Me vs OCD

On a daily basis I struggle with defining myself, my personality, likes and dislikes and what would be considered OCD. After all I undergo intense self scrutiny everyday, that I suspect ninety percent of the world’s population don’t, and that’s not even taking into account the self reflection and awareness that accompanies complying with my weekly psychodynamic group therapy.

I’m not sure, even now, six years post mental health assessment and diagnosis exactly whom I’m supposed to measure up to in order to decide if it’s OK to do, think or believe x, y and z. It’s very hard to trust others anyway, again I’m not sure if being so distrustful of people is part of me or the pathological aspect of my mental illness, but the added edge of failing by trusting the wrong people is terrifying.

It could just be me, the annual seasonal affective disorder or the OCD, but sometimes I think the only peace I will ever attain will not be in this realm. The narrative of what I think life should be about, faith should be about, kindness and kinship should be about is not compatible with the reality in which I live and I grow weary of trying to sheild myself from it.

I’m no different to millions of confused people out there who feel we are the individuals that have not been cut quite right and have never been, nor will ever be, fit for purpose. Any useful purpose. However, there’s no way out of this nightmare or these constant questions and self-analysis and denial only gets me so far.

I go through periods of finding purpose in trying to be content and then questioning if content is good enough, finding no answer except abstract negativity and feeling severely worthless for making the effort. If there was an option in the big picture of being broken down to my fundamental elements and ceasing to exist in any way in any form without consequence, I would take it.


  1. I think the fact that you talk about it and think about it is good. For myself, having an invisible disability took a long time just to acknowledge out loud to anyone beyond my husband. I think the struggle of knowing who and what we are supposed to be after being diagnosed with a life long condition is a form of grief. Even though I didn’t just become sick the day of the diagnosis, it was like the diagnosis took away a part of my hope for my future and learning to come to terms with the new me has required grieving who I thought I was going to be. I don’t have OCD so I am not sure that what I feel is the same in anyway as what you feel, but your words really struck me and I wanted you to know that you are not alone.

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    1. I agree that mourning my old self is easier some months than others. It’s interesting that in my therapeutic group we all have different mental health diagnoses but relate entirely with each other in so many ways. The loss of self is a common denominator.

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  2. In my humble opinion it’s absolutely normal to feel out of place, or that you’re different from everybody else sometimes, because you ARE. We’re all different from one another, and that’s what makes us beautifully human. I know it’s hard dealing with mental health issues, especially if you feel like you can’t talk or trust anyone. But pleeeease do. Trusting someone enough to open up to them about what’s been bothering you is SO important for your well-being. If you don’t feel like talking face-to-face to someone you know, please send me an email and I’ll lend you my listening ears. 😀 (Even though I have a degree in psychology I don’t consider myself an expert on ANYTHING. But I’ve been told I’m a good listener, if it helps).

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    1. We are all different but rarely is being different celebrated or encouraged. Thank you, I do talk to my long suffering husband and a parade of healthcare providers, whom I see for physical and mental health. I think I need to develop being kinder to myself.

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  3. I’d rather suffer and question everything about existence and purpose without getting answers than be one of the millions of drones who “fit in”, question nothing, and all live carbon copies of unfeeling shallow existences. I think some of us need to struggle for humanity to evolve. It’s so hard and probably not helpful me putting that opinion across, but do believe you’re special because you understand a deeper level of being. Unfortunately for people like us it can sometimes be unbearable.

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  4. For me, this life can be disappointing, heartbreaking and frustrating. My thoughts and feelings don’t align with most who inhabit this earth, so it can be difficult trying to navigate within a world where you feel out of place. However, my faith shows me that I SHOULD feel out of place in this world because it’s not the way God intended it to be. Thankfully, there are others who share my beliefs, even around the world, so I can gain encouragement when we congregate together. However, I still have to live in this world meanwhile, and when I’m not in agreement with what’s considered conventional thinking, it’s disconcerting. But my peace comes from the assurance that the life we were intended to live will become a reality in the future. In fact, it’s a promise. So, when I’m feeling tired out by all the chaos, rhetoric and discord that surrounds me, I try to stay determined to live a life of integrity and decency, and I continue to hope, and not give up, for those future promises of a life on earth much different than the one we see now. (Not at all wanting to sound preachy or didactic, but simply not sure how to express it any other way.)

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  5. Thanks for talking about this; I think you said it very well. I know I feel this way often as well, and its hard to communicate it without sounding like i’m whining or feeding myself harmful thoughts. I think in a society where “work” and “usefulness” are the important factors in personal value, mental illnesses like OCD tend to be viewed as a divine whoops. But I disagree. I think that however you are (and I am) is okay, and no-one can tell you whether you have made progress in coping with your mental illness except for yourself. The thing that helps me most when I feel this way is to give myself permission to “just be” rather than exist for a useful purpose.

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  6. I hope it might be of some comfort that you are far from the only person who feels the same way as you do. I myself have OCD and use to find it difficult to find a purpose in life, however this is not our lot in life, we were not born with this condition, we are are simply products of our conditioning. Although it’s horses for courses, what has worked for me is volunteering, now I simply don’t give myself the time to focus on me, instead I only put my energy into helping others, and literally overnight my self-worth returned and my OCD has reduced.

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    1. Humility and gratitude are wonderful ways of counteracting the effects of OCD. Volunteering is great in many ways as it gets you out from overanalysing stuff that makes you worse.


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