Firstly thank you for even reading this. My name is Daisy Sidwell and I have a mental illness called Pure O OCD. So to give you an overview as to why we are doing the Colour Obstacle Rush, firstly I will explain a little about my life with OCD and what impact it has on myself and thousands of people across the world. I haven't ever gone into detail or shared my story with anyone other than my closest family or friends, my GP, mental health professionals and my therapist so please understand this is really scary especially to someone who is in a constant state of doubt. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is rated one of the top ten debilitating mental Illneses. It is an extreme anxiety disorder that effects many people's lives daily. It can be so severe in many cases that's it causes sufferers to not even be able to carry out simple daily tasks as they may either be afraid that something bad will happen, or because they spend most hours of there day ruminating in their minds over the thoughts they are having, and assigning meaning to them. For many years OCD has been portrayed as a "quirk" or something that only "highly organised clean freaks" have. Well if you know me, I'm the total opposite when it comes to being organised. (Sorry to disappoint). People with Obsessive compulsive disorder, DO NOT brag about it. We wish we didn't have OCD! (Oops sorry that was a compulsion)! "Make sure you have a cup of tea at the ready, as I can't promise this will be short" ... I knew I was anxious all the time, but I thought the way I thought was normal? Our brains are the most technical computer on earth. Scientists are still discovering new things to do with the mind and human anatomy. Our brains control everything in our body. Including our feelings and our emotions. Now when your read on about my story, you may happen to get an "instrusive thought" which is an in-voluntary thought that pops into your mind. That's something we all get even when you don't have OCD. The part of our brain that sends signals throughout our body when we are in danger "The fight or flight response" is what happens when an OCD brain has intrusive thoughts that scare them. If you were locked in a room with a venomous snake, your brain and natural instincts would go into fight or flight. Which is great. We are built with this ability, in order to survive especially for those who were on earth many years ago. But when your brain has an anxiety disorder, it mis fires causing great distress over thoughts that the sufferer is usually most terrified of. Sufferers intrusive thoughts are usually focused on the things and people that mean the most to them which is why the anxiety hurts so much. For me I had a lot of physical obsessions and compulsions when younger and growing up, however now I suffer mainly with Purely Obsessional OCD. We call it Pure O within the support community to differentiate which type of OCD somebody may be suffering. However OCD is OCD and it all feels the same. Horrific! Types of Pure O OCD thought themes can be either violent, sexual, religious, false memories, sexuality and even target real life events and twist them into different intentions the sufferer actually had. I'm pretty unlucky and pretty much experienced the full works. So when I was younger I had "odd" habits and ways of doing things occasionally depending on how stressed I was. From avoiding my sisters skin coming into contact with mine, repeating particular words when not sounding right, compulsive skin picking, nail chewing myself into agony, pulling hair out the side of my head creating bald patches, repeating my PIN number in shops in my head over and over, drinking drinks in patterns , not blinking at the telly if a bad person like a criminal was on the screen the list goes on. I once sat in a room with a doctor having a breakdown over a thought I had about life not being forever. I was obsessed and tortured with this thought for a long long time. Yet wasn't diagnosed with OCD and just sent away with anti depressants. After my teenage years passed, I had done almost every job there possibly is to my qualification standard. But it got to a stage in my life where any relationship I was having with men I would make quick decisions to end, because of how anxious and insecure it made me feel. Every "what if" question you can think of would rush through my head. Even vivid sexual instrusive thoughts and images of them cheating, would stick in my head causing me to panic until I threw up on a side street and need to run to the toilet. It fucking hurt! I couldn't escape the constant doubt, and on those restless nights I would manage to get some sleep, the thoughts would appear in my dreams causing me to wake up feeling cut up and exhausted. Having a man would cause me to feel heart broken, rather than in love. Crazy I know. But it did. So I decided that relationships maybe weren't for me, or maybe I just hadent found "the one".So upon this and many stressful family life events, it all got too much. "I'm going to become a