Sometimes hearing things in someone else's words makes my own experiences easier to understand; and sometimes, it just makes my heart hurt.
The first time I heard this poem, I froze. I took in every vocal inflection and pained nuance on Hilborn's face. While each person's experience with OCD is unique, I think that anyone with OCD can relate to Neil's words, I know I could. Although mine is very different than the poem describes, I saw myself reflected back at me in many ways.
I first stumbled across this poem on http://www.OCDThoughts.net - a great new website that is connecting people with OCD from around the world. As we head into OCD awareness week I'd love to challenge each person who sees this to think of the people around them that have OCD. There are many of us, approximately 1 in every 100 adults. We are everywhere - our thoughts are always "on." Sometimes we are exhausting to be with, and sometimes we are exhausted ourselves; but we aren't that different from anyone else.
If you've read my young adult novel OC Me, you can probably see some characteristics of Amy and Matt in the above poem. I wrote the book because I wanted to read a story of an average girl with OCD. I didn't want to read about someone with the worst case ever, or the funniest case ever (which is what tends to be the standard portrayal of OCD in the media); I wanted to read a story of of someone who struggled but would ultimately figure things out. If you haven't read OC Me yet, you're in luck. It will be free on kindle on October 16th-18th 2014 in honor of OCD awareness week. Tell your friends and spread some awareness.