Object of Corrosive Design. The ponderings of an OCD-afflicted 21 year old, exploring the depths of mental illness and everyday life.

 

The most important thing in life is happiness. Not wealth, not fame, not beauty, not a career. What’s the point of satisfying what you feel is expected of you, if you aren’t personally satisfied. Fuck anything and everything tries that stands in the way of happiness; it’s not worth your time.

Recovery

Emerging from the overwhelming weight of traumatic anxiety, depressions, fear, and immobilizing OCD, I am once again aware. Not fully whole as I imagined I would be, but perhaps better for it. Like the scars on my arms, I am healed. Still visible, still evident, but no longer raw and exposed. Sensations long quelled by unrelenting assaults of labrynth-like mental quandaries flow as openly as the blood once did from my cuts. I have not slayed the Minotaur, I have not defeated my demons. But I have overcome. I have survived. I am better. But I still don’t know how to be better…

I Can’t Wear Short Sleeves

Numb. Seeking a connection to something genuine: pain. That’s how I viewed cutting. I assumed it was a person’s desperate attempt to feel. My cuts were not born from detachment, at least not directly. I wasn’t numb; I felt too much.

Fear, Anxiety, Devastation, everything. A crippling combination of emotions, thoughts, fears, concerns. It was too much. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, I wanted to collapse. I felt as if, in that moment, there was nothing. No future, no plans, no recovery, no treatment. Was there even me? I had to do something, I had to stem the tide of internal dissonance. It had to become external. Physical pain I can cope with, the emotional turmoil was too much to bear. 

So I ran, tears streaming down my face upstairs. In a wild haste I grabbed a razor. Shaking, I cut. And cut. And cut. And cut. When I looked down, all I could see was blood. 

I had urges to cut myself before, but was always cautious. I have difficulty doing anything that isn’t in some way planned. Though that has tempered, I still could never mindlessly do anything so rash. That day I did. 

It was everywhere. Rushing down my forearm from dozens of primal lacerations. For a few seconds I could see the source of each stream, then it became a river or red. I felt so ashamed for what I had done, so mystified by what was happening, yet I was no longer about to collapse in despair.

I have spent half my life fearing death. Suddenly, I was staring down at the cuts I had inflicted that endangered my life. 

This was in October. It’s now January and the scars still burn red against my pale skin. I can’t wear short sleeves. I don’t want to acknowledge they exist. 

OCD Explored: Part 1 

The summer before 10th grade, I began to notice a significant shift in my ritual manifestations. In years prior, I always had concrete rituals, direct lines from thought to action. “I’m afraid that my parents are going to develop a serious illness – retrace past steps; I fear that I’m losing my intelligence, touch object to counter. There was a beginning and an end and there was a comfort in knowing that. But at 14, things changed drastically, swiftly and devastatingly.

I was always a small child, and barely exceeded 5’3” my freshman year.  Puberty eluded me as my peers began to grow and develop, but I never felt a source of anxiety or embarrassment. Puberty was something that I desperately wanted to advance to, but I witnessed no social ostracism. I almost put my life on hold, feeling as if I could only pursue certain actions once I had “changed.” Come the summer of ’07, I did, with perverse irony and heartbreak.

About Me.

Sex: Male

Age: 16

Occupation: Student

Diagnosis: OCD

On paper, I’m ordinary. An archetype of the standard, maladjusted college student struggling with a mental illness. Walking past me, I look like a normal— though thin, pale, and bespectacled— 16 year old. Perhaps you see my brows furrowed, face taught, mouth clenched. Perhaps you assume I’m stand-offish or elitist. Perhaps you see me stumble, awkwardly retrace my steps, mutter softly under my breath. Suppose that you see all of these subtle indicators and conclude I have OCD. You’d be right. But even if you were one of the perceptive few, do you know the source of those ungainly actions. Inside I’m fighting a war against rituals, compulsions, bad thoughts, panic, fear, depression, myself.

I am an iceberg, and it’s difficult to see beneath the surface. I’ve created this tumblr to try break the ice.