I remember a time when I didn’t obsess about sin, dirt, and danger, when I didn’t wash my hands until they were raw and pray constantly in attempts to rid myself of that sin, dirt, and danger.
According to current theories of the causes of this anxiety disorder, I was probably born with the tendency towards having it. So I in essence never lived a pre-OCD life. But memories from my early childhood remind me that I did live a short time without obsessions and compulsions.
Have you ever read articles about people who suffer from a particular disease, who seem to think they were meant to have the disease so they could help others with it?
I am fascinated with that idea.
Behind the idea that a person is meant to have a disease is the notion that there is a higher purpose, a higher power and a plan at work.
I’ve been obsessed with finding out my own purpose for years. I’ve written dozens of “mission statements” for myself. None satisfy me for long. None adequately address the part of me that identifies with OCD.
Though I have experienced many good things and many successes, OCD still plays a big role in my life, though sometimes it’s subtle.
I don’t know if I believe God or a higher power created me to have OCD. I believe in God, but I don’t understand Him to be a person-like figure who had me in mind when He gave out the OCD.
I’m comfortable with the mystery of not knowing for sure who God is, because I know I’ll never know for sure during my time on earth. It’s one of the few mysteries I’m comfortable with.
That comfort did not come easily, but that’s for another post.
Even if a higher power did not “give” me OCD, I have it and it has affected my life to the point I cannot easily imagine life without it.
So what am I supposed to do with it, and the depression and general anxiety that have been along for the ride for most of my life?
One of the quotes I included in my last post, the passage from the Gospel of Matthew, speaks to my belief about what I’m supposed to do with my life: serve others.
How I’m supposed to serve and help others is not always clear to me. And I definitely need to improve in how much and how I serve others.
But the meaning of my life will be in how I use what I have—OCD and all the rest—to help others and realize who I truly am, a creation of the Divine.
I treasure the memories of my pre-OCD life. For much of my life, I have washed and counted and checked and sought reassurance. I have wasted time and water and soap and talents. I have forgotten who I am and have identified with OCD strongly enough to push me to the brink of suicide.
But as a friend recently posted about herself, I am what I am.
Do you ever wonder about your purpose in life, and how your OCD, anxiety, depression or whatever your challenges may be fit in?