As a New Mom, I Constantly Worried My Child Was Going To Die

I have never been what you would call a helicopter mom. Even when my child was pretty young, I would not hover over her at the playground, fearing every boo boo that might come. Even now that she is older, I am one of those moms who would let you fail if you just refuse to do your own homework. This has never been an issue though because she does it, usually without help, but I do help when occasionally needed of course. However, when it came to things that could be life or death, such as swimming, or getting into things once she could crawl and walk, I constantly worried and hovered. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it causes Anxiety. It got severe postpartum before I finally realized I had always had it and got some help. Medication, therapy and a lot of other things helped. Once she got old enough to not get into everything that helped as well.

Looking back, I would have maybe done more to make me feel better safety wise too. I mean I baby proofed and took certain precautions, but years later I now work in a preschool where the environment is set up for kids to play freely without constant fear of them getting into everything. It is harder to do that with your entire home, but maybe with certain areas at least you can. Also, when it came to swimming, I would have scheduled swim lessons sooner, as early as possible. You can even teach babies. What happened to me though, apparently happens to a lot of people. It is like that overprotective mama bear goes overboard. You take sole responsibility for this new life and think anything that happens to them is now your fault and responsibility, even things that may be out of your control. Of course it is good to be protective of your child, but not to the point that you are in a constant state of panic and anxiety.

Many women have thoughts of something bad happening to their child, and when they have them as often as I did and they become obsessive, you will often hear them called intrusive thoughts. Sometimes, these even turn into thoughts of the mother hurting the child. This did not happen to me, but I will say as I have said many times before, that if a mom admits to having these thoughts and ask for help, she is asking for help because she feels guilty for having these thoughts. She does not have control over them and she does not want to hurt her child. She is being a good mom, doing the right thing, and deserves to get help without judgment or without having her children taken away. I had a friend tell me she once thought about driving into a pole with her child in the car years before when she had postpartum anxiety. She thought for a moment that she would be doing the right thing by taking her daughter with her. I instead wanted to run away at times, or prayed to not wake up, or had thoughts about driving into stuff when alone, thinking my daughter would be better off without me.

It was so conflicting to be such a protective mama bear, scared to have anything happen to a child you love so much, but at the same time feel so overwhelmed being this mama bear, that you just felt like you could not keep going sometimes. It is because no one can keep going in the state I was in, and no one should have to. They need the help I eventually got and wish I had gotten sooner. My daughter is 13 now, and deep down, my worst fear is still something happening to her. I do not think that fear ever goes completely goes away as a parent, so a little fear of that is normal, just like a fear of death in general. As Eleanor on the show the Good Place once said, “All humans are aware of death, so we are a little bit sad all of the time. That’s just the deal.” I think she is right, that is the deal, but I have learned to live with it and to not let it consume me anymore, because that does not have to be part of the deal.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Quirks That Didn’t Make Sense Until I was Diagnosed with OCD

When I was a child I would often count how many steps it took to get across a room, or to a certain point in a room, or somewhere outside, like across a parking lot and would often try to make it across or to those certain points in a certain amount of steps . I even thought maybe if I accomplished this I would somehow have good luck or something, and if I did not, maybe something bad would happen. This continued as I aged. As a kid, I would often try to step over cracks so I did not break my mother’s back of course, and this also continued as I aged, even once I knew it would not really break her back. I have stepped on some before regardless and although she has a lot of back issues, it is not broken and I am pretty sure it is a combination of genes and her former job that caused the back issues, I hope anyways. These things are just a couple of the quirks I did not realize at first might be symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. At first, I thought everyone just did this.

I remember the day I went to my doctor, who also happens to have OCD, and was finally diagnosed. The truth is, this doctor had been trying to get me on medication and/or therapy for a while, but I had to hit rock bottom before I finally realized that or listened. By this point, it had gotten so severe postpartum that I did not want to live anymore, my husband had left and our marriage almost ended. I always joked about being OCD, like many often do, even some that truly are not and probably others like me, who do not realize they actually are yet. I liked things clean, I was obsessed with planners and I was a perfectionist, but these quirky things about me helped me finish college in only three years, start my first 401k at 21 and buy my first house at 22. I also became a manager by the time I was 25. I got pregnant at 25, had my daughter at 26, and by the time I was 28, the obsession over cleaning, planning and being perfect finally caught up to me. I was burnt out. As my doctor told me, some people who often excel with OCD when they are younger in school, find that marriage, parenting and careers are not often as easy to excel in. You cannot just study and get a perfect grade in any of them.

