I am thankful for my severe OCD!
“What!?” you say “are you crazy!?”
Well, maybe I am! Sit in the uncertainty and deal with it! Look, I have no doubt that there might be a few screws loose in my head somewhere, buuuuuuut I’m thankful to only be a lucky SOB with some severe OCD! Now, why the hell would I be thankful for such seemingly shitty cards? Firstly, it’s not about the cards you’re dealt but how you choose to play them, and they’re my cards so I gotta figure out how to play my hand the best I can (I ain’t planning on folding); besides, you can just as easily lose with a pair of aces. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I don’t have a choice! I can’t get out of it so I might as well get in to it! Look, there is literally nothing I can do to change my diagnosis… OCD is me, it’s been with me, and it will continue to be a piece of me; so I CHOOSE to accept it! In fact, this is my first Thanksgiving where I have genuine clarity, so you’re damn right I’m gonna be thankful! Moreover, the instant I stop accepting the truth, is the moment that the dark door of doubt will open and consume my life with crippling symptoms. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can’t choose whether or not I have OCD, but I can choose many MANY great things in my life; thanks OCD!
Essentially, by choosing to embrace that which I am, I am free to be a better me; HOORAY!!! OCD is a peculiar beast, and, truthfully, the many haunts it has given me has also shown me a bright light showcasing what I value the most. Honestly, because of OCD, I now have much greater insight, focus, appreciation, and awareness; in fact, I’d dare say that my acuity is better than yours (a silver lining I suppose). My world is so HUGE now, and because of the horrors I have faced I can better appreciate everything! You see, I’ll never be free, but knowing that I’ll never be free is extremely liberating; I’ve accepted it for what it is… a catalyst for courage! So, in order to give you some perspective, allow me to share with you what Thanksgiving was like for me before recovery; fasten your seatbelts and tighten your ponchos because there’s gonna be a lot of gravy and blood…
I watch my mother-in-law’s face melt off into a pool of blood… it was a disturbing flash that crossed my field of vision… she’s still laughing at something I said; blood cascading down her face as her skin peels away… she’s still laughing!? How could she laugh through that? Whatever it was must have been hilarious! What was she laughing at? What was I talking about? Why is her face melting off? Am I turned on? What was I talking about? What was I talking about though? Why can’t I think about what I was talking about? Nevermind her face being a puddle of blood, what was I talking about? Did I melt her face off? How? Why? But what was I talking about that made her laugh?
My heart is racing, everything is getting louder, my hands are getting numb… kill yourself, Kill Yourself, KILL YOURSELF!
“Ha ha” I chuckle, but why? Why are we laughing? What was I talking about? What the hell was I talking about? “Excuse me, one moment” I say to my mother-in-law desperately hiding my panic “I have an idea I need to plunk out.” I abruptly sever the conversation for fear I’m gonna impulsively sever my jugular with that kitchen knife I see out of the corner of my eye. Wait, is that why her face melted off? Do I want to hurt her? Did I hurt her? Was it blood from a gash I inflicted? – GRAB THE KNIFE – what!? Is this a premonition? Do I want to kill her? Why? What was I talking about? Did she say something to anger me? I don’t feel angry. She’s laughing… what the fuck is going on? What was I talking about? It doesn’t matter, don’t kill her – KILL HER – no! – YES! This is crazy! What the hell was I talking about? JUST FUCKING KILL HER – shit, focus, better save her and run to the piano…
I plop down eccentrically like I’m inspired, but I’m simply just terrified. Quickly, I improvise something to alleviate the brutalities bouncing back and forth in my brain; relief washes over me in an awesome way – “Paul!” – Fuck! Interrupted! It’s only a matter of time before the flood comes back… I keep playing – “Paul, stop playing the piano and come here!”
“Okay, just a minute, let me finish this thought!” I respond slightly frustrated, but I’m really panicked… ugh, this one riff always does the trick, I’ll just play it until it feels just right and that will keep my sanity intact a little bit longer.
