Cover Photo: An abstracted figure stands in a dark home as two eyes peer into the house. As the yellow figure's eye peers in, it produces a ray of light— in this ray of light flowers bloom and grow. In the rest of the house dead flowers and botanical plants wilt.
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

On OCD, My Mother, and the Ways I Learned to Let Go

It goes like this: sit with the thought, don’t move your fingers, arms, legs, let it enter you, let it stay, let it leave.

Just look at meIf you just look at me, you’ll see something’s wrong. You can fix it

alright already, enough with the jokes


“Why are you so quiet?” She asked me suddenly.

I looked at the tray of molds on the counter and considered brushing off her question with a neutral response. “I’m tired.” “I’m not.” “I’m just watching you.” Any of those three options would protect me from a painful conversation. 

If you tell her the truth, she’ll no longer love you.

Alexa Abdalla is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor whose writing has previously appeared in Brooklyn Magazine, Her Campus, and The Drum. Her areas of interest include entertainment, identity, mental health, black holes, and Superman, who is also the subject of her undergraduate thesis. You can find her on Twitter at @lex_abdalla or Instagram at @lexaabdalla.