As I sat in the doctor’s office that day, I pointed out a chip in his counter and told him, that chip does not bother me because it is in his office, but if it were in a counter at my house I would be obsessing about it until it was fixed. You can imagine how many little repairs, chips, dings there probably are around your own house right now, around most houses right now. Imagine obsessing over all of them. Maybe you do or have like I did. My poor husband too, because if it was not something I could fix myself, I wanted him to like yesterday. Just as my doctor joked, my husband noticed by OCD medication was working before I even did. Ironically I have never obsessed the same way about dings on the outside of my car, although I do on the inside, probably due to looking at it more. I also love the inside of it to be clean and it starts to bother me when it is not, just like my house. My doctor suggested I watch the movie As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. It had come out many years before, but I had never seen it. I watched it and I loved it, and I did relate to some of the main character’s quirks. I have never been grumpy all the time or the same type of socially awkward, although socially awkward in other ways nonetheless. I have never turned lights off and on repeatedly and I am not a germaphobe, but I stepped over cracks and have had other ritualistic behaviors that affect my personal and professional life.

I try to get the last drop of toothpaste or soap out of every bottle before I throw them away. It bothers me a little when more than one is open and in use and it feels like I accomplished something when I use one up, like I kept it from being wasted. Like Jack Nicholson’s character, I am an author and I was a perfectionist. I try not to be anymore and call myself a recovering one now, but my doctor told me something once I never realized was an OCD symptom. I knew perfectionism was. However, the way he worded it really struck me, he said when you feel like other people are always slacking, you are probably OCD. This one really struck a chord with me when it came to my professional life. I often felt others did not work as hard as me. Of course, I later realized a lot of this was I often killed myself for employers who would still get rid of you in a second if needed, and then resented it when I did not get the reward I felt I deserved. Meanwhile, others realized it was your personal life that was more important, and that there is a difference in being a good employee and being a doormat.

I also eventually realized this more in my personal life. Honestly, I am still working on this every day, especially in my professional life. It was honestly easier in my personal life where I have more control, but in my professional life, I often find myself tolerating things I would never tolerate personally just to keep a paycheck coming, even if for a little while. My husband and I both found more work life balance after having a child and that has continued to remain a priority any time a job change comes up as we age. Another symptom my doctor pointed out to me was when I sent him very long emails with little to no paragraphs. He jokingly wrote me a prescription with the paragraph symbol on it once and can tell I am doing better when I send him well paragraphed emails. My brother and others have often joked with me about talking in one run on sentence in person when I get excited. This often happens when I come back from a trip and have a lot to tell someone for instance. My daughter is the same way.

I often write emails or thoughts like that out now without sending or posting them. Sometimes I send or post them later once I have added paragraphs. Writing my thoughts out like that actually helped lead to my diagnosis, my books and my blogs. These days, I still get a little pleasure when I use up a soap bottle or some toothpaste, but not as bothered when I don’t, and I rarely find myself counting steps or stepping over cracks lately. I still like a clean house and car, but do not stress as much when they are not clean anymore. We have two dogs now so I even tolerate dog hair in both, which is of course worth it for the love those two give in return. They help reduce the anxiety my OCD causes probably even more than medication and therapy ever have.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

My Love Hate Relationship with Cleaning and Planners

I think I started using planners in college. After college, when I started working in Human Resources, at one point I had a work planner and a personal planner. When my husband saw some of what I had written in there, which included some things most people just remember all on their own daily, he joked if I had written to breathe in there. When my OCD and the Anxiety it causes got worse than ever postpartum, and I became severely depressed, I took a short break from planners. This started when I accidentally lost mine and decided to try life without one. I eventually started writing to do lists again and started using my work Outlook calendar for work and personal reminders. I would mainly have reminders at the end of the day pop up, like my daughter is supposed to dress up for crazy hair day at school tomorrow for instance.

When I eventually took a break from the corporate world and became a preschool teacher again, I had to buy an actual planner again because I was not on a computer all day anymore. I could have set up reminders on my phone, but this is one area I remain old fashioned. I love to write it down and cross it out and I love that it can never die, unlike my phone, so when I have that urgent feeling to add something before I forget, I can just write it down. Doing this sometimes even helps me sleep better and get it off my mind and can be a good thing when I don’t get too obsessed. I think using the written planner gives me some kind of feeling of accomplishment and more of a feeling of control. However, when I didn’t get it done, it would often stress me out. I would also often find myself writing too many things down and becoming too dependent on having to write them down to remember anything. Once my lists got too long, I would become overwhelmed. Over the years, I have learned to incorporate planners into my life again, without letting it overwhelm me.

