I have OCD.
For those who somehow don’t know what that means, it’s obsessive compulsive disorder.
What it is is intrusive thoughts that almost take over your mind and you feel like you have to compulsively complete actions to make sure the intrusive thoughts don’t become reality.
What it isn’t is organising your clothes pegs into colour order because you think it looks nicer than if they were all a-muddle.
It’s checking your child’s nappy every three minutes because if he’s done a poo or a wee and you haven’t noticed then that makes you a terrible mother and your child will hate you and everyone else around you will know you’re absolutely disastrous.
It’s being convinced your boobs are leaking milk and constantly having to check to see if your t-shirt is damp even though you haven’t breast fed for nearly half a decade.
Bear in mind these are only my experiences and it could be different for anyone else. But I think I can speak for everyone when I say OCD takes over your mind, and sometimes even your entire life. The compulsive actions can become so time-consuming that you don’t get to do anything other than manage your thoughts.
And now we come on to what has inspired this post. I’ve seen this picture shared countless times over the past few days over a variety of social media platforms:
And the POINT of that tweet is completely valid and something I’ll inevitably write about at another time.
But that’s not what I’m talking about today. Today I’m here to have a good old rant about people who, when they see this picture, ignore the glaring problem of clothes sizing in high-street stores and the effect it’s having on women around the world BUT to comment
“lol, I’m a little bit OCD about these things, I just want to put them in size order haha x”
You’re not a little bit OCD about this, you’re just being picky because you like things neat and tidy.
I’ve had it happen everywhere I go.
People don’t think before they speak so flippantly about mental illness, because their idea of OCD is someone washing their hands 15 times an hour and organising the fridge magnets because they like everything to be clean and tidy.
And yes, someone could be washing their hands 15 times an hour but not because they really love their Love Hearts smelling hand-wash. It’s because they’re worried they could have a deadly contagious disease and need to wash and wash and wash to make sure no-one else gets it as then the world would end and it’s all your fault.
When you’re sat at work, hiding in the toilets nearly in tears because you’re absolutely convinced you’ve left all the windows of your house open and that someone’s going to just climb in and steal your entire life, even though it’s -4 degrees outside and you haven’t opened the windows since summer. And you come out, wiping your eyes on a bit of tissue, ready with an excuse of hormones, and you hear someone laughing about the new guy in the office lining his pens up in colour order and how “he’s so weird, Mr OCD! Hahaha” and you shrink back into the cubicle for the next twenty minutes.
Basically, the moral of the story is: just be mindful of others, guys.
The same can be said of most mental illnesses, really.
You’re not bipolar, you’re just having mood swings. It’s probably Mercury being in retrograde again for God’s sake.
You’re not schizophrenic, chances are you just watched too much Scrubs whilst revising for your GCSE’s, so you have Zach Braff in the back of your head constantly reciting facts about the Weimar Republic.
I don’t want to sound all righteous, and I’m not telling you off. This is not being said with my Mum Voice, don’t worry. But I can’t stress to you enough how much it stings when you make a point of telling people how you’re struggling and then you see them sharing memes on Facebook twenty minutes later with cry-laughing faces plastered all over their feed.
I don’t really have a sign off for this post.
Just be nice, I guess.
(And if anything I’ve written regarding OCD hits a nerve with you or sounds familiar, talk to your GP or contact your local Mind charity because they were so, so helpful with getting me out of a deep, dark hole.)