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Free Time

Free time is homework time, or at least that is what I used to think. My life revolved around homework, my evenings getting more and more consumed by the never ending homework. Even if I didn’t have much homework, my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) made it so that I was doing homework and studying right up until I went to bed.

My OCD makes it so that my homework takes at least twice as long as the average person, and that is on a good day. I’ve often spent hours on simple assignments that shouldn’t have taken more than a half an hour. My OCD told me that my homework had to be perfect, that I had to check it just one more time, or reread the textbook once more just to make sure that I understood.

The thing about school is that there is always more that could be done, more time can always be spent studying. Pretty soon any free time that I had was consumed by school, and I’d study as long as my OCD told me to. I began to believe that if I didn’t spend every possible moment studying or doing homework, then missing a point on a quiz or a test was my fault, and would’ve easily been avoided by studying just a little bit more.

I started studying more and more, going to bed later and later, but my OCD was never satisfied. It said that I should have slept less, I shouldn’t have taken the time to talk to my friends, I should never go on my phone (even though I barely spent any time on it already compared to the rest of my generation). Everything else in my life got labeled as “extra”, stuff preventing me from studying more, from guaranteeing a good future for myself.

I gave into the OCD, believing that by doing so, by studying more, I was guaranteeing myself a good future by being able to go to any college I wanted. Instead, I completely destroyed my health, and drove myself to the breaking point.

One day, I finally broke. People had been telling me for over a year that I had to sleep more, that I couldn’t keep this up, but my OCD prevented me from believing them. It all became too much, and I broke down. I realized that I couldn’t keep this up, that my body would literally shut down on me. I realized that there is more to life to grades, and that my health is more important than having a perfect GPA.

I am fighting back, turning my life back around. Today, with school being canceled, was a huge challenge for me. My OCD told me that I had to use the entire day to study, to prepare for the tests that got pushed on to tomorrow.

However I resisted, and didn’t do homework or study. I slept, and just relaxed, and rode through the waves of panic the OCD sent my way. My test scores will not be as good as if I spent my whole day studying, but my health is much better off. I am taking my life back, a little bit at a time.

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