The Cycle of OCD & The Answer for a Cure

Nizira Muhammad

“The What If….”  

A thought pops into my head, what if I kill my best friend? Whoa, where did that come from? I love my best friend, I would never want to hurt her, but this thought scares me, I’ll avoid the kitchen whenever she comes over, so I won’t be around the knives. 

What if the stove blows up and kills her because I didn’t help her make dinner like I always do? I’ll brush my hair exactly two hundred times every day to make sure that doesn’t happen. 

What if I sleepwalk over to her house and strangle her in her sleep? I’ll lock my bedroom door before bed. 

What if someone breaks into her house while my door is locked, and kills her? I’ll wash my hands ten times while getting ready for bed so that won’t happen. 

My skin is peeling off from all the hand washing but must keep her safe. 

I’ve started losing weight because I’ve been avoiding the kitchen, but I must keep her safe. 

My hair is falling out because I’ve been brushing it so much, but I must keep her safe. 

I’ve had panic attacks every night while locked in my room because of these thoughts, I can’t handle much more of the anxiety, the guilt, the fear, but I can’t stop thinking what if…what if…what if…A question my brain never stops asking.  

“No Answer”

Answering the “what if…” only makes it stronger. 

The only way to end it is to not answer. 

Take the locks off your doors. 

Put the hairbrush down. 

Take your best friend into the kitchen and make dinner with her. 

And when the thoughts come, when the anxiety hits, when the guilt makes you sick to your stomach. 

You must breathe, and keep living your life. 

Let the thoughts come. Don’t try to stop them. Don’t act like they’re real. Let them pass. 

Sit with the feelings. Feel them. Let them pass. Let them go.

It won’t be easy, but it is possible to live a life without “what ifs.”