In 2008, the house across from mine caught fire. It was the beginning of winter and the homeowner had put the heater on. However, the boiler blew up and a horrible fire ensued.
After that incident, I developed obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
I became obsessed with the boiler in my basement. I became so preoccupied with the idea that it was going to blow up and my whole family was going to die from a fire. My OCD was so severe that I always thought I was seeing everyone for the last time. As a result, I constantly checked on the boiler and everyone in my house.
People with OCD are particular that their “rituals” are executed just right. If anything feels off or something wasn’t done correctly, they’ll begin all over again. I had that problem. I dreaded the moments leading up to bedtime because that was when my “ritual” began.
I would check on the basement and the boiler every night—as many as fifty to a hundred times, sometimes taking eight hours to do so. After each checking, I would return to my room and attempt to sleep. But I never got any sleep because I would set the alarm so that I got up every thirty minutes to check again. I thought that by doing that, I could prevent a fire. And during the day if I was out of the house, I would drive a few times by my house to just make sure that it’s safe and not on fire.
I had bad thoughts on my mind all the time. If I was speaking to my mom or sister, I would ask them, “This isn’t the last time we’re talking right? This isn’t the last time I see you right? Please don’t let this be the last time.”
I knew they were very annoyed with me, as I was with myself.
I began to hate myself. This OCD was debilitating and I thought my whole life was going to be consumed by my irrational thoughts. I was only seventeen years old when it started and it lasted for four years or even longer. I was not a normal young adult!
I tried medications and therapy but they were not effective. I became severely depressed because of the kind of life I was living. I was fearful about death and was constantly battling that fear in my head. Yet, I wanted to die because I didn’t want to live like that anymore.
One day, I stumbled upon Joseph Prince’s broadcast on television. That changed my life. He preached a message about resting and letting God take over our worries and casting our cares upon Him. It was no coincidence for me to hear that particular sermon but I was so afraid to let go. I was terrified to not check the boiler, thinking that that was going to be the night a blazing fire would break out in my house because I didn’t check.
But I said to myself, “I will not check tonight, because GOD is checking tonight and every night from now on. I don’t have to do this, it’s not my job. I am letting go and going to have a great sleep tonight.” Even though I failed to let go completely, the frequency of my checking reduced. Instead of every thirty minutes, I set my alarm to go off every one hour and then every two hours. I slowly gave up my role as the checker and gave it to God.
Then one night, I didn’t check anything at all nor did I set my alarm. All my fears, worries, rituals, thoughts, compulsions, obsessions were GONE that night!
I was delivered of this horrible, compulsive condition—all thanks to God, His favor, His blessing, and His grace upon me. It’s absolutely a miracle to be freed from such a severe mental disorder. It’s as if I never had the condition.
Now I listen to Joseph’s sermons every day and I am living under God’s grace. It has been about four years now that I’ve been freed from the disorder. My therapist said people with OCD have remissions and would get sucked back in, but I haven’t and I know I won’t.
Four years ago, I let go and let God. I gave Him my worries and cares, and He took them and gave me true rest. Glory to God!
The writer has requested to remain anonymous | Massachusetts, United States