“California, Here We Come!”

Ok, so I have OCD… but now what? I continued my casual therapy appointments and, occasionally, followed up with my psychiatrist. My treatment had plateaued. The talk therapy was appreciated and the medications were keeping my anxiety somewhat stable. Unfortunately, there was zero improvement with my obsessions and compulsions. In the coming years, the OCD would entwine its self into most of my daily routines.

In August 2009, I married my soulmate. It was perfect! Family, friends, and dancing… Oh, and lots and lots of PINK! We moved into a new apartment, established routine within our careers and doted on our fur baby, Lana. I learned to “live” with my OCD and anxiety, accepting the obsessions and compulsions as my “normal”. Checking the stove, repeatedly, before leaving the apartment; hanging my towel with the tag on the left, to guarantee no one I loved would die; straightening my hair, obsessively, so not a single strand was out of place; analyzing the breathing patterns of both my husband and my dog, in their sleep, to ensure they were alive.

I lived by a specific set of rules. I strived to be “perfect”. Failure was not an option. In 2012, I went rogue. I gave my two weeks’ notice and signed a contract to travel as a nurse. I’d love to take the credit for this “spur-of-the-moment” decision, but let’s be honest, I was living in the shadow of a beast. My OCD had me convinced that if I did not leave our home state with Chris, he would resent me and our marriage would be short-lived.

Going away celebrations, dinners and parties… so much fun! Sure, I made it look good. I radiated joy and excitement, smiling from ear to ear. But, truth be told, I was terrified. I didn’t want to leave “home”. What if something bad happened? I would be across the country. What if my family was disappointed in me for moving away? Ultimately, the fear that took the cake… “What if Chris resents me for not doing it?”. So… California, here we come!


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