Wednesday, December 7, 2016

OCD for real and we slide down the rabbit hole...

Take a good, long look at these pictures. Don't they make you feel good? So clean. So soothing. Ah, I want to live there! Oh, I did. That was my house! That lovely little 1926 bungalow in the cute little neighborhood in the big city that we moved out of because of the little police helicopters chasing criminals in getaway cars down the little streets every night disturbing our sleep and little old ladies being held at gunpoint around the corner.

But that wasn't my house. That was my house only on the day we took pictures to attract potential buyers. The rest of the time, this was my house:

At least it looks like someone lives there, right? Now turn left and imagine yourself walking into the kitchen. There is the sound of a baby crying wafting down from upstairs and shouts of several children wafting up from the basement who are doing something involving paint and costumes and board games turned upside down and little game pieces rolling all over the floor. The kitchen counters are overflowing with dishes and pots from dinner three nights ago. Keep walking out onto the porch and see that poor woman praying and crying on the back steps because she only got one hour of sleep last night, taught her oldest son school that morning, and insisted to her husband that she can pack up the whole house in a week to move so please don't waste any vacation time by taking time off to help, she's superwoman, so of course it shouldn't be any problem if she also gets the moving pod delivery set up and calls about the phone and electricity and internet.

Oh heavens, I can feel my chest tightening already. Have your guessed that was me, and I had an insane perfectionist OCD anxiety disorder just waiting to be diagnosed? Fast forward three months and I was opening the door into a mental hospital, hearing the door lock ominously behind me, and sitting in the intake waiting room shaking in fear.

You know, when I sat down to write today, I didn't plan on going here. It's funny how I find myself telling this story again and again. It's a scary one, but it's a really good one, and there are people out there that need to hear because they are that me, that old me, that had no freaking idea how good life could be because I was just used to it feeling so bad and thinking that was normal, it was normal to be anxious and overwhelmed all the time with only occasional bright spots splashing down to make life bearable.

I will leave this to be continued, tomorrow, or the next day. Now I am going to go outside into the bright afternoon and rake leaves with Callum and watch black-capped chickadees and titmice and nuthatches vying for domination of the birdfeeder and laugh and think about how lovely it is to be alive and one of God's children.


  1. I love you, Kirstie! Back when my kids were little, my house never got clean - except when the house was for sale!!! I am glad that you published this, because anxiety disorders can be managed and treated!