I have indeed began to worry recently that my OCD is coming back into play. A terrible worry because for most of my still young life it played all too large an horrendous part in my makeup, however difficult that is to admit. Moulding me into the person I am right now, I really wish I could say that it hasn’t. Who really knows? That said, only someone who has been forced to go through that kind of mental pain and anguish can ever really know, I think. I do need to keep an all too watchful eye over it, even if I am feeling pretty damn great some days, because it was the master of my particular universe for so very long a time – a rotten and unforgiving master at that. Also, it can often be terrifically hard to decipher between what might be OCD creeping right on in and what could just be a person stuck in a relatively bitter rut owing to a recession this past few years too many – no work, stuck living at home, not getting to see your friends and go out at weekends, etc. So piecing it all together is a massive undertaking and I am realising that more and more every single day. Do I deserve to feel sorry for myself because even when I was living in a bustling city I was for the most part bed-ridden and only able to barely hold onto those friends that I had, old ones surely fed up with never hearing from me. Surely a phone call can’t be that hard to make? Trust me, it can and was. So OCD will always ask a million questions, looking for the perfect answer, perfect outcome, before everything has even happened. Bitter is definitely a word I would use because, ironically enough, while spending all of that time ruminating over every possible outcome in my pained head so that nothing would go wrong, a lot did in fact manage to go wrong. OCD may not be the real you, but it sure as hell paints that picture at the time, to you and to those nearest and dearest to you. To this day I still cannot explain exactly what happened inside of my head all of those decades – I’m overselling it a little there, it was precisely two decades, from the ages of ten to thirty years-old. I can still make a decent impression on people whenever I get to see them but that isn’t too easy when it is once in a blue moon. It’s a case of stop and start over and over again, whereas what you really want is to be busy with work – any kind of work – whilst getting the opportunity to meet people in the evening, etc. No work makes for an addled and all too drained mind that will have very little to say as soon as you do meet up with people. In a way I really don’t know what I am saying but I do blame OCD, but neither do I want to continue on that path. Take your downfalls and work with them. Hard to do when a large part of you really doesn’t let yourself believe that you have any such aforementioned downfalls – in so far as even in my worst state I was the joker about campus way back in college, the person who was quick with his own wit in a way that most couldn’t or perhaps mightn’t have been all that bothered about being able to do. I mean, everyone’s different, right. And why do I need to be that way again; can I not just get by on smiling and cracking a funny here and there? Who really knows. Then writing comes into it, wherein I have done many, many odd-jobs, nixers here and there – nixers that were actually quite fruitful at the time, but to me now only seem to be no more, no less that conversation-fillers, a nod to a weak journalism career at best. But most journalists have to deal with the fall short, most journalists have to add to their C.V. as best they can. Besides, it wasn’t such an irritation as it could have been owing to the fact really it was always fictional writing for me. Write a resounding bestseller and watch the money, adulation, set in. Easy right? Maybe not, but definitely up inside of my own addled mind. Poetry came next and while I think I’ve been doing rather well in that avenue of writing, I need to stop and remind myself of just how difficult it is, will be, to crack that one right open; a million times more difficult than journalism in many ways. But I keep on doing it, managing to sell quite a few in fact, before forcing myself to believe that if I am not selling a personalised poem I am no good, which is preposterous as no-one really sells poetry, not even Seamus Heaney. It’s like I forget that I am supposed to be writing my own person poems too. That might sound trite but it is the truth. Then there’s my lack of interest in reading whatsoever, something which makes it fierce difficult to enjoy writing in any way. Am I not supposed to love what I do? I guess what I really need to do is understand and accept that OCD has done this to me – taken away a large chunk of my life – but that my true ability will show when it comes to how I steer myself from now on in. Keep going, keep fighting, keep a watchful eye out; above all, to finally accept that no-one is perfect and that problems will and do happen over and over again, for the most part they adding to your overall strength. Just waiting for the day when I truly can start to believe that.