If you follow my blog, then you’ve already been introduced to my roommate Desiree. She is a wonderful woman of God and one of my very favorite people. Because we have lived together for five years, she is one of the people who has seen me at my very, very worst, OCD-wise. I asked her to write a guest post about living with an obsessive-compulsive. Here it is:
by Desiree Wood
I don’t know how to describe what it’s like to live with someone with OCD, but you all know.
I’m sure Jackie told me that she had OCD while I was in college. She told me how hard it was—about thinking friends were demons or that she was destined for Hell, about sharing her struggles at camp the previous summer—but it just didn’t register. She hid it well for the first year or two that we were friends and roommates, an impressive feat.
And then came the day that I realized this was a problem. Jackie had talked through some other obsessions before, but this one was big. We had been on a retreat with the youth group we volunteered with for the weekend, and on the bus ride home, one of the teens dropped a bomb on Jackie about something he had done. I’m a teacher, so it takes a lot for an experience to blow me out of the water, but what this kid shared did just that! I was shocked when Jackie slid into the bus seat next to me and shared the news. And at that moment, I pleaded with God, “Why?” Why would He allow it to be Jackie who had to shoulder this news? Why the one with OCD triggered by thoughts of guilt? It was so much pressure figuring out what to do with this information. As she sobbed and we tried to work through the news at home that night, my heart broke for her. I felt completely lost and helpless.
To be honest, that’s how I’ve felt through most of this journey through OCD—through the changing meds and different reactions, triggers that come out of nowhere and take days or weeks or months to move past, through the CBT techniques that I felt really unsure about—it’s all a bit lost on me whose mind can just let go of thoughts as I choose. Looking back, I kind of like that I was so lost and helpless, because even though OCD has been hard to deal with for me and a million times harder for Jackie, I know that it has ultimately pushed us both closer to Christ. I love that He redeems the brokenness in our lives.
We all know what it’s like to live with someone with OCD because we are all broken people. Whether you live with family, friends, or a spouse, you battle the brokenness. We’ve all got our issues, sickness, and sin to overcome, and the people around us have to be our support. I pray that I continue to learn how to do that for Jackie.
Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” I am blessed to live with Jackie—to have seen her struggle through OCD with Jesus, to have learned from her, and to have her in my corner as I battle my own issues.
What are your experiences with friends or family with OCD?