It’s May I started spring cleaning today! Had I have left it another month I wouldn’t have bothered because it’s summer and then we can live outside!
I think everyone has an OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) definition: a mental disorder in which we have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviours that drive us to do something over and over (compulsions). Often we carry out the behaviours to get rid of the obsessive thoughts (IF ONLY) or you may have more than one thing that bothers you! If you don’t have any then you are not normal, I am sorry but EVERYONE has something. Some little insignificant thing that they have to do maybe its:
Checking you have turned a switch off 10 times,
Washing your hands over and over,
Making things symmetrical or even (straightening up pictures)
Thinking you have left your straighteners on or plugged in,
Maybe its having the right amount of words on a line when reading,
Making things clean and tidy (this can vary anything from sorting to full scale deep cleaning)
maybe your brain likes to tell you things that you are sure you haven’t done, but you can’t help thinking you have or vice versa!
Most of the time they don’t even matter, they don’t affect your day to day life at all because your rational brain doesn’t allow it. However if they do it is tough, and I really feel for you, mine is insignificant compared to Bryony Gordon who wrote “Mad Girl” the book that I have just finished reading, she was just a “normal” girl with a good upbringing etc. nothing out of the ordinary happened to her as a child until she woke up one day when she was 12 and thought she was going to die of HIV. She then fought with it for 20 years! through bulimia,drug addiction and all sorts and the worst bit, I think, is NO ONE KNEW, not properly!
IF THIS IS YOU I AM DEEPLY SORRY, NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS ON THEIR OWN.
Some of my OCD’s are!
Imaging what it would be like to crash, or jump off a cliff, I wonder if anyone would come to my funeral! (weirdo)
Counting corners of shapes repeatedly to while the time away,
When my daughter was small I used to think she was going to die all the time, or worst still, I was, then who would take care of her?
There are probably more but they can’t affect me too bad if I can’t remember them!
(N.B I am “normal” in terms of my thought processes and actually I think anyone that says they don’t have some random quirky thing that they think about are abnormal! our brains actually do it to test us)
The one I am writing about today is cleaning and tidying and restoring order. The fact is one part of my head loves to have everything in order, all tidied away and sorted perfectly. I love to throw things away or take them to the charity shops (FYI I recycle as much as possible, I hate landfill), however it gets tricky because the half of my brain that maintains normal day to day thoughts and processes is UNTIDY!!
So today I have sorted my clothes, any that haven’t been worn for 6 months or so will be given away, and the rest get folded and put in drawers, or hung nicely in the wardrobe all hangers the same way of course. I also sorted out my 3 year old’s toys and teddies that she isn’t or hasn’t played with, to pass on to someone who will play with them. I also sorted her clothes, both our bedrooms are immaculate (I am not mentioning the living room or kitchen here by the way)!
It will last 2 days at the most before the clothes are stuffed in the drawer or hung on the floor and I am left thinking grrrrr again!!
Imagine still what happened 3 years ago, when I was temporarily unable to walk unaided, due to an accident I had whilst I was pregnant! (Extreme SPD or PGP) and this meant, I was still really good at stuffing stuff in drawers and cupboards, but I wasn’t able to restore order every month or 2 or 6!! Not properly anyway, I had to rely on my husband (who did do a marvelous job by the way, I don’t want a divorce over cleaning lol) and my mum to do the sort of sorting that needed to be done to calm my brain! Did it work!
As I started to get better I obviously could start to do more things, but still I was in pain for 2 1/2 years, with a baby/toddler, cleaning is hard when your able bodied with a child, try doing it when you’re not is no easy thing, and that husband I mentioned earlier, we started arguing because I was constantly on about the state of the house! (Of course it didn’t bother him he didn’t have to look at it every bloody day)
(N.B you do not have to have had a child to qualify for an OCD it can affect everyone including young children, teens, adults, mature adults as mentioned about Bryony Gordan above )
I later found out that I had a hormone imbalance (excess progesterone read this if you are on the mini pill, rod, injection etc and you struggle.) (US WOMEN ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE HORMONES NOT!!!!) which is what in my case was making the YOU NEED TO CLEAN/TIDY/SORT anxiety get worse, and start to rule my life because what actually happened, you maybe surprised to hear is it actually got untidier!!! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!
HOW I FIXED IT
I found Jesus (cue eye roll, you none believer you) anyway if I haven’t lost you at that bit well done, Jesus one day basically shocked me and said it doesn’t matter about the house, you are an untidy person, that is why you judge other people’s untidy houses, because you want to be like them and you can’t (because I won’t let you said bad voice in my head). The bad thoughts have you! and actually the more you stress the worse you’ll make it! and he was right.
So what did I do? I told the bad thoughts to **** off (I don’t care if the house is untidy I kept telling myself life is too short) and I thought I would start doing just a little bit of tidying everyday. I don’t even think about it now, let alone stress about it. I find myself just cleaning out a kitchen cupboard that I hadn’t even thought about cleaning out now all the time. Just like today I said to my mum I feel a spring clean coming on thinking like tomorrow or something, and actually it happened today, no stress dipped in and out when I had to feed Hayley or answer the phone like you do, I even scanned face book! and I feel I have done good. I even said so to Andrew (husband) it is always important to notice all achievements no matter how small.
Whether you’re a believer in Jesus or not, you have to admit that if you’re hearing 2 different things in your head something must be going on, on a level you have no idea about. Jesus speaks to me through the holy spirit,
THIS IS A SPIRIT NOT A GHOST lol!!
which is given freely to anyone that believes that Jesus died on the cross for them to take away their sins. (That is it)
When a bad spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting person it can torment. When it doesn’t find someone it say’s I will go back to my old haunt and there it can cause even more mayhem. Luke 24-26 the message.
We can stop the bad thought processes in their tracks, I am blessed with a strong and stubborn mind, and thinking back I was actually able to stop my thoughts by myself, Jesus has just made it a whole lot flipping easier. You however maybe stuck, unable to get out of the thought pattern.
You can stop it yourself (hard way) or through Jesus (the easier way) He is the way the truth and the life John 14.6.
HUGS and LOVE xx
P.S I do not encourage you to stop any medication you maybe on for mental health treatment whether you have found Jesus or not, if you’re taking it you need it. However that is only half the battle, the other half is stopping the thoughts in the first place.