Upon finding out that I had OCD, I have to say I wasn’t necessarily surprised, but I was depressed. I didn’t want to admit it to myself. In a way, I was relieved, because I had been misdiagnosed for so many years and now I knew what the hell was wrong with me. I could now start working on what the hell was right with me. I could be creative and tell stories to the people who need to hear them. I could articulate my feelings to my therapist. Whereas, before I got my real diagnosis, I wasn’t able to do these things well. My therapist said I was surviving, struggling even, but not living. It was a brutal period for me. But I’m moving into a relaxed/happier part of my life. It’s a relief to feel happy after an intense period of anxiety that seemed unrelenting.

There’s some great news about my new/old friends OCD and ADHD, they get along surprisingly well. I’m not making this up. I was told by a therapist who specializes in ADHD that my OCD wants to organize things and make sure they’re in the same place. Then when my ADHD forgets where the things are, my OCD reminds it and it’s all good. It’s funny, you wouldn’t think two extremely different mental health issues would be compatible. But they are somehow. I guess it’s the whole “opposites attract” thing. ADHD is all over the place. Your thoughts are scattered and you have 60 amazing ideas that you want to share with everyone, but you can’t choose which one to start with. So you just tell pieces of all of the ideas to people because they all need attention at once. Then OCD comes along and says “okay, we need to organize these ideas. This is getting out of control and I have no idea where you’re going with this.” ADHD listens and it agrees to step back and let OCD take the wheel for a little while. OCD gets your ideas prioritized and now you don’t have 60 things to tell people, you’re down to like 20 things. OCD works hard. You’ve gotta hand it to OCD for its work ethic.

I don’t want to sound like a parent choosing one of her children over the other one. I still love you ADHD, but you are really distracting and disruptive sometimes. But you’re not that innocent either, OCD. You think you’re helping all the time and sometimes you just need to chill. It’s enough hearing about where things go, and how you aren’t sure if we’re dying or not. I need a break and you’re not accustomed to giving people breaks. You’re always working hard, trying to find something to fix. Maybe you should take a break. Oh, right. You don’t do vacations. I understand you’re a workaholic. I accept you for you. ADHD, I appreciate your brilliant ideas, even if you can’t organize them. It’s hard to be a person sometimes and I know you’re trying so hard.

It’s great when your mental health issues work together. When they’re causing chaos on their own, well that’s another story.