OCD’s Offer

by Matt B. on March 18, 2015

For two hours a day, you will believe things that aren’t true. Crazy things – that you gave yourself cancer when you walked behind a bus. That you ruined your finger cartilage when you picked your nose, and that you will never write again. That your lot is suffering; that hope is futile.

On some days, these two hours will be white-hot and claustrophobic; you will hear your own thoughts clanging against metal, ranging around invisible canyons. Which hurts more – the thought or the echo? It will be hard to say.

On other days days, you will be entitled to many more than just two hours – look for five, or eight, or twelve. Look for every waking moment. Or better, don’t; because these hours will look for you.

In and among these hours, you will also face innumerable smaller worries. These will form the fabric of your day, its basic texture – a kind of tinnitus, an endless game of anxiety hopscotch. You’ll wonder: Is this what my life will be – a tiny leap/fall from one worry to the next, forever?

[Inner monologue: Matt, you can’t post something this depressing. You gotta say something hopeful-ish. But you also have to be honest. What’s the next thought?]

Here’s the thing: you have some belief that it’s supposed to be different, better, easier, more fun. And this is the source of so much of your suffering – the notion that there’s a gap, that in the distribution of souls you got screwed, that some cosmic customer service department is obligated to hear your complaint.

None of that is true.

You don’t need another life. This one is enough. It contains unfathomable beauty and depth – N’s eyes alone! – if you only stop to look.

More: maybe these kinds of questions – What will my life have been? – don’t matter. Because what are they, really? They’re descriptions from without; they’re forms of summing-up. For whom? Who’s asking the question? And who is owed an answer?

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