People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder obsess over different things. Two of the things I always have obsessed over are planning and cleaning. When we are having people over, and we get the entire house clean and it stays pretty clean for about two to three days, it is the best feeling in the world to me still, even now that I have gotten my cleaning obsession more under control. I can handle a mess more than I used to. I had to learn to because my husband is messy, and then we had a child, and now two dogs as well. Boy was dog hair hard for me to get used to at first, but I finally have. However, occasionally the house will get messy enough to start stressing me a little bit and cleaning it does make me feel better. It can be therapeutic. I don’t even normally do it for others, it is more for me, like it feels like my life and everything else is under control if everything around me is clean and in order. When things get too out of order, it can make me feel like my life is out of order, even if it is not. When I go to other people’s houses, I don’t find myself judging the cleanliness, and if anything if I see a little dust it makes me feel better to know we are all human and no one has a perfectly clean house all of the time. Even if it is pretty messy, I may not want to stay and live there in it daily, that probably would stress me out in the long term, but I can visit for a short time and be just fine.

The medication I currently take is often given in higher does to women with eating disorders. I never thought of my OCD as similar until I realized, I clean because I think it is something I can control. I have never had an eating disorder, but others close to me have and I do know I have been told it is often feeling like you think you control that one thing, your weight. The truth is you are really out of control, just like I am not controlling the cleaning, it is really controlling me, when I am stressed so much based on whether it is done or not. My obsession with planning is about trying to have control as well, but again something that actually makes me out of control and has consumed my life at times. When I was at my worst postpartum, I remember cleaning our house even though I was supposed to be getting ready to go to someone else’s house, with my husband and daughter. I have also knocked down cobwebs in the middle of having guests over the moment I noticed them or have been late, even to my own parties at my own house. When people would show up, I was still cleaning, so my husband entertained while I got ready.

Some people with OCD often get offended when people who do not truly have OCD but like things clean, joke about being OCD, but I don’t because for one, I actually did that myself before I realized I was actually OCD. I also realize, just like when I did it, some people truly do not realize how much cleaning can consume someone’s life, but it can. Obsessing over anything can and is not healthy, including when I used to change out the pictures in our house constantly, until my husband pointed out one time that no one had even come over since the last time I had changed them. Obsessing over these things is something I may have to battle off and on the rest of my life, but now that I am aware of that, it is much easier to try and keep a handle on it, with the help of those around me and help from other things, like medication.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

The Worst Day of My Life Was my First Day Towards Recovery

The worst day of my life was when my husband left me. We were both twenty-eight years old. I am now about to turn thirty-eight in less than a month. We were high school sweethearts. Our daughter was two years old. The day he left also happened to be the same day he had asked me out twelve years before. We were both sixteen years old. I remember the day Jay left in bits and pieces, like most things then. He probably remembers things differently than I do. I remember being up with Aubrie because, as usual, she would not sleep. I think I had to be up for work in about four hours. I could not wait for Jay to get home to offer me some relief.  He was closing that night. I would often get excited at the sound of the garage door opening. That night, Jay texted me that he was going to Waffle House with some coworkers before he came home. This upset me and that upset him. I am pretty sure at this point he said he could not take it anymore and that he was leaving.

When Jay left, he did not take Aubrie with him, even though I was a mess. That was the moment I realized he still expected me to be her main caregiver. I just wanted him around more, and now he was leaving for good. I was angry that I was going to have to raise Aubrie as a single mother. I wanted to run away to the beach the day he left, and I thought about it. I knew Jay believed I would not do it. I wanted to prove him wrong.  I wanted to make him, and everyone else worry. I could not go through with it. Even in this state, I thought too much about the consequences. I was so tired of thinking about the consequences. I think I even drove down the street at one point, and came back before I left the neighborhood.

The worst day of my life was also my first day towards recovery.  It was the first time I acted in a way that finally made me, and everyone else around me, realize that something was wrong with me. I would later realize that I had always had #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety, and that both got severe after losing my father, having a baby, losing my grandfather and then losing my job. I also got so depressed I did not want to live anymore. I decided to stay with my parents and get some help. I went to the doctor and to therapy. I only missed one day of work. At the time, I worked in a retirement community, and we had a therapy dog. She must have sensed the pain I was in. She came into my office and put her head in my lap a lot that week.

