I can sense myself spiraling,
Losing my confidence.
My thoughts are slipping into an inescapable cycle of questions with no definitive answer.
Why? When? How? What-if? Really? Positive? How? Why? Really? What proof? Does that really prove anything? How? Why? What-if? How? Really? Are you sure? How can you be sure? Why? What-if?
An overwhelming dread overcomes my body.
Undeniable fear of the unknown.
I’m on another plane of consciousness
Observing each thought, each memory, each action, each breath, each feeling.
Each day, my thoughts are consumed even more by the weight of their own doubt.
Who am I, really?
I am a slave to my own thoughts, my own doubts, and my own fears.
How do I know that I am who I’ve always thought I’ve been?
Moreover, if I’m not, how do I protect others from who I might be?
How do I save the people I love?
I try to dig through these questions to find myself. My own voice is stifled by the voice of fear.
I see reality through the fog of irrationality.
But the fear is persistent.
Pushing through the question, with no answer the fear subsides slightly making way for guilt.
Why did I risk the safety of the ones I love?
Why did I put their lives in danger?
Is your illness really more important than their well-being?
I would give my life for my family.
I would go to the ends of the earth to ensure they stayed safe.
Even with doubt, there is guilt.
Why would you even doubt yourself about something like this?
What does it mean for you to doubt this?
The only escape is sleep, and when there isn’t a cycle of questions, my sleep is disturbed by nightmares.
Is this even life?
I would take my own life if it meant the ones I love could live and be unharmed.
I am not depressed.
I wait for a distraction, sleep, something to avoid my own thoughts.
I beg and plead to be relieved.
I apologize for whatever I’d done to deserve this.
I pray for everything, I pray to have myself back, to be free of the torment of my own insecurity.
Logic means nothing.
It’s overruled by the dread of the What-ifs and the guilt of the risk you take by not checking.
One hour is my maximum of freedom.
Why is it so hard?
My life isn’t bad, I have all I need for survival.
Would it be a fair trade?
Would I give up my house to be free from this?
Would I give up my job? Food? Water?
Just to be free from myself?
Damn right, but I don’t have that option.
Fully willing to give up what I can, there is no offer on the table for my freedom.
How long can I handle this?
How much strength do I have?
Will I ever wear out?
Will I ever spiral “too” far?
Will I ever lose the small bit of hope I hold on to?
Why would I even contemplate this?
Even when the spiral ends, believing it is gone
Is like not preparing for a hurricane that follows you wherever you go.
Just not knowing when it will strike, why, or how.
And you never know if you’ll ever see “normal” again or if you’ll be able to make it through another round.
When it returns it is devastating, it takes over everything you thought you knew, takes over every bit of happiness you have and turns it into fear, guilt, and dread.
It swallows your life, and everything you care about, and makes it nearly impossible to live.
Will I ever see myself again?
I have OCD.
© Chelsea Hackford