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P.J. Boné

Pure O

February Fifteenth: My Obsession with Obsession

I was finally going to be able to live my life instead of just fantasizing about living it

When my older brother pointed out more than five years ago that we both show symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, I immediately dismissed the idea.  At the time, the only knowledge I had of OCD came from bad TV.  I’d never experienced contamination-based anxiety, and so I didn’t understand where my brother was coming from.  When he explained that there are many manifestations of the disorder, I felt defensive.  After all, I’d always harbored fantasies of winning the argument against my mind; why did he have to bring logic into this?

While my compulsive behavior is pretty fluid and has allowed me to enjoy a variety of the various different themes over the years, the one constant source of anxiety for me has been “Pure O”.  I get feelings that my life is going to be somehow incomplete or even outright meaningless, and this train of thought causes me to constantly perform mental checks to ensure I’m living the “correct” life.  I have to keep in mind what I perceive to be the official meaning of existence, and in moments when I fail to do this I feel like my actions are “unofficial”, that they don’t count as a part of my actual life.  Because of the nature of these thoughts, I assumed for years that this was some sort of ongoing philosophical/spiritual crisis; it never crossed my mind that I was ill in any way.

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