holiday rep!" I thought. That wasn't an intrusive thought by the way lol. I lived an incredible life in these 2 years, however I struggled with anxiety bad, and it was only getting worse. October 2016 I moved back to the UK. And then the worst night of my life happened. The whole world dropped on my head. Everything came crashing down, and for the first time in my life I was ready to take my own life. I was home from Luton visiting family for the Christmas break. I remember feeling extremely anxious about going home home. My sisters daughter Lottie is my absolute world. As everyone knows. She is five. Words cannot explain the love I have for her. So one evening me and mum decided we would have her stay with us for the night. Lottie was playing with her games at the table, mum was watching that episode of emmerdale where Ashley was loosing his battle with Alzheimer's and I was at the stove cooking my favourite spaghetti bolognese. I served dinner up and placed it on the table. I remember emmerdale making me feel really on edge. My palms were sweaty, my heart was beating to the dozen and I just didn't feel right... So we were sat on the sofa, I think I had managed to have three mouthfuls of my dinner. Then BOOM! Horrific, vivid thoughts of my niece being severely harmed by someone flashed up in my head. My little lottie was sat infront directly across the table enjoying her dinner, none the wiser that her auntie daisy was having evil intrusive thoughts about her. At the time I didn't know they were intrusive I thought it meant something. I sipped some water, and took deep breaths. I tried to just focus on the telly or any other thought than what I just had. "I'm going fucking crazy". I thought. The thought soon came back. Each time more graphic, more terrifying, it was flashing. My heart was pounding. I could draw it on paper it was that clear. I couldn't get it to go. My stomach dropped. My cutlery slipped through my nervous soaking wet hands onto my dinner plate. Tears were falling out of my face creating a puddle on my dinner plate. My heart felt like it was ripped in half. A sharp heat of torture spread throughout my face, and travelled through every nerve in my whole body. I rushed off to the bathroom which felt like slow motion and locked the door. Securely, and when I say securley I locked myself in. My stomach was weak and I felt like I was going to throw up every organ inside my body. I was sobbing. I remember just thinking "what if this is happening because I want to harm her", "what if I'm a sick horrible twisted evil human being", "what if the world turns against me for having these thoughts", "what if I have just turned into a serial murderer/child abuser". It brings me to tears just writing this. I hope no one ever has to go through it. I just couldn't understand why I was reacting in this indescribable way!? I knew I would NEVER harm anyone, let alone the most important person to me!!! So this was the start to my first severe obsession of Pure O OCD. I remember sitting on the floor in the bathroom, feeling weak and just praying to to God. I have never prayed in my life. I am not religious, but this time I was really hoping there was some hope. I was desperate. In my head I would repeat "I would rather die than harm my niece", "I would rather die than harm my niece", "I would rather die than harm my niece". The thought kept coming back. "Think of clouds daisy, think of clouds". I was replacing the thoughts as much as I could. They were taking over. I felt like a disgusting horrible person. My mum was shouting out to see if I was ok. I was in the bathroom for most of the night because I couldn't be in the same room as my niece. I didn't know what to do with myself. I honestly do not know how I didn't have a heart attack that night. I was so scared that I would have been happy to have a heart attack and just die there and then! I have always had a worry problem, I have always been an over thinker and suffered with panic attacks, but never this. It didn't even come into my mind that this was an anxiety disorder. It felt so real. I struggled my way through the night in the bathroom and all I could think about was how is the easiest way to end my life. I remember just thinking I hope somebody murders me so I never have to live with these thoughts. It was the lowest point I have ever been. I didn't know Rock bottom like that even existed.
I am limited with characters in this story otherwise I would have gone into full detail, but I just wanted to share my story for the first time, so we can hopefully raise awareness to this awful condition. I am now on my journey to recovery thanks to medication, however if it wasn't for OCD action who are an online support team, and therapy groups I honestly don't know where I would be right now. Obsessions last years and people really need the support from OCD action so please donate for our Colour Obstacle Rush it will help save so many people's lives!!! Thank you!!
#IhaveOCDbutitdoesnothaveme #stopstigma #colourobstaclerush #mentalhealth <3