I’ve realized I want to answer the questions separate from part 2 of yesterdays blog. So today I’m posting the questions— tomorrow I will post part 2… To be clear, these questions are being answered by someone with obsessive compulsive disorder/generalized anxiety disorder/depression. Maybe it can give you a little bit more of an understanding to the daily thoughts of someone with a mental illness. I plan on researching and finding some other ways I can answer more questions. But for now I’ll answer some of the one’s I’ve heard.
Why are you so tired all the time? I know you sleep.
The answer to this is quite simple… I sleep, but I don’t sleep very well. So that makes me more tired in general. Also, a lot of my energy is wasted trying to control my thoughts— which drains me way faster than anything else.
Why do you have to sit and debate between two of the exact same shampoos?
I don’t really know the answer to this. I get pissed off at myself every time I’m in a situation where I’m debating between two of the same anythings. I just base everything I do off of how I feel. And apparently this also goes for things like choosing between the same bottles of shampoo, or the same kind of chapstick. I know it has something to do with my OCD. But I’ll let you know if I ever find a real answer to this question.
Why did you just run off to the bathroom crying in the middle of class?
Well, personally, I probably felt sick to my stomach. Most likely I let my anxiety get the best of me. I heard something someone said, heard someone laugh thinking it was about me, heard a pencil tapping repeatedly and allowed it to consume me… It could have been pretty much anything. But the simple answer is: my OCD attached itself to something, then my anxiety wondered why in the hell my OCD was so stuck on that thing, so anxiety took it as a warning sign and decided to come up with hundreds of bad scenarios in my head… And you know the rest. I start crying, my stomach gets upset, and I go to the bathroom so I can try to calm down.
Why don’t you ever come out with us?
Probably because I don’t like you. Just kidding! No, it’s because I have this thing where I think of all the bad situations that could possibly occur while being out— so I just don’t go. If I do go, though, it is very obvious that I’m uncomfortable.
Why can’t you stand certain sounds?
My attention to detail with the OCD has always had an affect on my senses. My hearing in particular has always been extremely sensitive. Certain sounds just set me off and make me super anxious.
Why do you freak out so much letting other people drive?
The simple answer is that I trust myself more than anyone else. I trust my reflexes and my instincts more than I would literally anyone else. It’s not an issue of having to be in control. It’s just knowing that if the situation ever occurred, I know I’d be able to handle whatever that situation was.
Why can’t you stop moving the things surrounding you millimeters away from where they originally were?
OCD. Feeling. My mind playing games on me. All of the above. I really just see something and decide whether or not I think it’s in the right place— not on purpose; it’s just automatic. If I think it’s not, I move it. Sometimes I end up sitting there moving it back and forth for twenty-minutes. I just do.
Why can’t you stop bouncing your leg up and down?
I feel like if I were to stop moving, I would be letting my guard down. And if something were to happen, I wouldn’t be prepared.
How do you notice the smallest changes with the things, and the people around you?
I am always on high-alert. Always. It may sound like a bad thing, but I’ve saved myself from some pretty serious situations by being this way. And what other people see as the small changes, I just notice. They just come naturally to me. I don’t know if I have a photographic memory, or what. I think I just sort of look at the world around me as a feeling. I’m just really good at noticing the tiniest changes in my surroundings, and with people. I actually have a few funny stories because of this.
Why don’t you smile very often?
My mom asked me this just the other day. She’s asked me this quite a few times— so have many others. It’s because I’m thinking. It’s pretty simple actually. I am constantly so deep within my own head, that smiling doesn’t happen unless I either force it, or I feel it.
How come you sometimes seem to fall off the face of the planet for a few days?
There are many answers to this question. I can either be depressed and just shut myself off from the rest of the world, or I just forget to make contact with anyone. It truly just doesn’t cross my mind. People usually come to the conclusion that I’m mad at them, but I promise, I’m not mad at you. If I were mad, you would know.
Why do you still sleep with your teddybear?
It’s a comfort thing. But mostly a safety thing. It gives me a sense of peace squeezing my bear as close to my body as I can when I try to sleep. Whenever people are reminded of it, it becomes something to laugh about. I don’t mind, though. I do what I have to do. Sleep doesn’t come easy for me, so if sleeping with a teddybear pushes me in the right direction— laugh at me all you want.
Why can’t you sleep with your bedroom door open?
That way I can hear if someone were to walk in my room. It’s a barrier. Them having to open the door gives me time to react based off of who it is.
Why are your reflexes so fast?
I’m always prepared. I’m always thinking a step ahead.
How come when I motion towards you, your instant response is to defend yourself?
Reflexes. That way if your motion towards me was in a way where I needed to defend myself— I got it covered. It’s just me always reading into things and making sure I’m ready in case something were to happen.
Why do you seem to feel things so much more than others?
I’m dramatic… Not… That’s just what people like to say. For real though, my sense of feeling is just really freaking high. The answer to this next question will sort of answer this a little more.
Why don’t you like people touching your face?
My head is the number one place you don’t touch me. People like to do it just to piss me off. The reason I hate it so much is because I can actually feel the touch lingering on my skin long after it’s physically gone. I can’t get rid of it. It’s like an invisible hand moving its fingers across my skin, but nothing is there. And it makes me anxious when I feel that. So I don’t like it.
How come when someone gets a fingerprint or smudge on your glasses, it pisses you off to a point of anger?
This goes with the last two in a way. My glasses are a big deal. I have never been able to completely figure out why it makes me so mad. I think it has something to do with comfort. I see out of them, so when someone hugs me and pushes them against my face leaving a smudge, I won’t see out of them the same way I did before that hug. It’s like the lingering feeling of touch, except with my vision. No matter what I do to get the smudge off of my glasses, I still feel like I can see it…
Wow, okay. So that ended up being way longer than I intended. I’m happy I decided to answer the questions separately from part 2. I didn’t add anymore questions due to it already being longer than I wanted. I hope that maybe you learned even just a little bit—not about me, just about mental illness in general. Maybe it will help you understand why some people do the things they do, and why you shouldn’t laugh at it, or do things you know will upset them. There’s a million questions that need to be answered. And as you can tell, a lot of the answers are “I don’t know.”
Everyday is a day to learn something new. And mental illness is a big topic in the world right now. I hope you take the time to learn what you can to help the people around you.