August 22, 2010


Getting busy living ...

The End (is the beginning)

Its been an interesting couple weeks. I visited home last weekend, and it was the best experience I've ever had visiting home; this might explain ...

August the 9th was an important day for me. I finally made up my mind that living without giving in to my OCD-related anxieties is the only way I can accept continuing to live ... at all.

This decision was a long long time in the making, but this has been a disease in my mind a lifetime in the making. Particularly around eight years ago I experienced a really difficult time with OCD, a sort of living nightmare.

For the last eight months I've heavily considered taking the leap of trust ... that life is good which I know, and that I don't need to enable this mental paralysis any longer. I've spent so much time wanting everything to be 'perfect' so to speak, I've maybe missed out on a lot that life has to offer, and I just couldn't live that way any longer.

One of my favorite lines in any movie has been from The Shawshank Redemption, where Tim Robbin's character Andy says to Morgan Freeman's character Red, you have to either “Get busy living, or get busy dieing.” There is an amazing truth in those words that anyone living with a paralyzing anxiety can appreciate. At the time I saw this I was in high school and very much in the grasp of OCD and though its been fifteen years since those words have finally resonated in my life, I think that even then I knew their truth.

On August the 9th I came to a realization that life really is too good to waste another moment living under the control of OCD, I knew there was no turning back, and I knew I had already made up my mind. I told my parents it was happiest day of my life. But I still had to prove it. Last weekend I went back home and with a mission, to enter the place that eight years ago represented a nexus of all of my Obsessive Compulsive fears. I did. It was exactly as my mind prefectly remembered it, and yet at the same time, totally different. It felt like a dream, one with a happy ending.

There were moments of insight that lead me to this realization, and choice to live my life free of the mental prison of OCD. A couple summers ago, someone special to my heart was visiting and we were kayaking on a river with a group of friends. I can't say why, but a sense of freedom struck me while I was on the river that day.

So I give special thanks to: that girl who went kayaking with me on the river, for those ice cube trays left behind in my refrigerator by some really good friends (they were from the very place where most of my OCD-related fears originated), for someone who I once thought didn't care for me at all but surprised me by wanting to spend time teaching me to cook vegetarian, for amazing friends, some of whom are now traveling all around the world, for a loving family whose love is so strong it transcends differences and misunderstandings, a father who knows too well the world of OCD and can smile with me on the other side. This world is amazing, that I figured out a long time ago. I don't know what the future holds, but it looks brighter than ever from my point of view.