Whenever I’m looking out over the edge of a cliff, there is one fearful thought that inevitably jump-starts my heart.
What if I just jump off right now? For literally no reason? Other than I can?
It’s the dumbest thing, but I never fail to get terrified of it.
Just to be on the safe side, I perform certain measures to make sure that my stupid brain doesn’t try anything funny.
I step away from the edge.
I end the hike early.
I tie myself to a guardrail with my jacket drawstring (it’s hilarious, because if I can tie myself up, wouldn’t I be able to just untie myself if I’m really serious about jumping off that cliff?).
I do anything and everything to not be a dum dum that, at the very least, would suffer a foolish injury that I’ll have to explain by saying, “I dunno, I just FELT like jumping off.”
If I could find the perfect metaphor for my experiences with OCD, this comes pretty close (with OCD, there’s no such thing as true “perfection”).
Jumping off a cliff for no reason is an irrational fear that gives me intense anxiety.
I take measures to do something that will make the thought go away or lower my anxiety.
Without fail, the anxiety won’t go away because I try to make it go away. Like the world’s most annoying mosquito, it’ll stick around, dodging my swipes until it gets its fill of my happiness and drunkenly flies away, fat and happy.
If this is starting to feel familiar, check this out.
Look, there are a million voices out there that talk about OCD.
Believe me, when I sat down to figure out how and why I should tell my story, I came across so many other blogs written by so many authors that were so much more qualified than I am.
I’m not a therapist.
I’m not even someone who is healthy.
However, I am an individual who knows what it’s like to be so battle-weary that jumping off a cliff started to sound like a good idea.
I’m also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I’m learning how my faith and my mental illness can coincide together.
I’m married, which means I’ve had to learn how to live with the fact that my debilitating illness doesn’t just hurt me.
Most importantly, I’m a friend who can tell you that the hard times get harder but so can your resolve.
If you can relate to anything you’ve read so far, step away from the edge of that cliff and stay awhile. I’ll tell you all about what I’ve learned and more.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have love.
P.S.- Did I mention I’m not a therapist? I’d love to hear from you, but if you’re asking me if you have OCD, I will refer you to someone who is qualified to answer that for you.