For most of the people who do not suffer from it, OCD means a kind of cleaning obsession – we often see people in TV shows who are obsessed about cleaning their homes, so that’s what OCD means right?.
Yes, there’re a lot of people who’re afraid of germs and contamination, but then Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has “much more to offer”: the fear of blinding yourself or the fear of jumping off a cliff (click on the link to see one of my previous articles about the call of the void).
Today, I’d like to share with you one of the scariest obsessions I’ve ever had: the fear of blinding myself.
Yes! You’ve read that right: I used to be afraid of gouging my eyeballs out. You may ask yourself how this fear is even possible – yet, I’m pretty sure that there are a few OCD victims out there who’ll totally understand it.
So how did this whole thing start?
This terrible obsession started when I was a teenager(high school freshman). I got my first pair of contact lenses and I’d just put them in – accidentally hurting one of my eyes. And that was it. An intrusive thought came to my mind: what if next time, I won’t hurt myself by accident but I’ll do it intentionally?
And this is perfectly enough for a person with OCD. Because after having an intrusive thought, you’ll also start having certain rituals to prevent it – such as asking your family members to tie your arms before you go to sleep, so you’d not be able to gouge out your eyeballs.
Furthermore, I also started to avoid wearing contact lenses – as putting them in seemed to be an extremely dangerous situation to me.
So, I used to be afraid of blinding myself, but I’m proud to say that I’d managed to overcome my fear. I’d be a hypocrite if I said that I’d been able to do that on my own – it’d been far more complicated than that.
How did I manage to overcome my fears?
– I got used to them – ooph, yeah, I know that doesn’t sound really nice and one wouldn’t want to live with one’s intrusive thoughts for years and years but as the time goes by, it’ll get better and better. The first time when you experience the extreme fear of gouging out your eyeballs (or any other similar fear), you’ll probably be in severe distress, but then the second time will be much easier – and after a couple of panic attacks, you’ll be able to handle it much better.
– I started facing my fears: asking your family and friends to tie your hands so that you’d not be able to hurt yourself is obviously not the best solution, because you should be independent and you shouldn’t rely on other people to help you manage your OCD – so the best thing you can do is to actually put yourself into a situation that you think is “dangerous” – it’ll be extremely scary at the first time, but then, as for my experience it does help a lot. 🙂
Sometimes, I wonder if my OCD will ever be cured – and my honest answer to this question is that I simply do not know. But one thing that I know is that every person who’s suffering from OCD is able to take back control and to live a happy life, even if they continue having intrusive thoughts. 🙂
I really hope that you’ll find my story helpful – I’m not a psychologist and obviously, I’ll never be able to tell you how to cure yourself from OCD, but I really think that it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There’re millions of people who’re suffering from this terrible illness and who understand your feelings, fears and pain.
- The Call of the Void
- 6 types of OCD
- Pure O: Living in Endless Fear
- 12 things that will help you overcome OCD
- Set yourself free: How to break the vicious cycle?
- Demons are real: Stop Negative Self Talk!
Please do not hesitate to share your personal stories in the comment section! 🙂