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Published on March 12th, 2014 | by Richard Black


Anxiety Disorder, Depression and the Pleasure of Being Me

OCD, that’s obsessive compulsive disorder for the un-anointed, is a real treat. I should know. While it is accurate to say that I suffer from OCD it’s even more accurate to say that my friends and family suffer as well. Whether this is because of OCD or another quirk in my shining personality remains to be seen and is peripheral to this particular post.

The upshot of OCD is that I can focus on many potential irritants in my environment while never giving any particular one the attention it deserves. It’s like multitasking but instead of drinking, driving and using the phone I juggle my numerous neurotic tendencies.

As I write this post I’m also considering reorganizing my shirts according to the colors of the visible spectrum as well as changing the placement of the implements in my dishwasher for optimal cleanliness. I’ve even started a spreadsheet demarking the best places for coffee cups, dinner plates, glasses and silverware as well a a lengthy note to my wife on how to stack the dishwasher in an appropriate fashion.

Fortunately I’m on the low end of the OCD scale although it may not be apparent. I don’t wash my hands a few hundred times a day, wait for a song to end in the car in tandem with an even digit on the clock. Those are fairly extreme cases and, from my limited understanding, not the typical way that this joyful condition presents itself.

According to recent debate my need to place my right foot squarely on the joints in the sidewalk at every third step is due to a delightful mélange of neurotic disorders. Experts such as myself on OCD believe that this behavior is prompted by an underlying condition involving anxiety and inventively named General Anxiety Disorder.

From my loose understanding of the subject my anxiety about the world at large sparks my OCD as a coping mechanism and when all the toe tapping counting fails to reconcile the real world with my own expectations I tailspin into depression. It’s like three getting disorders for the price of one!

The ostensible culprit for this vicious cycle is undoubtedly my mother. She told me once that I had “sexy feet” when I was fourteen. She also flashed me, inadvertently I should add, when I came home hammered at two in the morning and startled her awake but that’s an issue for another time.

Illnesses, like people, snowflakes or bad trips are usually boring to hear about. They are also unique.  One of the hallmarks of my own condition is the need to repeat lyrics and jingles pretty much ad nauseam in the background of my mind until something more irritating comes along or I have a stroke.

According to the latest doctrine the reason why the chorus of “Sweat From My Balls” rattled around my brain for the last 48 hours is due to an imbalance of serotonin, specifically (and my OCD made me add this part) the inability of certain neurons to absorb the hormone in appropriate amounts.

That’s all well and good mind you but it doesn’t get “Heart of Glass” out of my mind without copious amounts of medication, alcohol or sometimes both.

There’s no rhyme or reason to what will get stuck in an almost infinite loop inside my tiny little mind. This afternoon featured the first few lines of a jingle Nabisco used to sell Oreo cookies back in the 1980’s.

            Ice cold milk

            and an Oreo cookie

I couldn’t remember the rest and, for a good three hours, those two lines repeated over and over again until I was humming the song and Darcy asked me to stop because “her ears hurt”. In order to maintain some semblance of sanity I came up with some alternate lyrics for the jingle and tucked it safely away behind the facade I use to perpetrate a, more or less, rational member of society.


            And an Oreo cookie

            If you’re not a Wookie

           I’d like a little nookie

I’m not saying that Nabisco will be knocking down my door anytime soon to come up with their next as campaign but it was the best i could come up with at short notice. Still it was nice to have a piece of my own creation to bounce around  my brain instead of two lines from a commercial that last saw airtime when Reagan and Rex came up with the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Forgive me for leaving abruptly but the chorus of “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” has just begun to cycle in my thoughts and I need find the bourbon.

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