Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in snakes?
Wondering if this is the only way
Feeling like you’ll never stop sinking
Wondering if you’ll reach the surface again
Will the snakes go away?
Are they here to stay?
It’s not too late
You can fight the snakes
It is hard, but worth it
You can make it to the surface
The other day while M.J. was playing he said something about snakes; this inspired me to write this poem. When I showed it to Dan, he asked me what the snakes are supposed to represent. I think the snakes can represent so many things. I guess, when I was writing this poem I was thinking about my Depression and OCD. I was specifically thinking about when I was suicidal. When you are extremely depressed, it can feel like you’re drowning. It can feel like suicide is the only way to stop the pain. This is a lie! If you are feeling suicidal, please don’t be afraid to get help. There are so many people who would be sad if you took your life. You deserve to live. I think drowning in snakes would be worse than drowning in water. You would be suffocating, but you would also have these nasty, poisonous creatures all over you. This is what struggling with a mental illness can feel like. Especially, if it goes undiagnosed or untreated.
Don’t let the snakes win. It’s never a good time to end your life.
I had extremely distressing intrusive thoughts for (at least) 10 years before I told anyone. I didn’t tell anyone AT ALL. I was extremely ashamed of the thoughts. Whenever they got bad, I would think about suicide. When I first started talking to my therapist, I didn’t even tell her about them. I was worried she would think I was a horrible person. I now know, I am not a horrible person; I have OCD. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard. Living with OCD can be extremely difficult. I’m so thankful I have therapy and medication to make my OCD a lot more manageable. OCD is also very misunderstood. The term “OCD” has been misused so much. I think this contributed to me not realizing I had OCD. You can’t be “a little OCD”, OCD is not an adjective. You can be a little organized, a little fussy, a little bit of a clean freak. You CANNOT be “a little OCD.” Many people’s intrusive thoughts are not even about germs. Mine normally aren’t. I also hate cleaning so I would have never thought I had OCD. It can be hard for me to write about my struggles, but I think it is so important to make others aware. So many people struggle with OCD for years before they are diagnosed. OCD plays off of your worst fear. Who wants to tell someone they are having thoughts about their worst fear? No one! This is why so many people struggle in silence. Also, because there is so much misinformation about OCD. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to get help.
Examples of different types of OCD:
Relationship OCD: Fear you don’t really love your partner, fear your partner will cheat on you, or fear you will cheat on your partner. This can cause people to constantly check for reassurance from their partner and their friends.
Harm OCD: Fear you will stab someone, poison someone, etc. This can cause people to avoid knives, weapons, etc.
Pedophilia OCD: Fear you will abuse a child. This can cause people to avoid children.
Religious or Moral OCD: Excessive guilt or worry that you have sinned, fear you cannot be forgiven and are going to hell
Order and Symmetry OCD: Becoming extremely anxious when everything isn’t in its place. Fear something bad will happen if everything isn’t in its place
Health OCD: Fear you have a serious disease.
These are types of OCD that are not as widely known as Contamination OCD, but there can be many different OCD themes. You can have intrusive thoughts about anything. This will sometimes make it more confusing for me. How do I know if my thoughts are intrusive? Maybe I actually want them. Part of the therapy of OCD is being comfortable with uncertainty. This is extremely difficult. I’m pretty sure most people are uncomfortable with uncertainty. People with OCD are very uncomfortable with uncertainty. This is why therapy can be so hard. Also, because most people just try to repress their intrusive thoughts; this makes them worse. When I went to the partial hospitalization program, I thought, how in the world am I supposed to accept these thoughts as meaningless? I mentioned this to one of the therapists there and she said, “You have to retrain your brain, you’ve been dealing with this for 10 years.” It has become easier now, but it can still be a struggle sometimes. Thankfully, I also have medication that helps lessen the thoughts. I’m so thankful I was diagnosed with OCD so I can continue my healing journey.
What are your snakes? They could be anything. Are you struggling with Depression, Anxiety, or OCD? Well, if you need to talk to someone who has experienced these things, I’m your girl. Are you struggling with suicidal thoughts? If you are, please get help. I’m always here if anyone needs to talk. Your snakes could be completely different than mine. Are you struggling with recent trauma or a traumatic past? Are you struggling with an eating disorder? Are you struggling with an addiction? Are you having financial problems? Are you struggling with isolation? No matter what you are struggling with you can overcome it. Don’t be afraid to go to therapy. Don’t be afraid to take medication. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t need to let the snakes win. You can fight them.
“Vulnerability is not weakness, it’s our greatest measure of courage.”- Rising Strong by Brene Brown
***This post is not meant to diagnose anyone. If you feel you are struggling, get help from a professional. http://www.iocdf.org
Suicide Prevention Hotline:http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org