You Down With OCD (Yeah You Know Me)

Oh, hey there! Thanks for stopping by. My name’s Steve and this is my blog. Or, well, one of my blogs. Regardless, I’m glad you’ve made it.

Let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a relatively normal thirty-two year-old with a relatively abnormal ailment: I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. Had it almost since I can remember: my first real flare-up happened at the ripe old age of ten at a convenience store in Grand Marais, Minnesota, and ever since then OCD and I have had an on-again, off-again relationship. It reached a feverish peak in 2006, when my OCD was so bad it literally prevented me from eating or sleeping. Then, after I got things more-or-less under control, OCD flared up again two-and-a-half years ago…and then twice again this year, the latter incident as aggressive as the one from 2006. Except this time, instead of lying in bed wondering what the hell was wrong with me, I recognized OCD for what it was: an enemy that was waiting…no, an enemy that was begging to be fought. I’d previously paid lip service to getting a handle on my OCD once and for all. This time, I knew I meant it.

Hence this blog. I love to write; I’ll also analyze absolutely anything, which should be self-evident since…well, I’ve got OCD and we OCD types love analyzing, often to the detriment of our own well-being. Besides (and this is somewhat self-important, but bear with me) I feel my story’s worth telling. I’ve learned a lot about mental illness these past six years–but the most important lesson, I think, is that those of us who are fighting it have a responsibility both to ourselves and to each other to make our stories heard. If one single person who stumbles across this blog finds even a tiny bit of inspiration/insight/solace within its pages it’ll have been a worthwhile endeavour. Ultimately, I’m striving to write the kind of blog I wish I could’ve read when I was going through my first serious bought of OCD.

If you’re suffering from mental illness, know that you are not alone and that it does get better. Remember the wisdom of W. Axl Rose: just keep trying to get a little better than before. (And, well, don’t dance with Mr. Brownstone. Actually, that applies whether you’re suffering from mental illness or not.)

Overcoming OCD is one of the biggest challenges I’ll ever face. I’m not pretending otherwise; I know I’ve embarked on a long and arduous journey, and what’s more I know it’ll never fully end (one doesn’t defeat OCD: one manages it). But that’ll provide a lot of grist for the mill, and I hope to keep this blog relatively up-to-date. I’ll draw upon numerous sources of inspiration–in particular music, and in particular my holy triumvirate of Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, and the Who (the blog’s title, for instance, is a fairly obvious Pearl Jam reference). I’ll withhold some information, but for the most part I’ll aim to make Brain of SNJ a no-holds-barred look at one man’s fight with, and ultimate victory over, mental illness.

Hey, y’know that song “O.P.P.”? The one that’s referenced in this entry’s title? Naughty By Nature followed it with a single called “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” And it will be. Come for a ride, y’all!

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