This is the hardest post I have written. I am struggling with if I want to post it or not. I feel like I should because I can help people going through similar things but what I have been struggling with is largely misunderstood and I am very afraid of being judged. I have struggled with scary intrusive thoughts for about 10 years. I didn’t know that’s what they were until now. I didn’t tell anyone (not even my therapist) because they made me feel like a horrible person. My thoughts were becoming uncontrollable. I prayed for God to take them away. I asked God to strike me dead and I was seriously considering suicide. I felt like I didn’t deserve to live. My suicidal thoughts became very extreme. I decided I didn’t want to leave my husband and son so I googled how do I get these horrible thoughts out of my head? It was then that I learned intrusive thoughts were a thing. Intrusive thoughts are scary thoughts that come into your brain that you don’t choose and you can’t control. I read stories about people who had similar thoughts to mine. I started reading a book about getting over intrusive thoughts.
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting your thoughts control you.”
I was still thinking about suicide so I asked Dan to take me to the emergency room. The therapist at the ER suggested I do a partial hospitalization program. The therapist at the program said she was pretty sure I had OCD. I thought: I don’t have OCD. I’m a naturally messy person, I don’t wash my hands excessively, and I’m not an extreme germaphobe. The psychiatrist officially diagnosed me with OCD. I realized there are many different types of OCD and many people who have OCD are messy people. Learning I have OCD has been helpful but it is still a struggle. I have medication to help lessen the thoughts but it is still a struggle when they come. I often feel unworthy of God’s love but I know that’s a lie Satan is feeding me. OCD is a disorder that I cannot change but I’m learning to grow closer to God in what has probably been one of the hardest times in my life. Dan told me to think of it as my thorn in the flesh. God has decided not to heal me of it but it’s a reminder of my brokenness. I have OCD which could help me with others going through the same struggle. It is becoming more acceptable to talk about mental health but I think we still have a long way to go. Mental illness should be treated the same as physical illness and having a mental illness (any mental illness) does not make you a bad Christian or a bad person.
2nd Corinthians 12:7-9: “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”