When I was little, I had some odd behaviors that I would do over and over again. I never thought much of it, but some people pointed out what they saw as my “quirks.” As time went on, those compulsions began to shape my life in ways that became stressful and difficult for me to handle.
I was constantly feeling the need to check and double-check things, wash my hands, and keep myself incredibly organized throughout the day. It often felt like my body was telling me this is what I needed to do in order to survive. If something wasn’t in its proper place or if someone else hadn’t followed a certain set of rules, it literally stressed me out in ways that felt completely unmanageable at times.
It took a lot of self-awareness and sometimes hard work for me to really break down why these compulsions were plaguing me. Eventually, I was able to recognize them for what they were—habits embedded into my daily routine that weren’t only exhausting but also difficult for friends and family members around me to understand.
After talking with a therapist and getting the help I needed to take charge of my well-being, I started realizing how being aware of these compulsive habits gave me more control over their power over my life. Now when they pop up or when stress appears during times when these behaviors have become overwhelming, I am able to stop them in their tracks before they take root once again.
I’ve come a long way from those early days where I was simply unconsciously dealing with my list of compulsions without fully knowing what was happening inside myself—and finally being able to give meaning and understanding around those thoughts has been one of the most powerful tools that’s helped transform how not only view myself but also how others see me every single day.