What does it mean when you discover that you have possibly had a mental illness for the majority of your life and had little to no idea about it? I’m not sure, but I feel as if I am about to find out. I’ve always known that I didn’t think like everyone else, but I never went looking for answers. Well, that is until now. You might be asking why I waited? Well…I guess it takes the thought of losing everything to make you search it out.
Here’s the thing. It’s not what I thought it was and it’s not going to be easy. The reason is, that I have been trying to fight an unknown enemy all by myself all this time. Think about it by using this analogy that was told to me. Imagine a stranger coming to your house and making you do something you don’t want to do over and over again. And then, telling you it’s still not good enough. How would that man make you feel? What would you do? Fight or flight? Now imagine that person living inside your head 24/7. He would be a monster. And, you would do anything you could to defeat him. That monster has been living in my head since I was 10 and I had no idea. That monster is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it doesn’t care what you think. It will try to control you and everyone around you.
Now that I’m approaching the age of a half century, and I’m realizing that I am plagued with the old habits and rituals that have caused so much misery, I am faced with the idea of how to heal myself. I’m searching out therapy on my own as I am watching as my family starts to implode. What’s crazy is that it was the one thing that helped me the most that has made my life the worst. Let me explain.
Growing up I wasn’t the easiest kid but I also wasn’t the worst. I struggled in school like most and all I cared about was skateboarding. When my first year of college came I failed out with a .88 GPA. The next two years were more of the same. I knew I needed discipline and I found it in Taekwon-Do. I learned how to push myself and others. However, when you put someone with OCD in an environment that encourages you to be better, that training only adds gasoline to the fire already burning. I became almost militant about building myself up, and by trying to motivate others. Which in turn, pushed many away. Now, it’s starting to push my family away.
Imagine doing that your whole life before you discover the root of the problem. And what’s even more crazy is that I haven’t even begun to talk about the depression that comes with it. This monster can take you down to dark places and if you don’t have a strong foundation you can end up on the wrong side of a bad decision.
But I’m optimistic and now I have a plan. I want to continue with my therapist and I want to regain my faith. It’s only through faith in something bigger than me that I will be able to beat this without medication and a straight jacket. I know this blog has always been about my work, but now it needs to about the work I’m doing for myself. You may be wondering why I am putting this out in the public to read. Why would I subject myself to ridicule? I guess the reason is that the only way I can get control of it, is to acknowledge it, and to let others that have been affected by it that I am sorry if I them. In any case, I want to beat it in an open forum so that if there are others like me, then maybe they can learn to beat it as well.
It is completely crazy to think that a monster has been living inside me this whole time. But, it is even crazier to let him take over and continue to ruin my life.