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Monday, August 20, 2012

Living With OCD



Tracey Anne Hallberg is my Monday Guest Contributor.  She is a survivor of Family Crisis, and proof positive that there is light on the other side.  She shares from her heart, leaving very little to the imagination.  

Her story is valid, important, and needs to be shared.  My personal journey is very different from hers, but on my journey, I have come upon many...many...who have had to live through horrors similar to the upbringing Tracey was forced to endure.  

Tracey is one of the most courageous women I have had the privilege to know, and I am honored to share Wings Like Eagles with her every Monday.

Tracey's account is graphic and raw, and is not suitable for young or sensitive readers.  I give her posts a strong PG-13 rating.




Editor's Note.  Ahhhhh!  OK, so I'm going on the record, saying that I have OCD.  And of all things, there is a formatting glitch making words jump from line to line on Tracey's post, and I can't make it stop.  I've been picking at it for an hour and a half, trying to fix it, and I can't.  

This is ironic, and hysterically funny.  Tracey's topic today is on "OCD."  

So, Tracey and I have been on the phone, troubleshooting together.  Want a problem picked at?  Hire someone with OCD.  Want it picked at extra-well?  Hire two of us.  

She's freaking out.  Trying to get me to find someone, ANYONE, to help us figure out what has gone amiss.  But the sad truth is this--I don't have the time.  I have 2 articles due to my Publisher at Life in LA this afternoon.  

So guess what?  I'm going to leave it.  It just might kill both Tracey and me, and any of our OCD readers, but we're going to leave it.  It'll be good for us.

Tracey and I laughed.  Maybe this is one of God's funny little lessons.  Who said He doesn't have a sense of humor?!



Our house, when I was a kid, was disgusting. I had no friends come
over, cuz when they did, they saw how we lived, and it made me feel disgusting.  My friends' parents did not want them coming to our house.

Mama worked out in the yard.  There, she over-achieved.  Made it look like things were better on the outside, than they really were on the inside.

I have always been an over-achiever in the same way.  I felt dirty inside. Inside 
me. So, the only way to remedy that was to make sure everything looked
perfect on the outside.  Like, in my house.  Just like Mama.

I made excellent grades in school.  I won the Spelling Bee six times in a row, at
5 different grade schools. Education was my escape.  I was taking care of 
myself early in life, so I had to be the best I could be.


I was on the honor roll most of my adolescence.

But somewhere in there, I achieved something else, too, that I couldn't see 
coming.  By the time I was a teenager, I developed Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder, more commonly called OCD.  For many, and for sure for me, it was an anxiety-self-worth disorder.  I was driven to look better.  Maybe one day be better.  But my drive came at a price.  Anxiety took over.
        
It developed into an eating disorder also.  Anorexia and Bulimia.  A
constant battle for control.
        
I was a perfectionist.
        
If I get somethin' in my mind, big or small, I am OBSESSED with
achieving it, doin' it or dealin' with it.  It is like an itch in my brain.
Compulsive.
        
If the dishes are dirty, clean them.  If the floor needs cleaning, clean
it.

Laundry?  Wash it, dry it, fold it.  Shopping?  Spend it.  Friends?  Call
them.  Visit them.  Anything and everything.
        
Hair?  Straighten it.  Skin?  Scrub it.  Music?  Sing it.  

I am a doer.  I cannot relax.  I don't even know what that means.
It is never finished.
        
Go, go, go.  Brain does not shut up.
        
It has been difficult.  I am exhausted.  I never achieve what I consider
success.  I never stop.  I don't know what it is gonna take for me to accept things.  I have a HARD time with acceptance.  "It is good enough," is a foreign comment to me.
        
I am strong, right?  But can't you see?  Can't you see that deep down, I am 
so very weak?
                 
I have always had to take care of myself.  That's where my strength shines.  But, I don't trust others to do a good job of it. Heck, I don't trust people in general.  I love them.  But I don't know if I will ever trust anyone fully.  That's where my weakness drains me.

My husband has been to hell and back with me.  I do not know where I would 
be without him.  Without the love and support of a real man.  A real man who 
knows how to point me back toward God, the true source of my strength.

For 8 years, I been takin' care of babies.
        
Out of work.
        
I get the fact that being a stay-at-home mom is a big job.  OH, I get
it.  And I can see the difference in my kids’ behaviors with them having a stay at home mom as opposed to them being in daycare.  A big difference.
        
But, I have been feelin' like crap though for not bringin' in any money.
I have tried home businesses, cleaning houses, random odd jobs.  It is
hard for me to feel worthy, cuz I don't make money like I used to.
        
I am a perfectionist.  I have OCD.  It is exhausting.  

Next week, I will share how after having kids, my condition became worse due 
to Grave's disease, also called hyper-thyroidism.  Put on your boots boys and 
girls.  It's about to get deep.
                  

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