After a year and a half of being on and off again, my husband and I eventually worked things out. Over the years it has made my marriage stronger, and I finally got help for my #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety. I no longer try to just power through both without help. I have also shared my story to help others, because the one thing I wish I had known was that I was not the only one thinking these thoughts and going through this. My experience changed me so much. I have always had an open mind and will continue to, but I eventually realized what my own beliefs were as opposed to what I was raised to believe. I truly found myself, and became more comfortable being myself and sharing my true feelings without shame. I kept trying to get back to the same person I was before, but that was not possible. I was different, but I finally realized that was not a bad thing. If I ever went through the same thing again, I would be more prepared. I was stronger. Even if I never went through the same again, I know I will go through hard times. That is just a part of life. Now I feel better prepared for this though.

People say time heals, and it does, but you are forever scarred. Most of the time, it is hard for me to remember feeling as badly as I did. Occasionally, something, often a song will remind me, and I will remember that pain just for a moment. If Jay had never left, I think I would have gotten better without getting as bad as I did and without needing as much help as I did.  However, I might have not gotten the help I needed for my general #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety like I did. Also, like a lot of other women, I am not sure I would have ever completely realized I had #postpartum #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder/#Anxiety/#Depression. After sharing my story, I have had many women tell me they think they had it long ago without even realizing it. I think I was starting to get better right before Jay left. I was starting to realize something was wrong. I recently saw a quote that said, “Even though your wounds are not your fault, your healing is still your responsibility.” This took me a long time to realize. Most of the time you don’t get rescued. Even if someone tries to, they often fail, despite their best efforts. You must want to get better yourself. You must fight and save yourself most of the time.

I never thought I would relate to people who did not want to live anymore. I used to get angry at people who died by suicide. Like a lot of people, I thought it was selfish. I now know that the people who get to that point do not mean to be selfish at all. I have more sympathy and less judgment. They don’t realize they are just passing the pain onto others who love them. They truly believe you will be better off without them. They are suffering so badly, and just want to make it stop. There are better ways to make it stop.  I never tried to kill myself or planned it out, but I did want to die at times. I am not sure if there had not been a pill in front of me that I could have easily taken at certain points, that I would not have. I am glad I did not. Life is better than ever for me now, and I hope to make others realize it can be for them too.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Those Closest To You Won’t Always Be Your Biggest Supporters

When I first started writing a book about my experience with Postpartum Depression, OCD and Anxiety, of course I was worried my daughter might one day think I did not want her, or that she was somehow to blame for how I felt or what I went through. I needed to tell her my story regardless, even if I never told the world, because I did not want her to go through the same thing.  Who knew she would end up being my biggest fan and supporter. She is only 12 now, some might think this will change one day. I do not think so though. I have been as honest with her as I could as she has grown older. I know she still does not completely understand and will more with age, but she is gifted and I think she understands a lot more than some adults. She thinks the thought of me having a book on Amazon is awesome and so do her friends. Yes, she has read my book. Yes, I discussed everything in it with her first. She understands that I love her like crazy, she was very planned, and that what I went through had nothing to do with her and was not her fault.

When I wrote my book, I thought my husband and family and friends would be my biggest fans. I thought they would all buy copies, share all my posts, give me nothing but encouraging words, etc. I thought they would help me sell enough copies to make some money to actually get the book professionally edited and to advertise etc. In reality, this was the case with some, but I ended up giving a lot of free copies away, so many I did not lose money, but broke even. I received some praise but I heard a lot more criticism. Of course, this is something you should be prepared for when writing a book, but I was not ready. I think I was still healing and that is why for the time being, I unpublished the book, and did not try to republish it again for years.  Now that I am republishing, I have almost 1k Facebook friends, but less than 300 likes on my Facebook page and I believe over half of those are strangers. I believe most of my Twitter followers and blog followers are strangers.

My daughter and a friend were the ones who got me wanting to give it another try.  When I told a friend I did not know when I first wrote my book about it, she asked why did I have it unpublished if it could be published and I could be making money on it?  Also my daughter asked why I did not have it published anymore and I did not want to tell her I just gave up because it was hard, so I gave it another go. I am so glad I did and she has been my biggest cheerleader and encourager by far! Of course the big dream is to become a best seller, but the more realistic one is to make some money doing something I love while helping others. The worst case scenario is I don’t make money but fulfill my childhood dream and still feel like I helped people and I will still feel accomplished. Writing is like acting. A lot of actors start as waitresses. You have to have another real job at first because you don’t make any money at first. Only those that make it huge make tons of money, but many do make enough to make it a living, others make enough to make some good extra money.

