The Numbing Routine of Recovery

Greetings from Toronto, where I’m still battling a debilitating case of writer’s bloc. As such, I’ve decided to launch Brain of SNJ Counterstrike #156: I’m turning this blog into an online diary, as opposed to viewing it as a more formalized sort of writing assignment. I hope that’ll have a liberating effect on its contents; thanks to my friend (and Kevin’s mortal enemy) Saj for the suggestion!

Most mornings I wake up to the sound of digital crickets and a message that reads “Get Up, Get Out, and Get Going.” But last night I forgot to set my alarm–or forgot to turn it back on, more accurately. Instead, I woke up at 9:40 still basking in the glow of last night’s Bruce Springsteen concert in Hamilton (uh, that’s assuming I went). Mornings are a bit hit-and-miss for me. OCD, being of a wily and capricious nature, will either be there in the morning or it won’t. There’s really no way of knowing which it’ll be until I’ve assessed the situation–though as a rule if it’s there when I wake up it’ll be worse than it’ll be later on in the day. This morning was okay: the obsessive thoughts, which have been seeping back into my brain these past few days, barely registered, and between their absence and a glorious fall morning I figured I’d be in for an overall good day. I ate breakfast, watched Sportscentre, and walked the dog; so far so typical of my life these last couple months. In the afternoon I did an hour of exposure therapy; I’ll explain what that entails later on. Tonight, for the first time since Thursday, I won’t be at a concert. Instead I’ll be camped out on a couch, watching either Monday Night Football or Game 7 of the Giants/Cardinals series.

Because that’s where I’m at right now: mired in the numbering routine of recovering from my latest OCD episode. Every day, by design, is almost exactly the same–and as much as that sometimes sucks the repetition’s a key to my improvement. Typically it involves getting out of bed as soon as my alarm sounds, eating three square meals a day, drinking tea instead of coffee (this kills me, by the way–I love coffee), reading, writing, walking, running, watching sports on TV, spending time with friends, listening to music (lots of Bruce Springsteen lately), and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. It sounds boring, and it is, kind of…but it’s also really important. I’m fine being boring if it means I’ll be back to normal later on, whatever “normal” means to me now.

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