A Letter To My OCD

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 Author: Taryn Schaper

Dear Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
Though we live rather closely and encounter each other every day, I wrote you a letter to tell you how you’ve challenged and questioned me in my early adulthood.
You took away my excitement to drive independently, an experience that is euphoric and monumental for an 18-year-old. Instead, you were installing fear in me that I might cause an accident or have committed some form of vehicular crime.
You made me cry countless times behind the wheel and always stopped me from reaching important destinations.
You made me fearful and unsure of my own relationship. You constantly made me question my feelings and my partner’s feelings. You took away my freedom of exploring sex and intimacy.
You took away spending time with family friends and pets. You told me I could harm them or they could harm me.
You made me question if my memories were real.
You took away my ability to achieve daily tasks. 
I couldn’t do the washing because you told me it was contaminated. You told me to carefully select a mug in the mornings for my coffee because if I chose wrong I would become sick.
You told me to never touch the bottom of my shoes or I will become extremely ill.
You asked me questions like are my car lights on?
Even though it was midnight and I had already spent the last hour double-checking for you.
You forced me to clean myself with household cleaning products just to make sure my friends and family were safe if I was near them.
You hospitalized me.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, you have challenged me in many ways and I am sure we will continue to encounter one another, but I’m entering my twenties, and you will not take away what this chapter of life has to offer me. 

I am not your victim. I am a survivor.

Love Always,
Taryn Schaper
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