It is really important to me now that I tell my story in a way that my husband is okay with. He will be reading my final professional edit this weekend and hopefully approving it. When I first wrote the book, instead of just thinking of my target audience as being women going through the same, I also thought of my audience as those around me who missed the signs liked my husband. I eventually gave this up. I mean don’t get me wrong, I still hope and want everyone to read my book and blogs, even those who have not been through this or are not going through this, for one, in case they ever do, or because it is very likely that someone they know will, is or already has.

However, the way I got better was because I finally quit waiting for others to understand, or rescue me. Not saying I did not have any help or support, but even those closest to me did not understand what I was going through in the way others going through it did or I did. I had to do a lot of things that made me uncomfortable to get better including medication and therapy. Some family have never even acknowledged I had a postpartum mood disorder. If I ever discuss it they do not say anything, they either ignore it or change the subject. I feel like they hate me telling my story publicly, while at the same time not being embarrassed to post their extreme political beliefs on Twitter, and yes I do think this has a lot to do with why I suffered so long in the first place or suffered at all. “One stranger  who understands your experience exactly will do for you what hundreds of close friends and family who don’t understand cannot. It is the cool glass of water in hell.” This quote from Laura McKowen in We Are The Luckiest” is why I wrote my book and why I blog and share my story.

Do not get me wrong, I have had many friends and family members, probably reading this right now, who have been so supportive, some that have been through what I have and some that have not, but honestly it has mainly been my daughter and complete strangers keeping me going-hundreds of strangers who have told me I have changed their life, or given them hope and made them realize they are not alone and that they will be OK. My husband and I were at a concert for his favorite band recently and he was talking about how amazing it must be to have a whole stadium singing and relating to the lyrics you wrote. I told him that is how I feel when someone loves my book or my blogs, or writes a comment, or sends a private message about how much they relate or it changed their life. I think he is finally starting to get that.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

I Think MY OCD and Anxiety Medication gave me cavities!

Getting on medication for my OCD, and the Anxiety it caused, was very hard for me, even when not getting help for it had also caused me to get severely depressed. I believed in all the myths about getting on medication at first. The truth is medication does not work for everyone. Some people need other treatments and some need medicine along with other treatments. You also often have to try many different kinds and dosages to see what might work for you, and even once you find what does, you may have to change it again later if it seems no longer as effective. You must also wean on and off your medicine properly and take it exactly as instructed. I have always taken it as diligently as I used to take birth control.

Even once I finally got on medication, I came off of it too early. I eventually got back on and was finally doing well. I accepted that I might even need medicine for the rest of my life and I now see my doctor at least once a year. This realization is not easy as just taking some pill everyday and reaping the benefits. There are side effects. I had no cavities in my adult teeth. I had one in a baby tooth I lost. In the last few years I believe I have had 4 to 5 cavities. I did not understand why until someone at my dentist asked if I was on any new medication the last few years.

Sure enough, when I looked up the side effects of the OCD medication I was on, dry mouth was a symptom. I knew I had this because at night I would wake up with my mouth feeling so dry even if I kept water by the bed, or tried other things to battle it.  When this happens at night, it can cause cavities. Since figuring this out, I have tried many things to battle the dry mouth, because even if the medicine is 100 percent responsible for the cavities, which I am not even sure of, the benefits of the medicine outweigh the cavity risks.

Cavities are not the only side effect I have experienced.  Even though I am normally diligent about taking my medicine, I am human, and there are times I have forgotten to take it. This has actually affected the way I feel and act and that is a scary thing. So scary that last time it happened I cried, because I realized I will probably have to deal with this my entire life and always have.   Not feeling in control of my actions, feelings, is so frustrating and scary to me, which is why I try to so hard to treat my OCD properly.   I have watched others I know never get help, and have watched them, and those around them, suffer needlessly for it.

The main time in my life that I did not have my illness under control, my marriage almost ended, long time friendships I had ended and I had trouble bonding with my daughter at first. Most of the damage caused was fixed once I got help, but not all of it. I still miss those friends, but some people just don’t accept mental illness as an excuse, even if you did not even realize you had it, or that is why you were doing the things you did, and as soon as you did realize, you eventually did everything you could to get better, even things that made you uncomfortable.

For those of you considering taking medicine, but it makes you uncomfortable, if you give it a chance, just please try to give it a real chance. There may be side effects you don’t like, there may be kinds that don’t work for you, and if you do not follow the instructions your doctor gives you closely, the medicine might make you get worse instead of better, even if temporarily. The reason I think I eventually got back on medication is that once I realized I did not have to fight this on my own anymore, as I had for so long without even realizing it, it was hard to go back to my old ways. I liked my new ways a lot better.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.