Your Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You a Bad Person

Whenever I think about OCD, I think about the intrusive thoughts that take up more space in my day than I’d like to allow. I think about the sleepless nights wondering if I’m a bad person, wondering if going to sleep would mean never waking up.

That’s because the first thing I treated when diagnosed with OCD is the bad thoughts. I had to learn to disown them. I wouldn’t choose to get caught up in wondering if my food had been poisoned or if my headache is something much more sinister. These thoughts happen to me, not with me.

However, I’m starting to recognize that having lived with this disorder for so long, my coping mechanisms have made me a much more obsessive person in general.

I dive head long into everything.

I can spend hours thinking about the last time my boyfriend kissed me, or talking about how much I miss him. It might take a person two or three times to get my attention if I’m wrapped up in a show. I’ll stay up all night reading a book if I allow myself.

This doesn’t sound like OCD, but it’s a part of my obsessive personality.

I’ve had to learn to allow my mental illness to be a part of what defines me. It’s not every thing that I am, but it’s a good chunk. That’s okay.

I remember the first time I watched this spoken word piece on OCD. I’d been dumped not too long before, and everything that was said rang loud and true to me. I hadn’t realized that part of me was obsessed with my ex. I never knew that OCD could latch onto my real life.

It took me years to move on from my ex. I only just did when I met my current boyfriend. So OCD has latched onto him instead. But I’m okay with being this attached to him. I’m okay with missing him so much. It’s part of what makes me who I am.

I’m not saying that I love my OCD. I really don’t, trust me. I’ve lost too many hours being afraid to live my life. But I’ve found something so very good to latch onto. And this part of me that copes by feeling too hard and too fast has allowed me to love in a way that I haven’t before. I’m thankful to be aware of this part of myself.

So much of mental illness actually sucks. But we as people are so much bigger than that suckyness. And it’s nice to know that even in my darkest moments, I’ve created my own light.

Book Review: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Hello friends! I have had Better Than Before sitting on my shelf for over a year and I haven’t been able to bring myself to pick it back up. I thought it would be interesting to learn about habits, but I am unfortunately in a point in my life where habits are just what they are, and reading a book about it won’t do much good.

I highly recommend this book to those who genuinely want to learn more about what guides their life. Gretchen Rubin is one of my Linkedin influencers and she’s so insightful. I wish I was in to it more, for self help reasons.

Hopefully I’ll pick it up again someday. Until then, unfortunately I have to mark it as DNF.

Onto the next read.

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Lessons from Loving a Sailor

I’ve had this list in my drafts since my first experience with deployment. With another one impending, I thought I’d finally publish it.

1. His job always comes first.

Changes in military scheduling will always trump prior plans. Dates tend to change often, and as an SO I just have to roll with them. I want to whine and complain so bad because even when he’s home I have to let him go so often. But I don’t because I know he’s just doing his job.

2. He comes second.

I can describe my boyfriend in one word around deployment time: tired. He works so many hours and gets little sleep so time with me ends up more than often being cuddle and fall asleep time. It’s easy to feel jilted from quality time (especially combined with my first point) when he gets like this, but I have to remind myself that this is what he needs. And loving him means putting his needs before my own.

3. Homecomings are wonderful, but they’re hard.

When he came back from our first deployment as a couple, I remember feeling so happy to have him home, but also out of place from not having seen him in months. I had to get used to having him around again. And he had to get used to being home again. It took some time, but it was totally worth it.

4. Communication takes discipline.

During deployments, I try to write every day just so I can have something to hold onto. It keeps our connection alive when we can’t talk on the phone or see each other in person. It gets hard when he doesn’t respond for weeks at a time, but I keep it up as best I can because I know it will benefit both of us in the long run.

5. You’ll surprise yourself with what love will allow you to handle.

I never thought I’d date someone in the military. I thought long separations were too much for me to handle. They’ve been hard for sure, but there’s so much love in my heart for my man that serves and I’m so proud when I can be his rock on a hard day. Love trumps all of these difficulties. I can’t imagine my life without him, even just missing him.

Book Review: Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Title: Under Rose Tainted Skies
Author: Louise Gornall
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?


Continue reading “Book Review: Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall”

Time, and How it Heals

I woke up to a text yesterday morning from my boyfriend saying “I love you so much.” He was on his way into work.

The busy season for his crew has started again and I’m not going to see him as frequently as I used to, until I don’t see him at all for a couple months. It’s sad, realizing that the life I’ve known since before Christmas is about to change. But before that I’d known deployment life, so I know I can do this again.

So many things in life are temporary. And while I scroll through my Tumblr feed so close to Valentine’s Day I’m reminded of a time where I was as heartbroken as some of the people I follow are. When there was a different guy in my life that decided he didn’t want to be anymore. When I see those posts, all I can think is that feeling doesn’t last. That one day you wake up and you’ve moved on. For that, I am grateful.

I think of my boyfriend, who has been one of the most caring and loving people I’ve had the privilege of having in my life. I realize what true love really is, and I never want to settle for less.

Just like I had to take the time to move on from an old relationship to find this one, I also have to wait for him to do his job so we can have another season of togetherness.

All of the waiting, the lonely nights, the fending off of question as to where my other half is, is utterly worth it. Maybe one day I’ll wake up to him every morning, but I don’t mind the waiting.

Whatever journey we start in life will always have an end. Seasons will change. It’s important to find the lessons in each, so that even the hardest of times will be fruit.

There’s so much good out there. It’s time to find it.