sábado, 2 de noviembre de 2013

Living Online (Or, Ask Your Doctor if Blogging Is Right For You)


In April 2003, at the age of fourteen, I found myself sitting in a fluorescently-lit therapists office, being diagnosed with a disease I had known Id had since childhood: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?more commonly known as OCD. While OCD has become a bit of a comedic punchline in recent years and a personality trait adopted by those seeking a little extra quirk (Im so OCD about my lipgloss application, etc), the particular brand of obsessive compulsion that I was afflicted with was decidedly un-cute. As I sat in that therapists office, the doctor peering his bearded visage at me over the back of a clipboard, I could feel his eyes linger on my hands. Wrapped in bandages and laced with the bitter, astringent scent of hand sanitizer, they had been reduced to cracked, bloody pulps?a side effect of the constant washing I subjected them to practically every ten minutes. To any therapist (or human being with a working set of eyes), it was clear that I had some of the more common attributes of OCD?chronic hand-washing, a crippling preoccupation with germs, and an inability to sit still without instinctively reaching for my bottle of Purel. What wasnt readily apparent, however, was the extent to which the disease had saturated pretty much every aspect of my life?how I covered my entire bedroom with toxic levels of disinfectant, how I wiped down by school desk before and after use, and  how I sprayed my entire body with mosquito repellent (even in the winter) to avoid catching or spreading blood-bourne communicable diseases. Throw in a new high school, debilitating social anxiety, and a whole slew of repetitive mental obsessions?endless loops of psuedo-religious thoughts, images of my friends and family dying, an overwhelming urge to repeat nonsensical phrases in my head, an incessant need to reread pages of text for fear that not doing so would condemn me to an eternity of fiery torment?and you had a recipe for pure personal dysfunction. This time, from roughly the ages of fourteen to sixteen was, without exaggeration, the darkest period of my life. Ever. My parents were terrified that they would have to take me out of school. I hardly talked to anybody (doing so drove me into a near state of panic), my report cards were filled with Fs, and I found myself hiding in the bathroom during class, staring into the mirror and crying. Shiz was hard-core, no-joke D-A-R-K. So. How did I pull myself out of this abysmal hole of neurosis and despair? Not through talk therapy. Not through medication (although that certainly helped). I did it?get ready for it?through blogging. (more)



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