Welcome to our 8th entry into the Finding Who We Are series. This week’s entry comes from one of my closest and best friends. Ian is a student at the University in which I work. He has an incredible heart for people and knows what it’s like to live with depression.
We hope you find peace and encouragement in his story!
Most of the things that pop into my mind during the day have no rational reason to be there, yet they come and stay without an invitation. As a matter of fact, I’m dealing with obsessive thoughts as I write this contribution.
It’s not uncommon for me to deal with this thing daily. But before I get preoccupied with my current struggles, let me explain what my condition is.
I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and that means that my mind is filled with obsessive thoughts that are irrational, and it means that I have to do certain things based off of compulsive behavior.
While I do have compulsive behavior, most of my disorder deals with obsessions. My obsessive thoughts mostly occur when I am interacting with someone that I am emotionally involved with.
If you are sitting there and thinking to yourself, “It sounds like this guy just overanalyzes everything.” Well, you’re not entirely wrong. Just imagine that I’m overanalyzing everything, but that it is ten times worse than what you’re thinking.
My brain doesn’t know how to put any kind of context into these situations. It’s almost like trying to make coffee without using the filter. You’re going to get the true coffee drink, along with all of the unwanted grounds right in the middle of it. You guessed it, ladies and gentlemen, my brain filters things worse than a bad coffee machine. So now that I’ve explained the annoying piece of lettuce in my teeth that I can’t seem to get out, let’s move on to some other things.
I grew up in a good Christian home, although I wasn’t saved until I was sixteen years old. I praise the Lord for freeing my bondage to pornography and bringing me to the place that I am today. Most of my life I knew that I had OCD, I just didn’t pay as much attention to it.
I was dual-diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and OCD when I was eight years old.
Both my family and I paid more attention to my TS than my OCD because it was the bigger problem, or so we thought. The reason that we paid more attention to the TS was because it was visible. You could actually see all of the nose twitches, blinking, and stretching my mouth wide open. You could not, however, see my mind. At the time, I didn’t even know that OCD was more than putting things in order and making sure that everything was neat and tidy.
The times where my obsessions spiked were always when I decided to get into a relationship. Many things that were either said to me or texted to me were overthought to the max. This also included the simplest of actions.
If we were holding hands and they let go for any reason, I always thought that something was wrong. I never thought that it would be for a good reason. Because of that, I would think about that single event for a whole day, maybe two. The thoughts that went through my head were not fleeting; they were the main focus of the day.
Something like this happened within the last couple of months. When my current girlfriend and I told each other that we had feelings for each other, I had this nagging obsession that she lied to me about it. For the next couple of days, I let this idea change my attitude on just about everything. Matty was actually the one that called me on my behavior, so for that I thank him.
So, as you can see, I deal with this disorder daily. It is something that I come into contact with at least once a day. Not every day is the same, which I’m glad because some days aren’t too great.
I may have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but Obsessive Compulsive Disorder doesn’t have me.
It does not control me.
I am not a slave to OCD.
I am a slave to Jesus Christ.
He displayed an awesome amount of love even though I wasn’t even looking for Him (Romans 5:8). I have been saved by a loving and gracious God. That truth defines who I am, not my OCD. My purpose is to do the good works that Christ prepared beforehand (Ephesians 2:10). Thank you for reading this. It means more to me than you know. Soli Deo Gloria.
Thank you, Ian, for sharing your story with us!
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