*** Based on a true story***
The brain is a complex organ…
Not even the top scientists have completely figured out how it works. It controls our body using approximately 50 – 100 billion nerve cells also known as neurons that constantly interact with each other.
“Darling, calm down, it is not real!! You are safe, calm down” My sister was screaming this in my ear while frantically shaking me. Her voice became a distant whisper and then it was all black.
That is all I remember before I blacked out. I later found out that I had been sedated and heavily medicated. I was a bit drowsy and very weak but I tried to seat up only to realize that I was strapped to the bed.
I was in a mental institution.
Ok, I will rewind to two years ago when it all started. A lot can change in two years. I had been living alone in an apartment in an area that was fairly safe until I woke up one night to the sound of my door trying to be opened. Since I was on the fifth floor and that same door was the only exit, I decided to shout as loud as I could, ‘I am calling the police.’ I then heard a hesitation, like the intruder was pondering what to do next, and then I heard the intruder running away. This scared the shit out of me, so from then on; I started checking the door a few times.
I figured out something was wrong with me when I would lock the door, check it, walk to my room and then walk back to the door to check it again….several times. I was incapable of falling asleep if I didn’t do this. It made me feel safe.
I then started washing my hands thoroughly; they just were never clean enough. I don’t know why people took it as a big deal. I would spend only half an hour scrubbing them. I wish others would do the same because I could not stand anyone shaking my hands or having to open public door handles. I would carry wet wipes to hold the doors or if I had to catch the bus or the train. I noticed people staring at me; didn’t they see how dirty everything was? I was simply protecting myself from the filth.
I stopped visiting my friends as well as public places unless I really had to. It was scary, the thought that someone might be following me or planning to harm me, the thought of being contaminated from all the germs in the environment , the sick people out there and the uncertainty of what was going to happen. I would have panic attacks just thinking of it. I would rather stay in my house and sterilize everything. It was an appropriate use of my time.
I’ve always had a group of lovely friends who I’ve known since we were in primary school. They would often comment on how much I had changed but nevertheless, they stuck by me and often played by my rules. They used to come over often but after a while, they stopped. I tried, I really did. I was incapable of seating in one spot when they came, I literally felt like I was losing my mind thinking of all the germs they would leave lying around.
I used to love hugs too, but I had to stop. I felt unclean and would spend numerous hours in the shower cleaning myself. I really excelled in certain aspects of life that needed consistency such as living healthy. I had an exercise routine that I made sure I followed daily and I would make sure to eat food that was organic, colorful and neatly arranged. I think cooking was the best part of my day, I would chop colorful vegetables, make sure that there was the same amount of each vegetable in the bowl arranged neatly with a choice of grilled meat. I took pictures that were breathtaking; people thought I was a food genius. I just loved the ability to maintain order.
It was a struggle attending dinner parties with friends and family. I just couldn’t shake of the feeling of being poisoned. They would all order the same thing just to make sure that I felt safe. The last straw was when I visited a restaurant with my two friends and I swear the chef was planning something. As usual, we all ordered the same thing and the waitress looked at me funny. There was definitely something in my food, I just couldn’t eat it. One of my friends decided to swap with me and I had to try and push away thoughts of being poisoned. I started thinking, maybe the chef knew I would swap the food and then I would take the poisoned plate. After eating a few bites, I had to go and confront the chef.
‘What did you put in my food? Did you wear any gloves while preparing my food? I want to see the manager as well as the video surveillance!!’ I was now shouting at the top of my lungs.
All eyes were on me and I did not care, it was my life after all. The chef was startled and he had nothing to say. My friends jumped to my defense but I literally pushed them away. Everyone in the restaurant was whispering and the next thing I know, I was being dragged out by security guards.
That was the last time my friends hang out with me. They would call me from time to time but none of them visited me from then on.
Now, let’s go back to me being in the mental institution strapped to the bed. My mind was running wild, what were they doing to me. I wanted to scream and call for help but I was so weak. My family walked in the room and I felt tears streaming down my face. I was sad and scared, why were they doing this to me?
The doctor was explaining my ‘condition’. He said I had severe obsessive compulsive disorder that was triggering anxiety.
“It isn’t real darling, you have to understand that,” the doctor said.
Easy for him to say that, I was the one strapped to a bed fearing for my life!!
Thank you lovelies,
For some more information about OCD click ‘Here’