My Grandmother was also a severe OCD sufferer. She was proud of my blog. She wanted me to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep reaching out to people. She believed in me, always. Since childhood when she would say goodbye to me, she would say to me to be a good girl. I have always responded with,"always". It was our thing and since she is no longer walking beside me here on earth I want to dedicate my blog to her. She believed that we should never live our lives in silence and fear. That we should always look to the light. That we should look out for each other and so because of this, I will be signing off my blog from now on with my response to her as I always did when we said goodbye. This for you Grandma. I miss the hell out of you but I will be good. Always.
The plants have started to grow from the hardened ground again. The buds are forming on the tree tips. The frost has melted away to reveal the yellowed grass underneath. Rebirth. Refresh. Regrowth.
I feel the dredges of seasonal depression leaving my body. The clouds have lifted. The sun has come out to play with me again. I am reborn of the Spring. I am the phoenix that rises from the ash or at least I was telling myself that I was, anyway.
And then I read twitter...
Again, there is this debate over whether we should use the term PureO to describe some OCD symptoms. Medical professionals tend to be uncomfortable about the word. They feel it connotates a false narrative about our symptoms and complicates the diagnosis of OCD. "It can give people the wrong idea since it stands for purely obsessional"
If there is one thing I have learned about OCD, it is that it is always complicated and has always given people the wrong idea.
I am a PureO and I don't care what the "medical professionals" feel about the term I use to describe the hell I live in. I am sorry if it feels like the label that many of us use is somehow lacking in description. No actually, I am not sorry at all. I live it and you don't. I refuse to be shamed into submission.
The doctors help us. I know that they are important but how can they tell me how to describe my own mental illness that I have had for 34 years? Their years at college do not trump three decades of living with this disorder. I appreciate them. I respect them. I am simply asking that they respect how we choose to describe our torment (those of us that use this term).
Being a PureO is just a sub name of OCD. Anyone who claims to be a PureO knows this. And even though we suffer from OCD, our symptoms often are excluded, overlooked, and misunderstood.
We are firmly aware that we suffer from OCD. It is a way to describe to others what we go through. Yes, we compulse too but the difference is that you will never see it. Why is it so wrong to be able to hold on to a label that makes us know when other people that suffer like we do have the same symptoms? If anything I think it reaches out to people who suffer from this particular symptom of OCD to realize that they do have OCD. If counting isn't your thing but saying mental mantras are, you might not know that you have OCD at all. Many of us are not afraid of milk like Monk on television. What about those of us that do not fit the typical stereotype of an OCD sufferer?
Honestly, and this might make some people mad at me for saying but I would have rather stayed the way I was when I outwardly compulsing rather than how I am today. The obsessions have taken over my life in a way that they had not previously. This is just my opinion, being PureO is harder for me than were the more common OCD symptoms I used to have. Both of them are absolute hell and steal away bits of your life but being a PureO with the harm fears, the sexual fears, the mental images that are like some fucked up horror movie you can't turn off- yea, no. I hated the compulsions and the torture they created and the humiliation doing them in public created, but the torture of my mind and absolute fear I was turning into a monster made me long for the familiar. Every OCD sufferer has intrusive thoughts but PureO's have them in full force and mentally compulse to try a quell the anxiety. Trying to describe these obsessions, these disgusting horrid intrusive thoughts, to others is beyond terrifying and people oftentimes misunderstand that the thoughts are not wanted and that you will never act on them. It becomes a sickening taboo that keeps you sick. Being a PureO has been my hardest challenge. To say otherwise would be a blatant lie.
We made this label and maybe just maybe someone should consult people that actually have the mental illness before they make a decision on our behalf. I mean, really, who is it hurting? People that don't understand OCD?......Please. A label like this isn't going confuse them any further if they can't even bother to do a simple google search on what we go through as OCD sufferers. I mean, is this mental illness about us and what we go through or about other people who don't have it but have no problems with judging the people that do?
I refuse to use a different term to describe what I go through. Popular or not, it is how I live. I will not sanitize that or wash it clean to make other people less uncomfortable. My life is not a wall that needs to be white washed, painted, or prettied up. It is what it is. Ugly, hard fought, strong, fearless surrounded by anxiety, and a conundrum of craziness that I battle every single day. I will not be told to pipe down or use a term that, I feel, lessens what I go through or in my mind, inaccurately describes my current symptoms. I defy that notion. I refuse to do it and I am unapologetic about it. Deal with it. I know I sure as hell am.
I have OCD. I am a PureO. You don't have to like the term I use but that makes it no less descriptive to what I go through. It makes it no less truthful to how I feel. It makes it no less meaningful to me...
Whatever mental illness you have or mental event you are going through right now, you are worthy. You are heard. Your life is important and meaningful. You are one of us. Be kind to yourself. You matter more than you will ever know. You are not alone.
Always, Neurotic Nelly.