three obsessive-compulsives walk into a bar

Okay, not quite.

But this past week I did have the blessing of having lunch with two other OCs.  And we met SPECIFICALLY to talk about OCD.

“Harry” suffered most from 8th-11th grade, checking and rechecking the locked door so much that he broke the doorknob at his parents’ home.  His sophomore year of high school, he was terrified that his family would die.  “Hermione” has never struggled with obsessions until last August … when it was like a switch was flipped in her.  First, she worried that she would die young … felt certain it would happen.  Then, last month, her worries for herself transferred to her mom, and now she spends the entire day worrying that her mom will die.

Because of the similarities of their stories, I decided to put them together so they could talk about it.

Needless to say, our lunch was interesting.

Harry told us how one time his sister didn’t come home at the right time, so he naturally assumed she was in an accident … he had so convinced himself that this was the truth that he actually almost told that to his friends, figuring that maybe they could help him grieve.  OCD’s voice is very loud and convincing, friends.

Hermione has been obsessing for five months, and she asked Harry and me (I guess I can be Ron!  Ha!) how to tell when OCD crosses the line into the unbearable territory.  Gosh, what a question!  “It’s terrible right now,” she said.  “I think about my mom dying all day every day.  I really don’t want to take meds or do CBT.  How will I know?”

“You’ll know,” I said.  “You’re not there yet.  There will be a time when you realize that the hell of daily obsessions is so bad that you’re willing to take on the hell of CBT or the hell of side effects just to escape it.”

I hate that it has to get that bad.

7 thoughts on “three obsessive-compulsives walk into a bar

  1. Yes, you are right – I waited until I literally could stand it no more before I went to CBT. I really regret that. If I had gone before it had gotten so bad I would have recovered much more quickly and with less pain. Hopefully Hermione will go before it becomes out of control. It’s just not worth it to wait. I wish I could do it over again. I would have gone 13 years sooner.

  2. This is soooo true. ERP is so hard that we have to really hit “rock bottom” before really comitting to it – and I mean COMMITTING to it. Not dabbling in it. I have a friend that I Skype with – only met becuase we have OCD in common. Have never met in person actually. He has harm obsessions. He isn’t doing his ERP. He wants to have gamma knife surgery instead he so desperately wants to avoid his fears. So sad.

  3. I know that this was written in January, but I just now read this post. It was like a breathe of fresh air to hear about Hermione. I am going through the exact same thing as her. It has been four months of constant obsessive thoughts like hers. It has made me so confused as to whether it was God or just thoughts. Thank you for posting about it because it makes me more convinced it is ocd.

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