My name is Charlie. I am 31 years old and I suffer with mental health problems, including but not limited to, anxiety, OCD and depression. These are the conditions I am aware of. I think I have been officially diagnosed with all of the above as I have seen certainly anxiety and OCD on work sick notes and I have been prescribed anti depressants by my GP . I haven’t actually had a Clinical Physiologist sit me down and say “you have anxiety, depression and OCD” or something to that affect but all discussions I have had with various professional parties have been based around those 3 subjects as the main focus points. Its highly likely I haven’t been officially diagnosed, in truth I don’t know. But that’s by the by, when your broken the label doesn’t matter. Also id like to point out I will refer to my problems in the past tense sometimes; this is because I have Dyslexia so my spelling/grammar may be off from time to time or it is a ritual/compulsion I have overcome (there are not many).
I suppose where it all came to a head as it were was In November of 2016 I had a nervous breakdown or what I think qualifies as a nervous breakdown. Part of my OCD meant that I would have to use scalding hot water to wash my hands. Unless the water was at a temperature so hot that would cause me to wince with pain then I didn’t think it would clean my hands properly and somehow, germs or grease or whatever it was I thought required such intense sterilization, would then be transferred onto various other things like my phone and if it’s on my mobile phone that means after I have touched that it will be on my keys if I touch them and so on and so on. On a daily basis I would go through my day trying to map out my routes of things that I needed to clean, but I want to cover that in further detail another time. On this day in particular the hot water wasnt so hot and it tipped me over the edge, now at this point my OCD and anxiety was at its most acute. I was a pressure cooker waiting to blow, and I did. I went and sat in one of the meeting rooms or I may of asked my brother (we work together) for a quick word first, either way we ended up in a meeting room. He asked me was I ok and I just started crying, couldnt even get my words out. I was finished. I hadnt broken yet, that came in the following hours. Needles to say I was sent home. Which was awful because that wasnt part of my routine.
Once I got home, I remember feeling angry at myself and I thought I was going to tackle this head on so I ignored all my compulsions and tried to carry on. By ignoring my compulsions I mean in the sense I didnt clean my wallet and keys which I always did after work, and various other things like that. Sounds so minor now but for me then this was life and death stuff. I paced up and down saying “fuck this shit” over and over again. Bad idea, what had I done?? The horror of ignoring my compulsions hit me like a ton of bricks. That OCD, anxiety monster kicked seven shades of shit out of me. By the time my partner came home a few hours later she found me standing in the corner of the room, I couldn’t sit down I couldn’t stand still and my fists were clenched shut. She tried to sit me down but she couldn’t. I just wasn’t there. My brother rang and I spoke to him, that was enough to get me to at least lie down. I swear at that point a good gust of wind would of blown me over I was exhausted. That was the lowest point. I was a ghost of my former self. I use that term because a couple of days later my mother saw me and said I looked haunted. Her words were “myself and your father have seen all sides to you, happy, angry, sad….never haunted” her saying that to me is something I will always remember. Haunted, what a terrible thing to look.