“2:00 a.m.”

This past weekend, I explored Colorado with my husband, Chris, and focused on living in the present. I took in the mountain views, breathed the cool, crisp air and bathed in the sun’s warmth. Out on the trail, uninterrupted by digital distractions, we enjoyed meaningful conversation and lots of laughs. I relaxed, refocused and recharged. Now, I’m back to share my story…

I can still feel the tightness in my chest, the shortness of my breath and the pure fear of that night. It was late, we turned off the tv, brushed our teeth and crawled into bed. Per the usual, Chris was asleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow. I stared at the ceiling waiting to drift off, but something went wrong. Warning: Graphic Detail… I had a thought that I was going to sleepwalk and stab my fiancé over and over again to his death. My mind was flooded with vivid images of me standing over his bloody body, holding a knife, in the dawn’s light. My OCD grabbed a hold and the rumination began.

I kicked my compulsions into high gear, hoping to mitigate the obsession. I tried avoidance, analyzing and reassurance. Nothing was working. With 2:00 a.m. glowing on the alarm clock, I started crying and rocking in bed. I shook Chris awake. Startled by my demeanor, he sat up, abruptly, and asked “What happened?”. In between sobs, I explained that I couldn’t go to sleep because, if I did, I was going to kill him. He was so confused. He knew this would never happen, but then why was I so scared? He held me close and, unknowingly, began to shower me in reassurance. “It will not happen”, “You will not hurt me”, “It will be ok”.

After an hour or two, I expressed that I would only be able to sleep if the following criteria were met: 1. All the sharps (knives, scissors, etc.) had to be hidden 2. He had to watch me fall asleep. Chris followed me as I collected the sharps in our apartment. I placed them in a plastic tote and buried it under several large, heavy totes in the storage closet. I laid my head on my pillow and made him promise that he would wait for me to fall asleep before he did. He promised.

A couple hours later, I woke, completely exhausted. What happened last night? That’s when it hit me… “I have OCD”.


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