I am writing this as a last resort. I have suffered from OCD for almost my entire life, beginning in my early teens. My mother had OCD and something triggered within me one day and i have not been able to "snap out of it" since. My mother was in a difficult situation herself and back then, people in her situation certainly did not have the support or wealth of resources or information that we are fortunate enough to have to-hand now, even if there is no real cure yet.
I have been to various counsellors, attempted CBT therapy, medications and much prayer over the years. The OCD will dissipate for a very small time, then re-appear in another form. It has always centred around cleanliness OCD, whether it be an obsession with dog poop or an obsession with washing my hands and cleaning myself thoroughly when i worked for a medical facility many years ago. One way or another, my brain will stop me from carrying on as normal like everyone else, and will instead zone in on a particular action that i will start to obsess over.
The irony of my story is that i am an extremely intelligent, accomplished and successful woman with a seemingly envious public life. However, in private, no one could ever imagine the nightmare that is my daily reality. My OCD progressively became worse, the more successful i became. It finally got to such a terrible point that my obsessions eventually punished me with a deadly infection that left me almost paralysed and fighting for my life. I went from being a healthy, happy, supremely confident individual to a woman that, even during my stay in hospital fighting a deadly infection, would hold in my urine instead of using my hospital toilet, despite being in a private hospital akin to a 5 star hotel.
I am writing as i need help and i really don't know where to turn or where to even begin asking for help anymore. I feel overwhelmed and as if i have exhausted every avenue out there and nothing can make this curse leave my life. The thought of living with this evil, terrifying condition is simply not an option anymore as i am not actually living right now, i am simply breathing and that is it. It has now gotten to a point where i suffer great anxiety simply stepping out of the house and fear dust and germs with each step i take. My OCD was certainly never this bad and i am not sure how it has even gotten to this point. I do almost everything i need to online or spend money on couriers and assistants to carry out "outside" tasks for me. For someone like myself, who on the outside, is seen as a bubbly, assertive personality and one that has been recognised as an innovator, it would come as an incredible shock if people were to know that i am living such a secluded and tortured personal existence.
I have progressively become suicidal over the Covid-19 period. My husband and i were ripped apart during the height of the virus when borders starting shutting and he was unable to join me for more than 14 weeks. He is normally my rock and my calm place and will always do everything he can to make my life less tormented. I allow him to carry out the tasks around the home to relieve me from obsessive and physically damaging cleaning, in the purposeful hope that he doesn't contract my terrible OCD or my obsessive behaviours. My brother also did this - he began to purposely behave in the opposite manner to the obsessive mannerisms he saw my mother and myself display. It resulted in me avoiding my own brother for fear of being "dirty" or "contaminated", however, i was actually relieved that he was reversing his thinking against the obsessive compulsive behaviours that he saw my mother and i displaying.
This is the first time i have so openly spoken about how i feel. After finally bringing the cleaners in to de-sanitize our entire house today, following weeks of hoarding all sorts of rubbish and unwanted items inside our home while i was stuck between those four walls tormented, i have never felt so ashamed, depressed and down about the state that my home had been in and about my mental health in general. The entire home was in a terrible state and i was in a position where i would feel disgusted about using my own bathrooms and would hold in urine simply as i felt grossed out about using my own toilets. How is it that i can have multiple educational degrees, have such an accomplished career, have such a great public life, have amazing life experiences, and yet have so much madness going through my mind where i am damaging my own health spending upto 24 hours cleaning or by not going to the toilet like a normal person would?! I don't understand the point of living although many would say i have so very much to live for - for so long, i have felt that i am simply breathing, not living life - at least nowhere near how i should be living life. Every day is a complete effort to carry out simple tasks, every action i take i over-analyse and have to think about over and over. The "safest" i feel is in my living room with my laptop as that is the only "cleanliness" i can control. That is not living, that is torment. I simply cannot go on like this.