Living with OCD; the thoughts

“OCD is not a disease that bothers; it is a disease that tortures.”

J.J. Keeler, I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD


No, I don’t wash my hands raw

I don’t count my steps


Thoughts branch out

Multiply indefinitely


I writhe for an escape

They secure a grip on me


Squeeze squeeze

They tighten


Breathe breathe

I gasp


It’s too late

I am a tree


Rooted in obsessions

Breeding and brooding


Ever tangled

Ever imprisoned

Do you struggle with any obsessions or compulsions? How do you cope?


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  1. We struggle with this in my family. I think our first step is simply to acknowledge they are there. We name what it is that is difficult or that we are stuck on and we discuss the obsession is openly. “I’m having a difficult time walking past this floor light where the light beams pass through my legs. I feel like I need to lift up my legs in order to walk past it.” Then we brainstorm what we’re going to do about it. Sometimes, the solution is to do nothing. Sometime we generate an alternative behavior. Sometimes just talking through it makes it go away. But talking about it always helps. It helps the others around you understand what’s happening and it helps you feel less alone and less trapped by something you can’t control.

    1. It really helps when people around you understand the frustration. Its very difficult to explain because you don’t understand it yourself. That’s great to hear how beautifully you handle it in your family. My family’s approach has always been denial or telling me I’m being crazy and making things up.

  2. I used to struggle with mild OCD. I didn’t realize that’s what I was until I got older, but it was a strange thing to live with, especially as a kid. I still have some OCD tendencies that I can’t seem to leave behind, but luckily it’s not debilitating.

    1. I’m glad that its not intense for you. I didn’t know what it was until I was older neither. I assumed everybody always thought like that!

  3. Yeah I grew up with this and I feel most of my family have it to a varying degrees. Its why I am sitting on an exercise bike at 4am

    1. Well, at least we know we are not alone in this x

  4. OCD is a strange thing, because people use it as a joke term for anybody who is tidy, but people who have it can suffer greatly. I have echoes of it, but I’ve never had the repetitive actions piece of it.

    1. The actions manifest when the thoughts get debilitating and you think the only way that these intrusive thoughts will go away is to to a certain action. But of course nothing helps.

      The jokes hurt. And I wish people stopped joking about any kind of disorder. We do things not because we want to, but because that’s the only escape from a vicious spiral…

  5. People always comment on things I do, telling me I have OCD. For example I used to constantly wash my hands and to stop people commenting on this I tried so hard to stop cleaning my hands which resulted in me now over using hand sanitizer. It really used to get to me when people would say I have OCD so I would stop people coming to my house to avoid any comments. I know I’m very particular but I’ve learnt to just carry on doing the things I do and not trying to hide it and let people have their view on it x

    1. That’s a great attitude. Yes, people joking and commenting is the worst. Because I don’t want to feel, think or act that way. I am helpless when it comes to OCD. So glad that you don’t let them get to you.

  6. […] Earthly BrainLiving with OCD; the thoughts […]

  7. I can relate. I have a weird thing about germs. I go through periods of ‘overboard’ according to others anyway. This may or may not be some form of OCD lol.

    1. Thanks for sharing x I can see how some obsessive thoughts might compel one to go “overboard”, but if you are happy, then others shouldn’t try to define your behaviour.

  8. […] 33. Em, http://earthlybrain.com/living-ocd-thoughts/,  OCD […]

  9. hey,
    I am doing mental health reblogs.
    you suggested this post in mental health post of mine. can I reblog it?

    1. Hello, yes of course , I’d be honoured 🙂

      1. hun, it doesn’t show reblog option

        1. Oh sigh.. I did a lot of searching and tying, but looks like self-hosted websites can’t have the ‘Reblog’ button 🙁 However, you can apparently use this plug-in to reblog websites like mine that are not hosted on WordPress: https://wordpress.org/plugins/press-this/

          If it’s too much trouble for you, don’t worry about it though. You can also always do the good old copy paste and just link to the post. Sorry that I don’t have a better solution.

          1. I scheduled it with a little into and the link for tomorrow. it is worth sharing and I love your poetry.

          2. Em says:

            Thank you <3 I truly appreciate it. Sorry about the hustle.

          3. no no it’s alright 🙂

  10. this is brilliant. I don’t have OCD but I think my dad does. xxx

    1. Thanks xx

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