So you’re jogging along nicely with life, skipping the puddles as best you can when OUCH! You feel a little stone in the bottom of your shoe, something unfamiliar.
Nothing serious enough to share with your running buddy, but definitely something that shouldn’t be there.
A mile or so down the road you start to thinking that, rather than a stone, it might just be the start of a blister. Again, nothing to trouble your partner with, after all, we’ve all had blisters right?
Except this blister isn’t like others you’ve had before, it’s constantly nagging at you all day and night and everytime you do something to appease it, it seems to grow in intensity…..and keeps growing until it’s ruling your every action and affecting EVERYTHING you do EVERYDAY, not just on your weekly run or the walk to the shops, but every single chore at home or task at work or social encounter.
At some stage your running mate is going to need to know about this and you kind of know that if you don’t tell them, however good at acting you have become concealing your ailment, then they are going to spot it for themselves.
Now if it IS a blister then I’m guessing this is no big deal and a quick word and a trip to the chemists for a plaster and some cream should fix the problem.
If it turns out to be an infection or injury then, hey a trip to the doctors is not really an issue to worry about.
But, and it is a BIG BUT, it happens to be your brain that’s been troubling you not your foot, now THAT is a different matter.
At some point, if the problem is to be tackled, then you are forced to do something most would find rather uncomfortable. To turn to a wife, husband, partner, parent, sibling, friend, boss, doctor or even the guy you go jogging with and say “I think something’s wrong”.
The words MENTAL ILLNESS are pretty heavy hitting, to the person saying them and the person hearing them from a loved one.
I suffer from a mental illness, but I am not mental.
Now put yourself in the position of a long time solo jogger trying to find a running mate and having to explain to them that you’re jogging is going to be seriously handicapped by an overwhelming blister…..not easy.
A LOT easier than saying to potential dates “by the way I’ve got a mental illness that means that even though I am a charming, intelligent, attractive sweetheart with an interesting job and a steady income, I will undoubtedly be acting oddly ALL the time we are together, will find MOST social situations or trips from the house extremely discomforting, and will waste hours of OUR time performing seemingly pointless tasks for no other reason than to satisfy the whims of an illness that I KNOW is silly, and that for us to get intimate is likely to cause me massive distress and require me to perform untold rituals to make me feel ‘safe’.
Hmmm, not selling it that well am i?
Welcome to the lonely, frightening, frustrating and at times downright ridiculous world of the OCD sufferer. IT’S NO JOG IN THE PARK!
For Laura x