As with most folks who have OCD, I've got a number of different things that I'm stressing/obsessing about, but it seems like there are a handful of them that are stuck in my brain like they're on some kind of repeat cycle. The funny thing is, when I'm focusing on one, I'm not really worried about the others. I guess that's part of the definition of obsession – being focused very strongly on one thing at a time. These are the fears that currently plague me:
1. I am (or am on my way to being) crazy. Thoughts race through my head constantly, and most of them really don't make any sense. I know that my chief problem is anxiety (if I didn't have serious anxiety, I don't think the OCD would bother me as much), but I'm actually afraid that I'll get to a point where no comforting thought will console me, no medication will work, and no therapy will get through to me.
2. I am completely alone in this. No one else has ever had the sort of thoughts I have. I realize that all the books and articles about OCD say that people who have it have really strange thoughts, but mine are definitely more "out there" than anyone else's.
3. I'm going to forget how to live life and become completely non-functional. I'm currently thinking about everything in a very abstract way. Sometimes I even narrate my actions in my head, complete with thoughts of self-doubt. "I'm walking to the kitchen to get something to drink because I'm thirsty. But am I really thirsty, or do I just think I am?" "I'm putting on a sweater because I'm cold. But how do I know I'm cold. Why isn't anybody else cold? Is there something wrong with me because I think it's cold in here and no one else does?" The neurotic part of my mind takes over so much, I feel like the logical side is going to completely fail on me.
4. I'm going to "snap" and hurt someone I love. I have harmful thoughts about people I care about, or people I see as especially vulnerable. (This extends to animals, too.) It ranges anywhere from actually doing physical harm to someone or something to just saying something hurtful that I don't even mean. I try to combat these thoughts by thinking things like, "No, I like/love this person; I'd never hurt them," but that doesn't always work. I often get so bogged down by my anxiety that I'm unable to feel anything, which only further cements the thought that I'm an evil person, and am going to end up hurting someone. Tonight I came home and my parents had adopted a stray kitten they found, and I was consumed by the fear that I was going to do something horrible to it.
5. I'm going to completely lose touch with my feelings. In a way, I feel like I already have. I think about someone I care about, and I wonder, "Do I actually love this person, or am I just obsessed with them?" What really doesn't help matters is that I went to a therapist once and told her I was having a tough time getting over my ex, and while even though he lived across the country, a tiny little part of me somehow hoped we'd get back together someday. She accused me of having a "fatal attraction" to him. Considering that I don't even know his current address and don't spend my days Googling him, I think that assessment was a little unfair. So now part of me wonders if I'm even capable of love, even though I know fully well that I've loved a good number of people (romantically and otherwise) in my lifetime. Right now I don't feel anything but fear.
6. I'm going to become paranoid and/or psychotic. I guess this ties in with #1. Since I've had this crippling fear attacking me for the past five years, I've feared that I have just about every psychological disorder in the book – everything from schizophrenia to bipolar disorder. The schizophrenia doesn't worry me quite as much anymore – I've been going through this for long enough that if it were schizophrenia, I'd probably be in the full throes of it by now, and I think I'm past the average onset age now (I'm 29) anyway. I try not to worry so much about bipolar, because while I know people who have it and don't manage it very well, I also know people who have it and do very well for themselves, who I wouldn't know had it if they hadn't told me.
Every day is a struggle right now. I have nightmares sometimes, then I wake up in the morning feeling awful, not wanting to face whatever waits for me during the day. Things abate for a little while in the afternoon, then get worse in the evening. I will fully admit that having a glass of wine or two helps to relax me a bit, and to quiet the horrendous "voice" that I hear (figuratively, not literally) in my head telling me that I'm horrible, evil, crazy… take your pick. (I stop at two, I'm not ready to descend into alcoholism, for the record.) I'm really not sure how I feel about anything at the moment, so that doesn't help.