a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Look How Far I've Come.









Purple Ruffle Dress: Forever21.
40's Hat, Purse, Brown Wedges: Thrifted.

Five months ago marks the lowest point in my life so far. For those of you who have been following my blog for quite sometime know that I have OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I am not OCD about the typically things that you would think I would be about. I am specifically OCD about throwing up, or as I put it (because I don't say those two words), "getting sick."

Although I've had OCD my whole life, it didn't rear it's ugly head until I was twelve years old. One night I was violently sick with the stomach flu and that was the night my life changed. I became obsessive about getting sick, more so than a normal person should be. I didn't want to go to school, I would wash my hands constantly, and I soon became very depressed and wanted to kill myself. This was all just at twelve years old, so you can imagine how worried my parents were. They quickly signed me up to go see a therapist the summer before I entered the seventh grade. I saw the therapist that summer and she helped me cope with what God had dealt me with. She gave me calming techniques for my panic attacks, and instructions on what I should do to rid myself of obsessive thoughts.

I can say that for the next few years that my OCD calmed down. Of course it was always still there. I still often feared that I would be sick or someone around me would be sick. I prayed to God that he would keep me safe and he always did. For about five years my OCD hid under the radar until last January.

I started to see changes in myself at the beginning of my junior school year. I began obsessing over being sick more and more. I would constantly ask my parents if 'I was going to be okay,' multiple, multiple times in a row unyielding. They could never say it enough for me. I also began abusing hand sanitizer and took any opportunity I could get to wash my hands. On top of these suddenly frequent behaviors, I began convincing myself that I was sick. In my mind I would dream up that my stomach hurt and that I was going to throw up any minute. I would make myself almost physically sick with worry and it would take long periods of time to calm me down. These panic attacks first happened maybe once a month. Then once a week. Then everyday. Then multiple times a day.

My parents began to become concerned again with what was happening to me, however, they were reluctant to put me on pills which was the only helpful option left. Things took a turn from bad to worse though at the start of the year. I began to starve myself because I was so,so afraid I would be sick on the food. Every bite I would put in my mouth I would imagine myself getting sick on, and after that I wouldn't dare touch my food. I began eating less and less, and not even my favorite foods appealed to me anymore.

On top of starving myself my panic attacks were so frequent that I couldn't go to school. Every hour I was newly convinced that I was to get sick and didn't want to leave my house in case I did. I begged and pleaded with my parents to let me stay home, but they forced me to school. I almost didn't make it one day when I had to pull over to the side of the road for fear of that I was going to be sick right there even though in reality I was perfectly fine.(That's the thing with OCD. You lose touch with reality and what's just your imagination). One week Matt had to beg me to get out of the car and walk into school everyday and I fought him tooth and nail and cried, cried, cried. My excuse? That any minute it would be time for me to throw up.

Because I was hardly eating anything at all, I felt faint and truly sick all the time which only added fuel to the fire. While walking in the school halls one day I was so dizzy I almost collapsed, and during my first period class I had to be walked down to the Guidance office because I was so fearful I was going to pass out then and there. I was pale as a ghost and could hardly function I was so weak. My guidance counselors became fearful for my safety and health, but there was nothing they or anyone else could do for me. My demons were all in my head.

My lowest point I can remember this past January was one specific night. During this period of time I could never fall asleep because I was too fearful that I might wake up sick. I remember being in a dream like trance while I screamed and cried at my mom that it was my time. That it was my moment to be sick. I stood over the sink and stared down the facet waiting any minute for the nothing in my stomach to come up. My mom pleaded at me to stop. She cried frantically, claiming it was like I was possessed by the devil. And in some ways I was possessed. OCD possessed me that night and took me to hell. I cried and hated myself and life because I was trapped in such a dark, despairing place that no one but myself could help me out of.

After this night my parents knew that enough was enough. That I needed professional help. They took me to the doctor and she subscribed me pills right away. I also began to see a therapist again once a week again. Within two months, I was back to my normal self and I thanked God for bringing me out of the darkness I had known so long and showing me the light again.

