I have realized that at age 50, OCD has been a major player in my life.  Depression problems came up in my teens.  I thought depression was my problem.  Being male,  born in the late fifties,  the product of a staid and quiet,  "bear your sufferring in silence"  kind of family,  I tried to ignore the depression.  I didn’t know what it was at first,  depression.  So I waited a long time before getting it treated.  I thought it was me.  Paxil some time in 1993 or thereabout,  relieved the depression.  But not before I was black snake writhing on the ground in pain.   It took that much pain to get me to the doctor. That isn’t something to be proud of,  it is just a fact.  I rather think it might point out my inability to understand myself, and a dangerously high tolerance for pain, and all the misunderstandings that come with chronic pain.  I want to be careful not to wax into darkness.  The upshot of all of my life is,  that when treated for the depression,  the OCD suddenly became less of an issue.  I didn’t know it was there either.  I just thought it was me.  The repeating phrases that always ran through my mind like tickertape.  So many hours of some random negative message followed by so many hours of some other random negative message.  There has been obsession with how clothes feel.  Resulting in them needing to be washed countless times before they could be worn.  Because they didn’t feel right.  Not just didn’t feel right.  I am going to come out of my skin,  not feel right.  Paralyzed unable to move because my clothes didn’t feel right.  Trying to make myself smaller inside them so they wouldn’t touch my skin.  Walking like a robot because the damn shirt itches and isnt right,  and I was only ten, or nine, and who listens to nine or ten year olds in the mid sixties, when the drugs that are available now weren’t and even the subject of OCD wouldn’t have come up.  You (I)  was just a weird little kid with quirks,  that were only the tip of the iceberg.  Those quirks ruled my life, and made me small and defensive.  I avoided the anxiety by playing defense.  I tried to order my life so the things that would cause me to obsess wouldn’t cross my path.  Which made my life small and bizarre. 

How backward,  I didn’t even know I had OCD until it’s affect was lessened by Paxil, and suddenly all these things that I had built this life on,  not a very good life,  but a life,    ……   were mostly gone.  Then I had no moorings,  no guidance system,  no plan.    Not knowing what to do,  I kept playing defense, even though I mostly didn’t need to.  It took years to figure out,  that I was doing that.  Still playing defense when I didn’t need to.   

How do you start life again,  when you are fifty.  And everything you built on,  which was the wrong thing to build on,  but never the less you built on it,   and it is gone……………………

  1. exploitedenjoyment 14 years ago

    wow.  that’s a good/sad/commendable/depressing/inspiring question.  Your self awarness, though not necessarily relevant, is amazing.  The fact that you’re willing to rebuild, or even see the need for change is a huge first step in my opinion.   I have not lived as long as you, but the words you’ve typed are the same type of words I imagine I will type if I live as long as you.  Part of the reason I call your blog "inspiring" is because it reminds me that I’m building a life on a foundation I don’t want… a foundation of inactivity I know I will eventually discard. 

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  2. clay 14 years ago

    thank you for the comment,  expressing what I feel seems to help,  how weird that life does these things to us,  our power is resilience,  getting back up and going,  I may ask "why me"  but ultimately it doesn’t matter,  it is the way it is, and I can rebuild or be small,  sometimes I wish rebuilding was easier,  but nothing has been easy so far,  so why should that be any different,  so I am a child again,  relearning,  some days painfully,  (like when I wrote the original feelings)  what amazes me about humans,  is survival,  we are persistent creatures…

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  3. bluebuddha 14 years ago

    -Hi! I’m 47, I understand what you are saying. Think about letting go of the past and letting go of the future. I know this is hard, because I struggle with this all the time. All we really have is right now. In a way we all start over everyday. And that’s OK, in fact I think it’s really healthy. Just cut yourself some slack about the past…take each day one and a time. Life truly is a journey and it’s hard to know where it will take us sometimes. Be well.



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