Check out the weekly podcast through the website, or:

I know these stories are are almost specifically meant to inspire through stories about progression. I have progressed through the 20 or so years that I have been dealing with this illness. I’m 29, I have a family I made my own and I am stable on the surface. However I haven’t progressed past OCD itself and beyond the surface I’m just doing my best to improve and enjoy my life as much as I can. It’s work. Oh boy it’s work. So a heads up, my story isn’t going to inspire you in the same way all of the other brave writers on here do. My inspiration is meant to be drawn from my sheer defiance of this thing. It has won by all accounts, I’m almost 30 years old and I have wasted so much time and so much potential dwelling on this. I was a weird kid and I had a weird upbringing. I noticed my OCD and at first I kinda enjoyed trying to create all these little connections. Whether it was trying to count to four using cracks in the wall or the seams between bricks, but having to use only where the crack has a point. So like connecting four points was a pattern and it again, was kind of stimulating.

However, I realized very quickly this was something different and I couldn’t actually stop making connections in the abstract. I remember the bizarre realization that I was kind of being pulled away from the surrounding class and it was just to make more connections. It really got scary and it was a very mature situation for that age. The way I would connect the patterns then stopped working and I’d have to either repeat them an excruciatingly amount of times or do different points altogether. It was like trying to recreate certain sensations and emotions to all connect for a release only, the release never comes. It went on and on and I never told anyone because even at that age I knew this was something that was hard to relate to anyone. It was abstract and very often insane. I started to have to flip the pages in my pokemon card binder several times back and forth to recreate and this is the hardest part to explain because it’s literally just insanity but to recreate a some kind of I guess controlled deja vu. Like it never had a point but it did and I don’t how to explain it without tripping over too many words. It also makes me feel as though I can somewhat understand the compulsion associated with drug addiction without being addicted because there’s a lot of similar symptoms in both. So fast forward to eighth grade. I’m good at baseball I’ve practiced for years at home before I was in Jr high and at a school with a baseball team. So I was feeling confident in one of the first week’s practices and was catching fly balls without little effort. Well so I suddenly became entrapped in a ridiculous and stupid dilemma about if somehow satan was trying to get me to play baseball and God wouldn’t approve. The thing is though this is several years in and at this point I’ve understood the complete nonsense this stuff was even though OCD wouldn’t come up until a few years later, I knew this stuff was obsession and was based on completely irrational paranoia. I knew, the god/satan thing was absurd and made no sense but with OCD it is not that easy. You’re forced to dwell on bizarre things for however long it decides to last.

Now fast forward till now, I didn’t make it in baseball. In fact it ended in high school with me being being anorexic and completely unable to catch fly balls anymore. For me it has deteriorated skills and mental abilities. Since I’ve been in such an unstable mind for so long I’ve just had to push through it. I can’t describe or recall even what started the gradual decline in its hold of my mind but it is not the same as it was when I was a little kid. However, it’s still there, it will always be there. It is the backdrop for 90% maybe more, of what I do. See I have flare ups still and I go numb still when I should feel joy but it’s not always. I’ve accepted I can’t kill it and instead I just do my best to endure it. I sometimes will have an obsession going and I will finally get that one resolved only to hit another. At this point my mind essentially devolves into an insane headspace. So I keep the dialogue with myself up I don’t fight it unless I absolutely have to. I auto pilot for hours to ride the loopy detached state without getting held up in my room creating pattern after pattern like I did as a kid. It’s a sacrifice for the times it does work and for however dysfunctional my head is, it helps me remain engaged with my family. I get to my kids knowing I love them I get to have moments where I forget I have OCD entirely just to remember that “you haven’t sabotaged a single linear train of thought with a frustrating detour to confusion” which of course kind of interrupts it but I haven’t quit. So I’m going to fight this thing. I’m going to lose fighting it so much that I win by keeping my life and adding to other’s. Just don’t quit on the part of you that isn’t OCD and maybe those you love will realize someday that you didn’t quit on them either. I’m telling myself that right now and analyzing it to death but I still managed to make it through my story and try to encourage more to do the same.

Thank you,