I get up and scurry to my beckoning wife. “Hey” she says “why were you playing the piano while the music’s on and we’re all talking?” she curiously inquires.
Is she mad at me? She’s mad at me! What was I talking about? Are they talking about me? They are talking about me! “Oh, I was just inspired to get something out of my head” I say in an artistically inspired tone… they think it was music, but really it was death, blood, sex… sex?
“You’re so silly” she laughs me off encouragingly. “My mom said you told her a funny joke and I want to hear it.”
No! What was I talking about? No! No! No! What was I talking about? That wasn’t me talking was it? What could I have been talking about? No, damnit! What was I talking about? Why is there blood? Shit, it’s happening again and I don’t know what I was talking about? What was I fucking talking about? Spinning spinning spinning… quickly, faster than an awkward-silence, my brain falls down the rabbit hole, my vision tunnels, and the well of my thoughts overflows into a brutal bloodlust…
“I DON’T FUCKING KNOW!” I snap and grab the chefs knife that has been calling my name out of the corner of my eye all fucking night… murder your wife, Murder Your Wife, MURDER YOUR WIFE! I plunge the blade straight through her throat! She spits up blood and her gargles fill the air! I let go of the blade so I can grab a fist full of my mother-in-law’s hair in order to submerge her face into scalding gravy (ah, relief, that’s why her face melted off)… my cock is hard… I violently throw open the oven which buckles my wife’s knees making her collapse to the floor writhing in agony. Everyone is screaming! Blood is everywhere! I have Fucking LOST IT!!! Frantically my father-in-law hustles hastily towards me, so I reach into the oven with my bare hands and hurl the turkey like a fireball… It hits him square in the face and he flails! My hands are burning and bloody and I don’t care; I grab the dog by the scruff, shove her into the oven and slam the door! Turning around, I see my father-in-law getting up after being blinded by the turkey so I lunge for the knife in my wife’s throat… I leverage it out by putting my foot on her tits and I pull as hard as I can! THUD!!! Damnit, I wasn’t quick enough! My father-in-law tackled me from behind smashing my face into the corner counter which has shattered my orbital. He’s got me! Fuck! He’s choking me out… darkness starts to consumes me and my presence fades, I can only think about the disappointment that I didn’t get the chance to carve him up! Lights out…
…lights on; I come to… my wife had flipped the switch and opened the door; my heart is racing. “Hey kid, what’re you doing up here?” she asks cutely leaning into the bedroom.
What am I doing up here? Ugh, here I am, staring catatonically at the ceiling fan, ruminating and ritualizing; petrified with fear and avoiding my family. “I just needed to take a minute” I say softly trying to tame my tremble.
“It’s been over an hour” she states “you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, sorry, got lost in my thoughts.” Fuck, if she only knew, if any of them only knew… I blink blink blink blink blink blink blink… the flood is coming… if they only knew, I’d lose everything and they’d leave me and I’d be all alone and I’d be committed and… blink blink blink swallow blink blink.
“Dinner’s almost ready” she smiles “will you please carve the turkey?”
Fuck, the knife, the blood, the face melting… “of course, dear.”
“Great, and then you can tell me that joke my mom was raving about!” She spins on her heals and walks away.
Panic! What was I talking about?
There you go! Say hello to some Pure-O! Hey, it’s okay, everyone survived, it was only me that was tormented, and boy-howdy did I try absolutely everything I could to rid myself of it all, but none of it worked… EVER… uuuuuntil I got some intense treatment and did exposures! Like this one! Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) is a highly effective method to help tackle anxiety and OCD, but it takes courage and commitment. I believe in you! You can do it! Find a professional, please. If you need help, find help, and remember that it’s okay to not be okay. Thankfully, I’m excited to stab the turkey like I’m Norman Bates from “Psycho” while no one’s looking, and then carve it up like I’m Jeffrey Dahmer… then, after the exposure and sitting in the anxiety, it will all go away and the murder-porn will be muted; YES! Finally I can be present and enjoy my family! Happy Thanksgiving!
“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”
– Fred De Witt Van Amburgh