I wrote a book when I was 25 about ways to cope with OCD. I put the details of my experience with OCD up on Amazon and promoted it quietly, unsure what future employer and online people would think about me if they saw it.
PS: If you want a free copy, you can download it on my website here. A donation in return is welcome.
I published it to help other people suffering from OCD. Surprisingly, I saw good feedback and sold some which inspired me to write other books of interest about creativity and technology–also core topics of this blog.
I’m 32 now and have thought about writing an updated version of my OCD book. A lot of the core tenets remain, the most fundamental being that ‘thoughts are just thoughts,’ but more importantly to accept the condition for what it is.
The brains of OCD people are wired differently. Our anxiety writes its own Hollywood script. The disorder skews perspective, which can help when it comes to looking at things differently and making stuff.
Having OCD is a blessing and a curse. There are days when I wish I could just think like a normal person, especially when I get trapped in ridiculous thoughts. There are times when I get stuck in the perfectionist treadmill and just want to quit entirely. But mindfulness teaches you how to embrace these complexities.
OCD can help you tolerate ambiguity because it senses the dialectic, helping sufferers rise above the concept of sidedness altogether. OCD makes people more emphatic. The author Bernard Malamud once said, “if you haven’t suffered, you haven’t yet lived.”
Suffering gives you skills to cope–it puts the bones in the goose–by overcompensating for your handicap, you excel.
“A lot of what is beautiful and powerful in the world arises out of adversity. We benefit from those kind of things,” but “we wouldn’t wish them on each other.” – Malcolm Gladwell
OCD is all about being conscious of your condition, accepting its doubts, while still having the ability to move forward. Winston Churchill suffered from OCD. His self-talk, “Keep Calm and Carry On” may have saved himself and Britain. But for every Churchill, there’s a Howard Hughes, who’s OCD got the best of him.
Coping with OCD is a daily challenge. And while it’s annoying and pervasive, it makes life more interesting.