I Wonder…

tumblr_n3yf56IwGm1rqtk8to2_250I wonder, often, how many other people out there share the problem I have. It’s an unusual one, for sure. At least not one I see/hear people talking about much. Maybe it’s embarrassment. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m alone in this. I don’t know.

D’ya ever have a problem with your brain latching onto something like a giant squid pulling down a sperm whale and literally refusing to let go? You try to refocus or “let it go” or otherwise realign things so you can stop constantly thinking about it, but nothing works? Perhaps it’s a problem or an inappropriate thought or a fantasy or even something tiny that just niggles at the back of your mind – whatever it is, big or small, it interferes with your daily functioning. Maybe it distracts you from what you’re supposed to be doing. Maybe it creates an fantasy world that you find more appealing than your actual life. Maybe it digs in there and grows and grows and grows until you feel like you cannot breathe unless it’s satisfied. But you know you can’t do that, so you shove it down as hard as you can and stack furniture, packing materials, old cars, piles of newspapers, and all the clothes you own that don’t fit on top of it – hoping it’ll just suffocate and die.

Wow. I sound really, really insane right now. Perhaps I am. But I struggle with this. A lot. I have for decades. I know this idea can manifest itself differently in different people – some might know it as OCD. I know I don’t have any trouble with obsessive behaviors like hand-washing or having to check the stove over & over & over again or other behaviors people see as typically OCD. But I do get thoughts in my head that get triggered by the simplest things and they fester. They play out scenarios in my mind and grow until it’s really difficult to not think about. It becomes consuming.

Now I’m not going to get into specifics because while I’ve always tried to be honest here, there’s a difference between “honest” and “TMI”. Don’t worry – nothing I’m talking about is illegal or repugnant or could get me in actual trouble. It’s not even anything I’d actually ever act upon. But when it rears its ugly head, it OWNS me. When I sleep, I dream about it. When I drive, my mind is playing it out. I’ll find myself going online to “get a fix” and before I know it, I’ve been scrolling through Tumblr for 2 hours looking at screencaps of Jason Isaacs and Mads Mikkelsen. And then I go to sleep and find people from my past joining in. GAH.

I’ve tried starving it out. I’ve tried praying for it to go away. But it’s literally been going on for over 25 years now. It comes & goes – sometimes I’m good for several months at a time – but it always comes roaring back. Making me feel like I want to pull my skin off.

I don’t know. I guess I’m hoping if I talk about it a little bit, it’ll help it calm the hell down. I have found in the past that sometimes calling something out by name can help defuse the power it has over you. Or knowing that others struggle with the same or similar thing helps it to go away. I mean, I know there’s nothing actually wrong with me. It’s just annoying, distracting, confusing, and infinitely frustrating. And I’m tired of going along in my day when suddenly a thought flits through my head and my mouth goes dry.

Sigh. Be very, very glad you aren’t me.