Tag Archives: teen

Obsessively Compulsively Myself

OCD is this big broad thing that sometimes means a lot and sometimes means so little. I think it means so much when you know that it is happening, but it means so little when it is in a low time. Media and movies have made it seem like those with OCD are only those who must count to twenty before they leave their houses, or they must turn a light on and off multiple times before they leave a room. For me OCD means not sleeping because I am too worried about something going wrong or having a breakdown when the night or day does not go exactly as I have planned.

The moments when I know I am going to spiral are long and drawn out. They last for hours sometimes days and all I can do is be a passenger to my own mind. I can feel when it creeps up, usually due to something that is going to change and it is so far out of my control. My jaw will clench and my stomach will drop and no matter where I am or what I am doing I need to stop. I must, in that moment, drop what I am doing so I can simply harvest enough energy to panic.

I have ever met someone else with diagnosed OCD. I sometimes wonder if I am the only one in the whole world who has breakdowns because there is a possibility I may be promoted. Do other people feel like the entire day is no longer worth it if they are running late for work or sleep in past an alarm? Am I one of few, or one of many who don’t need to count everything, but have been keeping a running count of my steps since I woke up this morning? I hate math, but I am so drawn to even number that my radio can never be on 17 it needs to be on 20. I will even reach up from someone’s back seat to change the sound level, because it makes me sick.

I am one single person. One person who identifies as female and stands at 5 feet 6 inches tall. A person who somehow is two people because in my mind I am a buzzing mess of things to do and times they need to be finished but on the outside I smile and move along as if nothing is wrong.

Every night before I go to sleep I take a small white cylindrical pill. Sometimes before I swallow it down I just look at it. I look at how small it is and at the thin green stripes that enclose each end and I thank it. I thank it because it was there for me even when I did not want or care for it. It has brought me up and made me sleep. This small white cylindrical pill has done more for my mental health in a year then anything has done in the last 20.

I have OCD and it has been one long year. I have had it my whole life is what doctors say yet I recognize only a one year milestone. One year I have felt so much relief and I no longer wake up in the middle of the night worried that everything I own will stop working. I no long cry because I can’t seem to think one normal thought. I am me and me is obsessive. I am me and me is compulsive. I am me and I have grown for the better. I am me and I will no longer be a victim to my own mentality.

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Finding A Home Away From Home

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When everyone tells you to go to college, they tell you it is all for this amazing education. That this is the only way you can grow up to be successful and get a job one day. That it is a growing experience and a time to find yourself.

The things I was pensive about made a list; things like, moving from home, making friends, being comfortable and everything that involved being an adult in general. I was more then nervous to leave the safety of my High School, and being the first child in my immediate family to ever leave home.

I was scared of all nighters and papers that would take me months to finish, college finals that would consume my life and make me unable to sleep. I was uneasy about parties and the loud atmosphere associated with living in dorms. I was so put on edge by these things that in my first month of college, I cut myself out of everything.

I called my mother crying telling her I couldn’t go back and that living on campus just wasn’t for me. I was convinced the entire college might not be for me. I wanted to abandon my desire to pursue anything in the science field and go to the safe state school in the next town over and get a teaching degree. I had told myself, and scared myself so much that I was ready to accept all of this.

When my mother told me I had to go back to school and try for at least another week, I was convinced that by then end of that awful week I would be ready to go home even more.

What they don’t tell you about college is that it is very hard to adjust. I know for some kids all they needed was for their parents to drop them off and they were simply ready to start being adults, and some kids have one night of loneliness and then they move on, but there is a large portion of kids who struggle immensely with being far from home and having to make decisions that they never thought the would need to, I was that kid.

What I learned though was that I was missing the experiences. I was missing finding my passion and finding a group of people who embodied everything that I desired to be. I needed friends who didn’t mind staying up late with movies rather then drinks, friends who gave evil eyes to people when they didn’t recycle their water bottles. I found those friends, and once I did college changed for me.

I was ready to get four hours of sleep because my test was the next day; ready to write an excessively long paper solely for the fact I would be so proud of myself when it was done. I learned that renting a study room and streaming a fake fireplace on the T.V. would be a memory that I will never loose. I found clubs where treacherous rock climbs lead to quaint pumpkin patches were we would bond.

College hurt at first, and there was not one moment that was easy, it was hard work, but it was work that without the surprising “no” of my mother I may have never experienced.

What really needs to be considered is that even things that seem scary and unattainable and never really such. If surrounded by the right people almost any near fatal situation can become a success

College: Undeniably the Hardest Time for Today’s Teenagers.

There is not much more to say beyond this, but it does deserve an explanation. College is not just any decision, it is a choice the can shape the rest of your life. Before the journey even actually begins things get complicated.
You’ll begin by sitting down and staring at endless lists of college majors, deciding this is a battle within itself. Then you pick, or you don’t, and it doesn’t even get easier. Then you take that tiny little major and you need to pick a school where it can fester and grow and eventually become your entire life. So, you look. You decided big or small? State on not? Private or public? And each choice stubs out some schools, but the list remains unfathomable.
Once you narrow it down to about twenty options things become just barley bearable. At this point you can sleep and night. The worst seems to be over right? Wrong.
The guidance counselors then come in and ruin everything you had planned, that apartment in the city with your friends? Bubble burst there is no way you can afford that. That dream ivy league? Well maybe aim lower. Your twenty become a list of ten. So then you take your list of ten and apply.
For me it was four select schools, places I knew no matter what I would love and be able to afford. So I sat down with the common app and began the process. Thirty rough drafts of an essay later and a thousand arguments with my mother about what this or that meant, I had applied. Then the wait, a wait that almost burns your insides out, but you manage. You pass time and go about senior year milling through classes halfheartedly. Then the letters come.
Accepted to one place, and then the others trickle in. At first it’s overwhelming and you cry and jump up and down, but it’s not over.
Next comes the most miserable part. Financial aid, you’ll fight with your parents, have no idea what is going on, finally learn to read a W2. You will then be told one school requires a supplementary form that’s $16 and if your parents are divorced? Yea that’s a whole other set of papers. When it’s sent it can still be sent back because you’re missing something or your non custodial parent has no idea they missed an entire page.
Then it’s over. You’ve been accepted, financial aid is in and you’re crossing your fingers you here good news about your top choice. Then the horror stories of friends who got $3,000 or no aid at all begin to be told and you’re now an insomniac because you can not stop thinking about it.
When it comes back and you’ve finally settled on a school for a while it seems okay. The joy of leaving home, the freedom it’s all so close. But there is still so much more. Roommates, loans, what to buy, jobs, classes and meal plans all come back one by one to bite you.
This is as far as I’ve come, but I know there is more on the way and until I’m sitting on my little college twin across from my best friend (who happens to be coming with me) it will still be stressful. Balancing college acceptances and aid is hard, but cake it on top of senior year expenses and a full AP course load; you can say I’ve been better.