Tomorrow is my five month doctor checkup for my OCD pills. To see how far I've come since that dreadful night five months ago is incredible. Five months ago if you had asked me if there was hope at all, I would have told you that I had no hope. I would have told you that I would almost rather die than go through another day with OCD. But if you ask me if there's hope today, I would tell you yes. I would tell you yes a thousand times over. I lived through that horrible experience just to know that there is always hope. Although I still have my moments and my OCD has not been taken away, I am able to live freely now. I am no longer held and restrained by evil, but I'm lifted up so that I can see the light...The light that is always at the end of the tunnel.
With much love, Lauren.


Sara said...

wonderful outfit! and im glad you have hope now, you are such a strong person and always remember that your not alone. i hope you never have to deal with such darkness and evil again because you don't deserve that you deserve better :)


Shady Del Knight said...

This is another courageous post, Lauren. Your words will undoubtedly help many other girls with this or a similar disorder. Social anxiety in general is rampant these days and your message of hope applies to many people in many different situations. Thank you!

leah jean said...

aww dear, you are simply amazing. that's all i have to say. i can't imagine going through something like that and coming out so strong on the other end, with such an inspiring story to tell. i'm praying for you and hope everything continues to go as well as it is. :)

a simple and peaceful life

Miranda said...

Well, I really think the title of this post says it all, Lauren. You have come so far. You are a very strong person. I believe that God never gives us more than we can handle - and you prove that that's right :)

Ari said...

wow, that sounds tough. congratulations on your recovery process!
I'm really enjoying your blog, you have lovely pictures and gorgeous clothing!

Kezzie said...

Bless you lots Lauren! What an amazingly hard time to go through! That is truly testimony that we can move from the dark times! An amazing message of hope and trust in God! Will continue to pray for yoru continual healing!
And that dress is absolutely gorgeous!

devorelebeaumonstre. said...

pretty dress! x


maggeygrace said...

Wow. That's really all I can say. This was an amazing story and thank you so much for sharing your experience- it was truly powerful! I'm so happy that you are healing and are on the right track to recovering. You look beautiful and I wish you the very best!

Bless you.


Vanessa, Take only Memories said...

Wow, reading this almost made me cry. For the past two to three years I've had pretty similar experiences as what you described. I don't have OCD or at least I've never been diagnosed with it. But I am so terrified of "getting sick" that it makes everyday life really hard at times. I can't tell you how many nights I've spent sitting on the bath tub crying and waiting tho be sick and I always carry a plastic bag with me wherever I go in case I get sick. The worst times are going to the cinema or being on a subway or anything where I can't get out. I get so wound up that sometimes it's almost like a little panic attack. It was much worse while I was working P/T at the Gap last year and had to be behind the cashiers where I really couldn't get out because there were so many people. Sometimes I would just call in sick because I could't face it and once I even passed out cause I got so scared.
I remember that I went through a similar thing while I was 12/13 years old but at some point it just went away.

Thank you for sharing you story and I'm so glad that you are doing better!
And you look absolutely lovely!

Maria Elyse said...

Lauren, you are such a wonderful, strong young woman. I'm so proud of you. God is so faithful, like you said, and I'm so glad that he has brought you so far and that you're getting better. ♥

Oh, and I really like your hat! :)

Maria Elyse
First Impressions
Flying Ships Vintage

claire said...

oh my gosh. That is really all that I can say. You are so strong to have gone through this and recovered, this post literally almost made me cry. I am also OCD about throwing up, and I think that it is great that you can see the light at the end of then tunnel because I know how hard it is even though my OCD isn't as bad as yours.


Victoria / Justice Pirate said...

I get scared my oldest son has OCD. He has to do things in a precise manner . . and if he doesn't get it done in that way or we do it for him he has to do it all over again and throws a fit. It is really scary sometimes. I hope that he does not continue in it as he grows older.

This outfit is lovely and looks beautiful with that white hat!!

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