So I decided to blog about it first, but I find myself lost without a compass. If I were to express these concerns to my cousin, though, they'd come out naturally. Thoughts would just rush out of me like a waterfall so strong that it'll shake the ground. But right now I'm a dizzying array of excess and scattered thoughts, concepts I can't quite make out.
My title portrays exactly the state of mind I'm in. "2 4 6 8 Fuck my OCD 2 4 6 8 Fuck my OCD!!!" But that doesn't make much sense unless you're in my head, and even then it's a little hazy. I'm not sure if it was that single incident that triggered my OCD or if it's a series of recent events accumulating that made me intolerable.
Yesterday was an odd and rather unnatural experience. I hung out with a friend and things happened the way we planned it to, an unusual and rare experience, the one and only. I even went shopping at a department, tried on clothes of my own freewill without the annoying persistence of others, and bought two pairs of pants - one shorts and one I don't even know what they're called. They're tightly fitted jeans that come up to my knee and they're folded in place.
I really like the second pair of jeans, but they aren't folded evenly because there was a censor the store attached to the jeans. I really wanted them evened out, but my roommate said the slight unevenness wasn't much of a concern. She apologized to my OCD. Lately I've been testing the limits of my OCD and with success. I didn't realize how much of a breakdown this final straw could cause or that it even was a final straw.
It really wasn't that noticeable. I was wearing a really cute outfit and was in such a positive mood. When I walked out, I became increasingly and at an alarming rate highly uncomfortable. To the outside world, I was just another body moving in a single direction. But I could feel this uneasiness crawling into me, digging me out, and scratching away at me. It took everything I had to contain myself. It's frightening how convincing I can be as I struggle because it makes treatment an obscurity.
The sound of buzzing cars, swishing footsteps, whispering trees, the movement of air, the changing streetlights, the smell of the outside air, the world around me became this distant echo that I could hear but was somehow detached to as though I was no longer able to listen to it like I lost that ability and my attention and focus fell on me and my movement. Left, right, left right, my right foot landing harder than my left and being pinched from the sandal, the tightness that forged around my lower right back as I stiffened with every step my right foot took, the swaying that I felt practically lashing to the far left like a tic I couldn't control, getting louder and more exaggerated as I continued to move forward. The right side of my pants were folded lower, it felt looser, touched more skin surface than my left, unstructured, uneven, and dangerously uncomfortable.
The left side felt clean, even, secure, tight, flush, snug, orderly. Then my right side, the side I already dislike greatly is causing this huge unbearable strain on me with its sluggishness and even more troubling, its unevenness and inconsistency to the left side. This slight imbalance induced stress, a headache, paranoid, agitation, and I was desperate to be free from it. I started fantasizing about what a relief it would be to just strip myself of these jeans.
I didn't pass two blocks before I started imagining what a relief it would be. As I passed the school right across the street from where I live, an impressively sized institution but a walkable distance, my neuroses found itself competing for attention in my already overwhelmed mind. The guilt and inadequacy set in as I realized how incredibly ridiculous it is for me to want to take my pants off in public just because one side of my jeans is folded a little higher than the other. The two opposing forces just further burdened me and no amount of logic and rational thought eliminated or suspended my desire to just strip down over something ridiculously trivial.
In my mind, all of this is undeniably flawed, exposed, and humiliating. But in reality the outside world had no idea what my mind was plagued with. My movements weren't in reality exaggerated and awkward the way I perceived it to be. Even I knew that. But it burned into me no more real than typing these words out, even more real and frightening.
I thought I could convince myself, to trick myself into ease as I crossed the street only to find myself clenching my fists so tightly that I practically cut off my circulation. I realized that it's too great of a risk, too dangerous to continue on with my errands if I've managed to border such a breakdown in a brief amount of time. The scary part is that I can't say in full confidence that I wouldn't have taken my pants off. I doubt I would've, but I most definitely would've found myself hunched in a corner crying out of despair and humiliation for my thoughts.
And what if it gets worse? What if it progresses to a panic attack? What do I do then? It sounds unbelievable for something so small to be so consuming, but you have no idea how overwhelming OCD can be. People glorify it like the modern disorder to have, but no one really understands its burdens and how debilitating it can be. It comes out of nowhere and lingers indefinitely.
That experience has damaged me so much that if I threw those pants away, I wouldn't live to regret it. They're figure flattering, perfect fitting, stylish, and an excellent addition to my wardrobe. But it made embarrassing myself and doing something illegal and dangerous into an inviting alternative that I began to see as my only escape. It made me feel helpless and weak.
Do you have any idea how awful it is for a material object to take you over like this? And it interrupted my plans for the day. Now I have to make re-arrangements in my schedule tomorrow to accommodate the errands I've neglected today. I had to make a decision. The safest one was for me to allow this bullshit to beat me and return home. I'm that weak. I'm that stupid. I'm not easily influenced and fluctuating in my insanity. My state of mind was in total jeopardy.
I had to exploit my other unhealthy tendency, a drug addict mentality, to keep me stabilized and distracted until I got home. My attention had to be focused elsewhere before the temptation became too unbearable to resist. So it became a chant in my head, "2 4 6 8 fuck my OCD 2 4 6 8 fuck my OCD!!!" My right foot landing harder than my left made my strides uneven, but I rationalized it because I was walking on the right side of the street. I promised myself that I'd walk heavier on my left foot when I walk on the left side of the street.
When I get uncomfortable like this, my mind rushes back to moments when I felt just as helpless, exposed, vulnerable, weak, inadequate, and overwhelmed. It's this uncontrollable reflex. Why did my mind have to return to that, to him? I was crying and upset because I was emotionally scattered. I was a hostage to a force greater than myself, powerful and unmanageable.
I'm walking home and crying. But my eyes are covered by my sunglasses. The water swelling up my eyes is a secret hidden from everyone inches beside me. As the clear liquid trickles down my face, warm and wet, it makes everything more real. The pain makes it more tangible. But to everyone else I'm just a body moving in a single direction...