(Guest post by Vince)
The holiday season is usually a time for celebration and joy, but for me, it brings a special kind of anxiety. As someone with OCD, the added stress and disruptions to my daily routine can be overwhelming.
The thought of trying to navigate crowded stores, the pressure to participate in holiday events and traditions, and the constant stream of people in and out of my home can be exhausting.
I love the holidays, but they can also be a trigger for my OCD symptoms, which can range from obsessive thoughts and rituals to physical discomfort and panic attacks.
Last year at Christmas
Last Christmas, all of my relatives came over to my parents’ house for our annual holiday gathering. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but for me, it was a nightmare. My OCD symptoms were in overdrive with all the extra people and noise in my childhood home, and no one seemed to understand or be sensitive to my needs.
As I watched the children running around and playing at my parents’ house, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness and regret. I had always struggled with OCD, and it had taken a significant toll on my life. I had missed out on so many opportunities and experiences because of my symptoms, and the thought of not having a family of my own because of my OCD was overwhelming.
As the holiday festivities continued, I found myself becoming more and more anxious and isolated. I tried to participate and join in on the fun, but my intrusive thoughts and rituals kept getting in the way.
I felt like I had wasted so much time and energy on my OCD, and I couldn’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I had been able to manage my symptoms earlier.
How I coped
It was a difficult and emotional experience, but I tried my best to stay present and focus on the positive aspects of the holiday. I reminded myself that it’s never too late to make positive changes in my life and that I had the support of my loved ones.
I also made a commitment to myself to seek help and support in managing my OCD, so that I could live a happier and more fulfilling life.
It’s not easy, but I’m determined to find ways to manage my anxiety and enjoy this year’s holiday season.