Discussing my longest-battled obsession
I get asked a lot how I knew I had OCD, or when it first started developing, or what my first obsession was. I can say without hesitation that death was my first obsession, and it started very young. I became afraid of sleep when I was like five. I still am. I dread going to sleep, because it is when I am most often paralyzed by the thought of death. There is nothing to distract me, and it hits me like a freight train. I dread going to sleep because it is the closest I can get to dying while I’m still alive. To me, sleeping is like micro-dosing the feeling of death - it mimics the inevitability, in that eventually your body has to sleep no matter how much you try to put it off, just like death, and that it is basically your consciousness being erased and you not existing.
No one is okay with the thought of dying, I’m sure. Like, I know everyone has “anxiety” about dying.
But I would be nine years old, thrashing myself upright in bed so I could hit hit my palms against my head and squeeze my eyes shut and grit my teeth and say “NO NO NO NO NO NO” over and over again to try to squeeze the thought of death back out of whatever pinhole was drilled in the back of my head that let all these irrational fears seep into my consciousness like gas. And it still goes just like that at twenty two. Sometimes it will even provoke me to jump out of bed onto my feet and pace my room grabbing my hair in big chunks with my hands and hanging onto it for dear life saying “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” because I’ve re-realized for the thousandth time in my life that I will die one day and it will be permanent. I think this is why my hairline is receding.