Painting, Drawing, and Illustration

A comic I drew back in 2018 when my OCD was at its peak. My pug rescued me during those tough days. I never thought of sharing this comic since Harm OCD is so shameful. My pug has since passed away and I owe him my life. 

Internal scream This was the first piece. It’s when I started painting how I felt because I could not put it into words. What drives compulsion? For me like allot of people it is rooted in fear. I seem calm and friendly on the outside and screaming on the inside because I am afraid I will do something to cause harm. It was so intense it felt like physical pain created by my mind and it increased until I gave into compulsions which provided a limited respite only to come back even more intense later.

Separation This piece tries convey how OCD separates us from being present with those we love by forcing compulsions and limiting our exposure to the world they live in. It pulls us away from them and keeps us from being present by keeping us in our heads.

Isolation This piece tries convey how OCD isolates you, makes you small. Even when you are close to a person you love it feels like a great distance is between you and them. 

Void This piece tries convey how OCD hollows you out leaving only it inside. Even with all the compulsions and rituals you are still empty constantly trying to fill void with more even more void.

The Intrusive thought This piece is one I look at most often as a form of ERP. It’s hard to depict something that quite literally can feel like its drilling a hole into your head. Something that causes such immense suffering and exhaustion that is can drive you to do reckless and harmful things to yourself just to make it stop for even a moment. It hurts to look at it but I do it every day and take deep breath and remember its part of me but it is not who I am.

The Flood After an action that OCD attached a corrupted meaning too or a thought OCD created from nothing the flood of intrusive messages becomes overwhelming. You cannot think clearly, you cannot focus. What would seem like structure or an over attention to detail to people outside of you is really chaos within your mind. 

It steals your hands This piece is depicting how the disease made me afraid to touch anyone or anything because I felt my very touch was harmfully motivated, to the point I would close hands around people and never open them.

The Struggle The piece try to convey the hardest thing to explain to people that don’t have the disease. An OCD mind is at war with itself. The war is between who you are vs who OCD makes you think you are. It is pure suffering.

Support This piece is very important to me. OCD makes you feel so lonely but you are never alone. The support of my therapist and my family is what saved me. You have to allow yourself to be helped and be vulnerable. Those who love you want to help even if that can’t fully understand OCD. With their support you can hold OCD in place. OCD wants you to be alone. Don’t let it get its way.

Mindfulness This piece was the beginning of my way back to control. To understand how to focus on my values and who I am in my heart. I gained some form of acceptance that my thoughts are not who I am but OCD will not go away and that is ok.

Taking back control This piece is depicted when I finally started using ERP to quiet OCD. It never goes away and I accepted that but I could make it quieter and quieter until it whispered and I told it to be silent.