Last night, I “had to” purposely shine a flashlight directly into my eyes because of OCD.
Why? You ask. It’s not obvious? (Sarcasm)
I was playing with a flashlight, taking spooky photos, as one does at 11pm when there’s nothing else to do. My cat being curious looked into the light, and I didn’t stop her at first. A few minutes later, I realized that probably hadn’t been great for her eyes. Logically, the next step was to shine the flashlight into my eyes to check that my cat would be okay/to punish myself. (Again, sarcasm on the logical part)
So, now my eyes hurt, and I probably blinded my cat. And what even is this disorder?
I’m also laughing. I mean, I’m stressed, but I’m laughing because what on Earth, OCD?
Also, to add to the “watertight logic” of this situation, then I kept petting and telling my cat how much I love her. Maybe if I say it enough times, she’ll be okay? That’s how that works, right? I kissed my cat so many times that she got up and left. And that’s saying something because my cat is obsessed with getting attention.
This is what it’s like in my brain sometimes. OCD is wild.
Important clarification: I know this isn’t actually logical. Hence all the sarcasm. The same is true for others with OCD and their fears, though the amount of insight can vary from person to person and at different times in life. The bottom line though is that logic does not work for OCD, at least not long term.
For example, as a kid, I was very aware that tapping a light switch would not prevent a fire. But that sure didn’t stop me from doing it for what amounted to hours for years of my childhood.
People with OCD will sometimes quite literally hurt ourselves to potentially “reduce the risk” of something bad happening. That bad thing could be us getting hurt somehow, so we could literally be hurting ourselves to mentally prevent getting hurt in another way. And most of the time we are aware of this flaw. Like I said, logic doesn’t work with OCD. It just doesn’t. Trust me, I’ve tried for twenty years.
One time several years ago on a rollercoaster, I worried I had bumped my head on the restraint. So, to check if I had hit it hard enough to hurt myself, I repeatedly hit my head against the restraint for the rest of the ride. I had a headache for hours.
Oh no. This post went from funny to sad. Quick. Save it, Morgan.
At the end of the day, OCD tends to attack what we care about most, and I care deeply about my cat. That makes sense. It’s also worth noting that my brain gets stuck like this way less often than it used to thanks to treatment (ERP therapy and medication).
But gosh darn it, if OCD doesn’t still like to try to keep me on my toes sometimes.