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  • Alex Sim-Wise

Therapy

Do you ever worry that you have every mental/personality disorder going? It’s only when I get assessed (and reassessed) for treatment that I realise how much shit I carry on a daily basis. I don’t realise how bad it is until I clock the look of shock and worry on the assessor’s face. Then I panic. Should I have said that? This is someone who listens to this shit all day long: am I an anomaly? Is it really that bad?


I can’t help but worry, it is my default state. My last therapist called it Pure OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with no outward symptoms because I hide them all from other people, content to live with the inner hell of obsessive thoughts which range from “am I even real?” to “don’t touch that door handle, you will get sick and die”. Intrusive thoughts have basically taken over my life to the point where I don’t really like leaving the house. This is despite the fact that my house has tried numerous times to actually kill me (carbon monoxide leak and it has also been hit by lightening while I was in it).


I was diagnosed with ADHD at 20. A relief, I suppose, as up until that point I had just been labelled as naughty and disruptive. It’s now looking more likely that I have Aspergers. I struggle with empathy - having so much that I cry over anything. I can literally burst into tears over a beautiful song or a heartfelt outburst of emotion, which is fine until you are in the middle of a shopping centre surrounded by people and you can’t stop it. I struggle to relate to people, to have conversations that aren’t monologues, to know what to say in return to basic questions. I STILL STRUGGLE WITH THOSE THINGS despite years of developing coping mechanisms. I suppose because I am not around people so much anymore it has gotten harder.


I look to other people online for confirmation that they feel the same way, that I’m not going through all of this alone. I see people struggling with their mental health everywhere. It’s an epidemic. All of my friends have some problem or other. Aside from spending our lives in therapy, what can we do to fix it?


I have places that I go to inside myself when things get tough. Magic songs that I listen to that transport me to times gone by when I was fearless or actually felt good about myself. I find myself going to those places more and more - not because my life is shit but because I can’t cope with the demands that my life brings. The only way to go on is to retreat.


With my daughter starting school things have gotten so much harder. My germ phobia and emetophobia have intensified. Before Christmas the school had a Norovirus outbreak and I still feel like her clothes and everything she brings back from school are infected. I’m scared to breathe the air when I drop her off or pick her up. When she got sick, I tried to lock myself in the back yard so I wouldn’t be around it. I wash my hands 30-40 times a day. I eat a lot less. I’ve stopped going to the gym and volunteering at the school.


My fear of getting sick keeps me up at night and prevents me from being a good mother and wife. I have to fight my irrational urges constantly and it cause me to retreat into myself further. I worry about kissing my husband or hugging my daughter, but I still do those things even though they scare me.


I know that none of this is normal. I want it to stop. I want to get better so bad, but it’s never enough to actually get better.


Please, tell me I’m not the only one. I can’t live like this.

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© 2020 Alex Sim-Wise