Lost at Sea: An OCD Analogy
Imagine for a moment that you’re adrift in the ocean.
The water is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but the conditions of the sea are your circumstances.
On a good day, when things are going well and life is gentle, the sea is tranquil and languid. You’re still immersed in it, but with a little effort, you can keep your head above water.
Sometimes, something good happens in your life, and it’s like a piece of driftwood has floated by, something for you to cling to.
But when life gets tough, and the winds of stress begin to stir, the ocean becomes choppy, and suddenly it’s a lot harder to keep your head above the surface.
As the winds intensify, the waves grow higher and stronger. Their merciless pull wrenches the driftwood from your grasp. It takes all your energy to fight your way to the surface between waves long enough to snatch a ragged gasp. Between dunkings, you risk using a lungful of precious air to call for help.
Suddenly, you feel something grab you by the legs, pulling you down. Is it a shark? Or have you just become tangled in seaweed? You kick frantically, and finally manage to break free of whatever it was, but by now you’re exhausted. As the next wave bears down on you, you wonder if you’ll even be able to surface again after it rolls over you.
Then, a human voice tunnels through the snarling chorus of wind and water. A life preserver flops onto the ocean next to you. With your last dregs of strength, you grab onto it, and feel yourself being pulled towards the voices. A boat materializes out of the storm, and as you reach it, strong hands reach down to pull you to safety.
For now, you’re okay. You know you may find yourself adrift again one day, because the ocean will always be there. But you also know that years of fighting its wrath have strengthened you. And perhaps even more importantly, you know that even in the middle of the ocean, you’re not alone.