Everyone has a thing. Especially people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It might be hand washing, organising, being germ free; mine is cleaning. This photo of my cleaning products is a shock- this is a quarter of what I used to use! I used to have so many cleaning products that when my landlord looked under the sink to fix a pipe he joked: “Blimey! I can tell you’re a nurse!”
But its not nursing where my OCD comes from. It first started when I was 21 years old, and my Mum would tell me off for constantly moving things around the house. I was tidying and cleaning everything. It got worse, to the point where I would come home from work and clean my room for hours on end. My Mum eventually let me keep the hoover in my room! When I moved in with my Dad it got out of control. We used to joke about it, but my constant need to clean was driving him mad. I wouldn’t cook dinner and I would make cups of tea in the sink. He would tell me that the place was already clean and I didn’t need to do it. But I would end up in tears and have a panic attack until my cleaning ritual was completed.
When I moved into own my flat I would spend all day cleaning it. My neighbour’s complained the building stank of bleach! I would collapse into bed, absolutely exhausted. When I woke up my first thought was I needed to clean again even though it wasn’t dirty. I would cancel plans with friends so I could stay in and clean.
When I was depressed I didn’t clean at all, when I was anxious I cleaned obsessively. I didn’t seem to have a happy medium. Until now. The doctor increased my Duloxetine from 30mg to 60mg a few weeks ago. Duloxetine is useful for treating depression, anxiety and OCD. I feel a lot more calmer and level.
During therapy me and my therapist explored the purpose behind my obsessive behaviour: I felt I had to clean to deserve my parents love. I know now that love is unconditional.
I currently have a normal cleaning routine that doesn’t stop me from living my life. My mind is clear, which is a really nice feeling 🙂
Amy Belle x