I would like to start by thanking Hannah Price – Faulkner for letting me use her words and for being an inspiration to all of us with OCD.
Note: This post contains information on intrusive thoughts that many people with OCD experience, some may find it triggering.
For a while now I have been wanting to write something to really explain what it feels like to have OCD. To explain it is NOT a cute quirk or about being neat and tidy. It’s not about being annoyed by an odd floor tile. Too many people, including those that say they are advocates for mental health, belittle OCD. Writing things like ‘I have Obsessive Christmas Disorder’ or ‘I’m so OCD’.
Language like this is so incredibly damaging. It affects the care we receive (I have had 3 different health care professionals belittle me or laugh because they don’t know what it is.) It means that when we finally find the courage to say ‘I have OCD’ someone else responds ‘oh me too!’ (When they dont) or ‘can you come clean my house’ (a nurse said this to me once).
Here comes Hannah Price – Faulkner. A courageous incredible human that has recently discovered that what she has been experiencing is OCD and that she should be proud to speak up about it. I met Hannah in an OCD support group where she wrote the most beautiful post to explain what she has been experiencing and that this is OCD and she is Hannah.
Her words speak for themselves so I will shut up now and let you read them, but as you read them imagine what it is like to have to deal with this every day and why it is not OK to belittle OCD so that people like Hannah can get the support they deserve.
Hannah you are amazing.
I am Hannah
“Having a real “slap in the face” time in the last 48 hours and I feel it’s ok to share them.
I have balled my eyes out, watching a program called “Pure” I never realised my traits were OCD , I thought I was sick in the head and I have never told anyone in fear of being labelled by those who don’t understand. But now I’m thinking – so what? Judge me, label me a freak/physco label anything you want if it makes you feel better about yourself. I am not a danger. It’s my OCD, it’s NOT ME. I’m Hannah.
I have always thought OCD was cleaning. I see many people posting “oh I’ve gone OCD on my house today” or posted a photos of something in a straight line “oh that’s pure OCD” we do it innocently.
OCD is intrusive thoughts, thoughts I have never told my parents/friends/family. I need to come out and I will allow judgement because I have suffered for too long.
My head is a loop, a record going round and round. A man walking down a street and my intrusive thoughts, have now imagined me pushing him in the road to get hit by a car. That’s OCD, that’s not me. I’m Hannah.
Sometimes I’m talking to another adult, and I’ve imagined sexual things in my head and it loops no matter how many times I try to shake it off because it’s dirty and wrong. I love my husband and he loves me. I don’t actually want to do those things. Ever. They’re just thoughts. That’s OCD. Not me. I’m Hannah.
My children play on a swing and I watch them break their neck. My babies are dead. That’s OCD, not me. I’m Hannah.
I have fought with this trait the most, thinking in my head I must be a murderer, a rapist, mentally fucked in the head. But because I know they’re wrong. They’re so so wrong. It’s OCD NOT ME. I have hid this in fear of being locked away in a prison or my children taken away. That I can’t hold a job because of these thoughts.
This ONE trait and it hurts. My heart is heavy most days, but the last 48 hours, there are other like me. I joined a group. They are teachers, nurses, shop keepers, Drs, Therapists. Intrusive thoughts aren’t spoken about in fear of judgment. This illness does not define us a person. At all. That’s the illness not us.
I am Hannah, the person who constantly decorates. Who cleans and decorated other homes. Walks to a friend who is upset at 2am in the morning because they need someone. I’m a hug and an ear always ready to listen. I’m a good baker, an opera singer, a mum, a wife, a terrible runner and absolutely awful at diets.
This has taken 11 years to tell this publicly, 11 long years from a traumatic event from age 16. I have suffered in silence But I am a survivor.
I am Hannah.”
Hannah Price – Faulkner
You can follow Hannah’s journey on her instagram @hallie_marieee where she also posts about her interior design.