I have OCD.
My OCD is not the cliched problem that everyone thinks they have if they clean a lot. Some days I think I would love to have my house that clean!
I have a lot of checking/re-checking habits. I first realized I had OCD while watching Phil Donahue in 1990. He had several people on who struggled with OCD. I remember sitting in front of the TV in my room and bawling. It was the first time I had heard what OCD was. And I was relieved to hear that others suffered from the same thing.
My family never realized that I had a problem because for the most part I hid it very well. I used to stand in front of the stove after everyone went to bed and make sure all the knobs were lined up "right" before I could go to bed. It was no uncommon for me to stand there for 2 hours making sure everything was right before I could go to bed. I would be crying, desperate to go to bed but I just couldn't. I made sure all the light switches were in their right positions. I would do certain ticks with my throat/tongue. There were certain ways I had to drive my car to ensure that I didn't hit anyone. It was overwhelming. It is hard to explain to people that I had to do these rituals and checking or someone in my family would die. I knew in my head that I should just get over it. Just go to bed. Just stop. I couldn't. I felt like I had the fate of my family in my hands. At least that is what I thought.
I also have Trichotillamania. http://www.trich.org/ Compulsive hair-pulling. At one point in middle school I had twirled and pulled my hair so much in the back that it looked like I had burned my hair off. I still struggle with it today if I get particularly stressed. Depending on what stress is in my life I will sometimes have no eyebrows.
I realize that this sounds ridiculous but after watching the OCD Project on VH1 ( http://www.vh1.com/shows/the_ocd_project/series.jhtml I decided that I wanted friends and family to see that sufferers are real and not crazy. After years of therapy and medication I can say that I am free of almost every ritual I had. It's amazing how much better my life is now that I sought to treat my OCD.
It is a real disorder and not something "all in my head."
My Life in a Nut Shell
3 surgeries for Endometriosis, countless medications, and lots of difficult years trying to conceive. We put the medical stuff on hold and decided to work on being parents instead. In July of 2000 we were blessed beyond all measure with a phone call announcing the birth of our daughter, Megan. Megan's birth mother had given birth the day before and was leaving the hospital. We had no warning that Megan was coming. At 4:29 in the afternoon we were a couple, at 4:30 we were parents. Deciding that we wanted a sibling for Megan, we looked into all our options. This time insurance covered IVF. One round and we were blessed with triplets, Abigail, Brigid, and Caroline. Did you know that there is a 70% chance of divorce in families of Higher Order Multiples? Almost two years after the triplets were born my ex-husband and I separated and eventually divorced. During that time both my Mother and Father passed away from cancer. In February of 2007 my sister came to live with us to help out. In December of 2008 she had to leave so now it is me on my own with the girls. In February 2010, Lisa passed away and finally found her own Peace.