terrible phobia to have, don’t you think? The fact that we are afraid of a normal bodily function makes life quite difficult at times. Do you think there is any origin to your emetephobia? I can probably pinpoint a few traumatic events involving “you know what” that may have exacerbated my fears. It’s a nasty thing to live with and you definitely have my empathy! I know what you go through.

      1. I do have traumatic events that are linked to my phobia; the same event happened slightly differently between the ages of 6-16 😦 Basically it had to do with my mother’s drinking. I have had therapy, and my phobia is very linked to my need to have control over my life. It’s definitely a terrible phobia to have – I’m not sure I could ever get over it 100%, but I have made huge progress. Thanks again for sharing about your phobia, I may write about my own experience 🙂 And great blog! xxx

  25. Having people who love you and support you is the best. I have suffered from a form of OCD as well. I used to do little ritual behaviors all day long, for quite a few years of my life. With time, this problem has decreased and while I still have issues, things have gotten a lot easier. I’m glad you have a supportive boyfriend!

    1. I’m happy to have him as well 🙂 Your story is inspiration to my ears! I look to others who have also struggled with OCD and overcome it as a means of support and hope. I would love to hear more.

      1. Glad to hear that others’ stories help. I’m not even sure exactly how I managed to overcome my OCD. All I can say is that it takes a lot of self-acceptance and acceptance from those who love you, like your bf. I’m sure you’ll get there!!

  26. Loved the story. And the picture. I believe, not sure, that’s a lotus flower, isn’t it? Every time I see one it brings to mind the story about why Buddhists love the lotus. It’s the whole metaphor (?) about humans overcoming ignorance about the true nature of life. The lotus grows in the mud, then it raises above it and becomes this beautiful thing despite it’s humble origin. Or something like that, Meg. I better stop now.

  27. That’s very sweet. I think a lot of people have tendencies towards OCD, or at least a lot more than you would suspect. I certainly do. Luckily my current job lets me channel that into organization. But I think anxiety in general (about things other than the actual disease, etc.) brings on OCD. Like at stressful times at work, it could be worse. Journals are good for writing down what you think. But I would recommend a constructive way of thinking like 1. what is the worst that could possibly happen if i do this? 2. what is the likelihood that will actually happen? 3. is it really so bad that i can’t survive it? This method has helped me through several incidents where say i get cut in public on something and i’m like “oh god the HIV”, and i have to talk myself out of that. But it works. Also, no matter what is stressing you, remember that everything passes. When I’m going through something bad I keep trying to tell myself that x months from now i won’t be worrying about that anymore, it will be something else by then!

    1. I love the idea of using this train of thought. You’ve spelled it out quite plainly. In this situations when I am experiencing a lot of stress, there’s not much time to think deeply. This will help me a great deal.

      I have come to quite enjoy writing in my journal. I actually wrote my latest post in it 🙂

  28. i find it interesting that you are scared of getting sick from shared bread, but are open to the idea of getting a tattoo… needles from tattoos carry all sorta of potential infectious diseases. (not to alarm you, but just sayin’).

    beautifully written and heartfelt. =)

    1. As I always say, I’m an odd gal and this is a great example of how irrational some of my quirks are. 🙂 You’re very kind for saying that this is beautifully written. That means a lot to me 🙂

  29. I am so glad that I found your blog today! Thank you for liking my post on ‘the meaning of life’ 🙂 You’re such a great writer, I wish I can write as well as you do… Haha! 😀

    Stay happy always! 🙂


  30. I have GAD, the generalized anxiety and it’s effects on my life has been debilitating. I am in the process of getting disability so I am in for a ride. Each day seems daunting, with the ever present thought of being judged and the feeling I need to escape. Then there are the habits, almost ritualistic in nature which I do because of the lack of control in my life. I am homeless and endeavoring to change and hopefully that will begin tomorrow.

    I live in my car with my cat and she is my emotional support animal and even the doctor said her loss would make my depression and anxiety worse. I hate feeling like this and it has even affected my thought processes and the ability to speak. Today the aphasia was like an 8 out of a scale of 10 and I have to kind of ratchet down my rate of speech just to get the words out. This leads to massive panic attacks especially when an unexpected noise occurs.

    At the bottom is the fact that the VA has been largely useless in helping me with housing. So I am hoping that I can reconstruct myself and achieve a bit of mental and emotional equilibrium.

    Best wishes to you and in many respects, I can relate.

    1. Hello Larry,

      Your story breaks my heart. You are not alone in your feelings towards the VA. My loving stepfather has had the worst experiences with them. He is completely disabled because of multiple botched VA surgeries. I’m kind of bitter about them.

      Cats can be a wonderful comfort when dealing with life struggles. I know my little Chester makes my life way less stress free and the unconditional love does wonders to my mental health. It seems you have a special baby as well and I’m glad that you do. Life is so much better with furry companions.

      I know life seems difficult right now and I empathize with you. I’ve struggled mentally in similar ways and I’ve been in some dark places of the mind. Just keep on my friend. I know things will get better for you.


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