Near the end of last year, I was doing a spiritual healing/meditation program online. I like yoga and eastern religions, so I thought it would help my chakras and make me more in tune with my spirit or whatnot. Maybe I was subconsciously trying to get help for my OCD. Reasons aside, the point is that I was doing a course where I had to practice meditating morning and night.

This was super difficult for me because my brain likes to go about 100 miles an hour, and I supposedly have scoliosis, so it was hard for me to comfortably sit in a meditation pose for a significant amount of time. I bring this all up, though, because of an experience I had while meditating. When my contamination OCD was in its early stages, the worries and obsessions were swirling around in my mind. During this particular meditation practice, I suddenly visualized those thoughts as demons. 

Since that time, obsessive compulsive disorder has been personified for me as a demon. I’m not saying that if you have OCD you are being influenced by Satan. Don’t infer that. I’m just saying that the obsessions that lead to compulsions and anxiety can seem like separate entities from the other thoughts in your mind. They are intruders without good intentions who have invaded and want to take over your brain and emotions. In other words, they are sneaky little demons.

The artwork at the top of this post is by a wonderful artist named Caitlin Connolly, who so graciously allowed me to share with you some of her work. I love her imagery of these demons and the women fighting them. While we might not be using swords and hammers to take down our OCD thoughts, we do need to arm ourselves with the proper assistance, do our exposures, and attack the OCD—or else it will take up residence and put down roots. Literally, you have to weed these demons out of your miportrait+of+a+demon+01nd. They like to creep back in, starting small and then looming larger and larger unless you pick up that figurative mallet and fight back.

Also, just like the crowd of women in the picture, remember you are not alone. Don’t feel secluded in your struggle. OCD likes to make you feel like you are the only one dealing with these problems, like you are too weak to cast it out of your brain. Frankly, sometimes it really does feel like that. Even if you try to explain how you are thinking and feeling to someone else, often they look at you like you are crazy. You begin to feel like no one understands and appreciates what you go through every day. But the thing is, you are not alone. There are so many others who do appreciate and understand your struggle and are going through it too.

So, catch those OCD demons and wring their necks! It’s hard. Yes, I know. If only it was simply a physical struggle against a known, quantifiable entity! Wouldn’t that be easier in its own way? But don’t give up. That’s what the OCD wants.

Do you like the imagery of OCD as a demon? Have you ever “personified” your mental illness in order to better grasp and overcome it? Please comment!