Sunday, January 06, 2008

a typical day

When I walk down the paths and streets of our city I watch people. I know this isn't unique. Moments of simple bliss taken from the nearly imperceptible flow of people are common, at least if there's any justice in this world. All mind's fill with ideas of the nature of classmates, coworkers and passersby. All minds collect stories, long and short, false and true. All minds make up tall tales to accompany the odd observations which slide before our eyes.
Some of us make slightly more ridiculous stories. There's no harm in this, it is from this tendency which fiction is born. Even fewer of us believe, if only for the fevered moments in which the thrall of fear and anxiety takes us, the myths we construct.
Many of the things in our world provide potential for death and destruction. Think of fire alarms. The shiny red handle so tempting; screaming to be pulled. If I pull it, what happens? Death. People rush out of their seats, running about as if the world were to end. The slower among us, as if we were in a sped up nature film, are picked off, and gradually are trampled by the remainder of the herd.
Just as in nature and in the world at large this destruction and mayhem has a pattern. it is only the weak who are destroyed, who are trampled. Today those who are weak are wearing white shoes. They are wearing the colours red and green. They are easily labelled for anyone to see.
When, not if but when, that fire alarm is triggered by some menacing person these people will die. I am that menace. I am seated next to the fire alarm, and when I feel the power arching through my fingers, when I feel the urge to reach for the lever, I will strike a death blow on the unsuspecting weak.
I don't pull the alarm, and no chaos ensues, but as I leave the room I touch my left shoulder to my left ear six times, and wait for a S.W.A.T. team to speed around the corner in pursuit of the mass killer, me.
That is how life is for me. This is not a bad day, but a normal one. I am not haunted by the fear of killing because I've done it I am haunted for a more perverse biochemical reason.
This is OCD.
OCD is exactly as it sounds Obsessive and Compulsive. I Obsess over things, particularly things which no one else would give a second thought to, and I Compulsively do things. It's a very straightforward name for a very ordered disorder. I could bore you with the DSM IV-TR definition of OCD or the biochemical screw ups that help to cause it. All you absolutely need to know is that my brain doesn't produce enough serotonin, which is the same thing all those clinically depressed people out there don't have enough of. For that reason I take the same stuff they do, just in a higher dose (and some unfortunate individuals take a much higher dose). (and some unfortunate individuals have both OCD and Depression, I happen to be one of them)

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