My OCD up close and personal; Fearing the end of the world

This is the second instalment in this series where I discuss all the different themes/fears of my OCD. As I have overlapping OCD, I felt it was important to discuss each area of this illness that led up to the flare that broke me at the end of 2016.

From around the age of 10, I feared that the world was going to end. Like now. I convinced myself that every time it was cloudy and the street lights reflected off the clouds making the night sky look orange that it was the rapture. I would stand at the window and fill with dread because I’m a Christian but my family aren’t. I would think, the sky looks like it’s on fire, this is it, ‘We are all going to die and I won’t see my family again because I’m going to heaven but they aren’t’ and I would pray over and over that God would take my family to heaven with me. I would get so upset at the thought of loosing them. This happened every time it was cloudy and only settled down around my late teens but I still feared the end of the world but didn’t focus on the sky any more.

When December 21st 2012 was due to happen. I was engaged and our wedding booked for the following April but I couldn’t set all the plans because I was convinced it could be the end of the world so what was the point planning a wedding we wouldn’t be alive for. I also wanted to be a mother before I died. I felt like I was born to be a mother, and I felt like that was something I needed to fulfil and when I heard about that date being the end of the world back in 2011, me and my then boyfriend (now husband), had our first child, born December 2011. I felt guilt, and so selfish for having a child when I thought the world was going to end, because I didn’t want him to suffer any pain but felt like I needed to have him, I wanted him so much, I didn’t want to die and not have had a child, and all the joy from that felt worth it. On that date, I stood and held my son so tightly as the time grew close and just prayed to God it would all be ok. The time came and went and my stress levels were through the roof. As the time passed I felt so relieved but the fear of ‘what if the world still ends’, still lingered and still does now.

With my mum being an astronomer I grew up watching the stars, and spending evenings outside watching meteor showers and learning all about the night sky but I would often have the thought of bright stars or shooting stars being asteroids and would panic for a short while after thinking what if they hit the earth and have created a huge tidal wave that could be destroying the earth and reaching us any minute. I would look out in the distance and over the fields into the night and panic thinking the hills were the wave. This did lesson as I grew older but the general worry of the world ending is still present.

I can’t watch any apocalyptic films as they will just circle around in my mind and cause me panic. I can still remember films in detail I watched up to 20 years ago. Sounds crazy I know. Believe me I know.

With this obsession my compulsions were internal. I would pray over and over again and ruminate hoping this would prevent the world ending, or if the world must end, I would hope that my family would be saved by God and go to heaven with me.

A x

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