Art and OCD





Art and OCD ocd stories
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greenleaf
greenleaf queer writer of colour.
Autoplay OFF   •   2 years ago
writing, mental illness, and me.

Art and OCD

Art and OCD (suicide, self-harm, OCD, mental illness tw)

Today is the second day of Camp NaNoWriMo. I haven't officially begun writing yet, but I am planning on participating, and have several ideas for writing projects that I can work on this month.

Writing is a weird thing for me. I would call it my greatest passion and my favourite pastime, and to some extent that would be true.

But I've never felt that I write enough for that to be the case. Writing is a sporadic action, and I either love what I wrote or hate it.

Writing is what I tell myself to do on long Sunday afternoons before I end up bingeing Netflix instead.

Writing is what I daydream about before I go to bed, only to lose all motivation the instant I wake up in the morning.

Writing is what I do in my worst, bleakest moments, but it seems that all-too-often when I am well, when I actually have the time and energy to write, I simply...

Writing is what I do in my worst, bleakest moments, but it seems that all-too-often when I am well, when I actually have the time and energy to write, I simply... don't.

Recently I have begun to pick up writing again.

It began with fanfiction, a quick plotless fic idea I jotted down on the plane to China that morphed into a 3k-word beast that I was able to clean up and publish days later.

2000 more words followed, with a third chapter on the way.

It doesn't sound like much, but it's hard to articulate how absolutely flabbergasted I was when I completed the last few words of that first chapter.

I haven't been able to write fanfiction in years. Literal years. Not for lack of trying.

I had ideas in my head and scenes visualized perfectly, and the moment I tried to set it down to paper, my confidence shattered like a china vase against concrete.

I wasn't good enough. I could never be good enough. Everything I wrote filled me with such loathing that I could never bring myself to continue.

I wasn't good enough. I could never be good enough. Everything I wrote filled me with such loathing that I could never bring myself to continue. Until today.

I know now that I have struggled with undiagnosed OCD for possibly as early as seventh grade.

I remember that moment clearly; twelve-year-old me sitting at the kitchen table of my old house, with new thoughts in my head that seemed to strange, too large,

and too frightening to understand. I found a definition of OCD on some mental health site and realized it wasn't just hand-washing and being organized.

It encompassed a variety of symptoms, some of which were all too familiar to my younger self. It made sense in a way that little else did, at the time.

But I was no doctor. Would anyone even take me seriously? And I never had the courage to tell my parents about how I was feeling.

So I kept it to myself until the winter of eleventh grade, when, like that china vase on concrete, I fell to pieces, and sought help before I could disintegrate any further.

Now, medicated, in therapy, not yet well but adjusting, I find the words that have been missing for years are coming back to me.

Years of pent-up stories, spilling out from my fingers to the page.

I first took my return to fanfiction in the way one reacts to a penny on the ground; a lucky find, a brief and inconsequential delight.

I first took my return to fanfiction in the way one reacts to a penny on the ground; a lucky find, a brief and inconsequential delight. Only now, I can't help but wonder if it's something more.

If the dysfunctional thought patterns of my OCD had affected not only my working habits and schoolwork, but a part of me so intrinsic to myself that I had forgotten it was there.

When it disappeared, I could not identify the loss, only knew enough to recognize that something in me was achingly gone.

There is joy in writing again. In writing about characters that I love, in exploring well-worn story paths and tropes, in writing self-indulgent fluff. In creating. In being imperfect and rejoicing in it.

There is joy in writing again. In writing about characters that I love, in exploring well-worn story paths and tropes, in writing self-indulgent fluff. In creating. In being imperfect and rejoicing in it. In writing.

I am nearly afraid to say it too loud, to repeat it too often, as though it will somehow escape my grasp and I will lose it once more.

With the reawakening of my writing, I find myself at a crossroads. I write for fun, and rejoice in it. But there are also topics, serious topics, personal topics, that I wish to explore.

I have changed much from that twelve-year-old girl sitting at the dinner table in the middle of the night. I discovered my queerness. I rediscovered my religion.

I learned what it is like to sit in your bathroom after school with a pair of dull scissors, to curl up beneath the covers one lonely winter's night,

I learned what it is like to sit in your bathroom after school with a pair of dull scissors, to curl up beneath the covers one lonely winter's night, to contemplate the contents of a medicine cabinet and think,

I learned what it is like to sit in your bathroom after school with a pair of dull scissors, to curl up beneath the covers one lonely winter's night, to contemplate the contents of a medicine cabinet and think, "what if."

So many new experiences all pent up inside, that hurt me and broke me and dragged me back to my feet, and for all the books in the world, I do not know how to write about them.

Funny that the hardest thing to learn to write about is yourself.

The worst periods of my mental illness are no longer clear in my memory.

I can only recall fragments; a world turned monochrome in my misery, vague impressions of pain and dullness and slow, smouldering self-hatred.

The closest I have to a record of what happened in those days are the feverish, half-incomprehensible scribblings I made in google docs of how much I hurt and how much I wanted it all to stop.

I've gone back to reread those documents at several occasions, and they're still upsetting, if not outright triggering, to read.

It's hard to acquaint the me I know with the broken person I see in those pages.

I long, deeply and wistfully, to write about what I went through, however impossible it seems. Why? I'm still not sure.

Catharsis, closure?

Catharsis, closure? Some twisted bid for attention, as the uglier parts of my mind suggest?

Perhaps for a tangible record, written when I am mostly clear-headed, that what happened to me in those days was real.

That I didn't imagine it, that it wasn't an act, that it really, truly happened to me.

I don't know who I'm trying to prove it to.

Maybe I'm only trying to prove it to myself.

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