Like most of us, I have struggled with anxiety all my life. Since I was a child I was extremely superstitious, possibly an artifact of being raised by my grandmother, and old-fashioned back country woman (who probably has mild OCD herself). I always felt different from the other kids, though I didn't yet know why.
When I was just twelve I realized I was gay. This is also the time in my life when I was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety disorder, two things I still struggle with to this day. I also met my partner and best friend at this young age, a beautiful woman who I intend to be wed to someday. I was put on Zoloft, which didn't really help my depression, and I became a cutter and had to be put in inpatient treatment when I was fourteen.
The beginning of high school was easier for me, as there were more people I could relate to, and I started feeling a lot better. As my depression waned, however, my anxiety got worse and worse. Junior year was when I first started having real obsessions. I was convinced there was something on my face, and I would check by touching or looking in mirrors all day. I was also terrified that people thought I was a neo-Nazi because of my looks (kind of punk) and German heritage. I ruminated constantly on that fear and it became the defining part of my life. Senior year only got worse, and I started having intrusive thoughts of harming others, started having counting compulsions and rituals, and had to walk in a certain way as to avoid cracks, "bad" spots, and uneven surfaces. It was apparent that something was very wrong as I was stressed out to the point of crying every day and wanting to die.
I was diagnosed with OCD at age eighteen and put on Prozac and Klonopin, which I still take. It took a few months but my symptoms gradually dwindled down to almost normal behavior. I started college far away from home and did very well for about two years, until I started becoming extremely paranoid and having trouble making it to class. I was put on Zyprexa as well, but it wasn't enough and after a few semesters of failing classes, I have had to drop out of school and will be moving back in with my mother (who also has OCD, but not as badly) until I can get back on track. I have also been struggling with my old enemy depression and self-harm again.