The post I swore I’d never write …
It’s Saturday morning, 6am. I just woke up, in the gym clothes I put on 24 hours ago. I’m tired because I dozed off in our rec room, with no pillow under-head, but woke with an urgency. Not the panicked urgency of an accident, but the urgency of clarity. I calmly marched upstairs to my office, turned on my desk lamp and my MacBook Air, logged into the guts of this site, and began writing. The words come easily today, as they do when I know what I want to say. They’ve been coming easily for weeks. But then suddenly, this week, the spigot was shut off. I have allowed stretches like this to perpetuate themselves, but this time–as they say in the movie trailers–it’ll be different. But the only way it’ll be different is if I do something I promised myself I never would.
I’m not one for confessions. I don’t really mind when friends and strangers share their struggles on social media, or in an article, or even for the length of a book. But, if I’m honest, I’ve never admired it. In fact, if I’m really honest, I’ve found it undignified. I share openly with my friends, in private, but beyond that, I’m of the stiff-upper-lip school. Suck it up, show up, get your work done, and present a facade of strength, even if it’s a complete fiction. But that hard-ass, judgmental intrasigence has been bumping up against a few realities the last few days. One is that I recently committed to posting every Monday and Friday here and failed to do either this week; the other is that I have decided that I want a deeper relationship with my readers, but have stubbornly kept one of the defining factors of my adult life under the rug. So, because I don’t know how else to move past this moment, and have this sudden belief that this will in fact get me there, here’s the post I swore I’d never write:
About 17 years ago, with great reluctance, I went to see a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with OCD. (I feel a twinge of remorse as I type that, but moving right along.) Just going to the doctor was tough. My therapist had concluded that there might be something biologically off with me. Have you ever been told that there might be something wrong with your brain? We rarely think of ourselves this way, but despite all the rest of us, when you get right down to it, we are our brains. And so even the possibility that something might be awry up there–in here–was more than humbling. It was scary and depressing. Because I was less than forthcoming with the doctor, the initial diagnosis was depression, but was soon revised to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder….