Day 4: What are the pros and cons of having a mental illness(es) or your specific illness(es)?

Pros:

– Being a perfectionist helps me in multiple aspects of my life. I am super organized, detail oriented, everything is done correctly and completed on time. I am an employer’s dream.

– I remember very minute details about things and events. I can tell you where I was the first time I heard a song years ago. 

– Having an anxiety disorder makes me very cautious and careful. I lived in Midtown Atlanta for 6 years and never once got robbed, mugged, assaulted, or anything else awful. I don’t like to take risks, and if I do, it is extremely calculated. 

– I’m really great at analyzing things. I love all kinds of games and puzzles because my brain easily breaks it down and I can strategize my next move. I find it thrilling – which is one of the many reasons why I absolutely love my job…as an analyst. 🙂

Cons:

– My OCD has held me back from a lot of things – adventures, experiences, mistakes (good and bad), and I often held others back with me. I was what you call a “fun sponge” – at least I’m trying not to be anymore. 

– I am so concerned with how others view me that I often shy away from meeting new people or putting myself out there for opportunities. This is something that I have been actively working on lately and I have been much more vocal at work and even been volunteering for events. 

– I remember very minute details about things and events. (I know, this was listed as a pro, too) Here’s the problem: I don’t remember just the good things – I also remember the bad things. Sometimes, those things weren’t as bad as I envision them, but my brain exaggerates it and reminds me of it constantly. 

– I bite my fingernails. It is a compulsion and I don’t even realize what I’m doing until I’ve chewed half my finger off. It is painful, unattractive and disgusting, but I’m working on it and my nails have never looked this nice in my entire life. 

– I am afraid of everything. EVERYTHING. It is so irritating to be so afraid, oftentimes I don’t even know what it is I’m afraid of. It’s exhausting. I don’t want to flush a bug down the toilet because I’m afraid that it’s going to magically come back to life, crawl through the pipes and bite me in the ass. How incredibly stupid is that? I know it’s illogical, but it’s what my brain does. 

– I have been mean and rude to my family and friends at times. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was being triggered and I couldn’t articulate what was happening inside my mind, but I felt trapped and I couldn’t escape. I have let loose on them multiple times for reasons that even I don’t understand, and I apologize. 

– My OCD tried to ruin my marriage….and it came close. I was pushing my husband further and further away, while he was struggling to understand what the hell was wrong with me. We couldn’t communicate because I couldn’t get out of my own head long enough to listen to what he was saying. Thankfully, getting help for our respective issues has helped us get our marriage back on track and in a much, much happier place. 

Thanks for reading!

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