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I am far from home even though my surroundings seem vaguely familiar. How did I get here? Was I tempted like Eve in the Garden… possibly persuaded by a serpent to eat fruit off of the wrong tree? Or did I follow Alice down a rabbit hole searching for answers? I don’t remember making this choice. I don’t remember a clearly marked entrance, but somehow or another I am stuck here without a compass. My thoughts and feelings suddenly can’t be trusted. In OCD land you can’t distinguish up from down, right from left, or wrong from right. It’s all a trap… an endless maze.

Welcome to the mind fuck. I will be your tour guide for the remainder of your stay.  I will whisper the most compelling things into your ear, get you to perform all sorts of tricks, and make you retrace your steps. I will be here every day to remind you to go back and do again because we all know it wasn’t right the first time or even the hundredth. Nothing in OCD land is ever enough.

Now please pay attention so you know where to get off… we have a schedule to keep. To your left is camp contamination. You can expect to spend most of the day trying to determine whether or not you have the most bizarre and deadly illnesses. My personal favorite is the microscopic brain eating amoeba that enters through your nostrils while you are in the shower… a classic. Maybe it will kill you maybe it won’t. To your right are the Harmers. If this is your stop please signal by waving your murderous hand. You know who you are. Could you possibly be a pedophile? If you stopped long enough to consider it, it’s most likely true so grab your bag. There is a special section for you over by the playground and the carnival. We are going to have so much fun with all of the kids. Straight ahead are all the Scrups… moral, religious, you know the types. Constantly asking for reassurance. Blah, blah, blah. Repeating prayers until they have the right thought in their heads and making sure all the t’s are crossed just so. It’s exhausting, but the line between good and evil is subtle so it’s best to be meticulous. Finally, please don’t get comfortable… just when you think you have it all figured out, I will shapeshift without ever losing a grip on your puppet strings. You may wake up in an entirely different camp.  

It’s dark and I desperately need to figure out how to get out of here, but the more I think about it, the more lost and confused I become. All my instincts send me in the wrong direction. The doubt and the fear pick me up in their whirlwind. They blindfold me and spin me around thousands of times before spitting me out and leaving me with nothing but a map to nowhere. When did I become completely illogical and unreasonable? I am riding the edge of insanity, yet I am perfectly sane. What the fuck did I do to deserve this? Whatever it is I will fix it. I will go back and do again the right way. I promise. Please help me.  

That’s the rub isn’t it. I have you just where I want you. Stuck. Fearful and uncertain of every move you make and every thought in your head. Nothing is off limits to me. I will hit you right where it hurts the most. That’s what I do and I am so good at it that you will fall for it every single fucking time. The best part is that the only way out is to come straight towards me and nobody wants to run towards the fear. That’s just crazy.

I find myself on a cliff looking out into the abyss. I see a sign right at the edge that reads “JUMP” in big black letters. Seriously? That can’t be right… jumping is not only counterintuitive, it’s reckless. It makes more sense just to turn around and take the path to back nowhere… at least I know what to expect. If I jump, I may get hurt. It might just kill me, or worse I will just keep falling forever. At least death is certain.

What kind of bullshit decision is this? Back track to misery, or possibly plummet to my death.

The bold black letters blur in and out of focus. JUMP. Without even noticing I have already started moving toward the cliff. I can feel my chest pounding… I can even hear it. I am light headed. My stomach is in knots, my legs are wobbling and my entire body is shaking. Sweat drips off my forehead as I near the edge. I fall to my knees scraping them badly on the rocks, but I can’t even feel them. Bloodied and broken I pray like I have never prayed before. Tears fall down my face because I finally figured it out… the only way out is to pull myself over the cliff.