Last month my friend and OCD Twin Cities partner Jackie Lea Sommers posted an interview we both participated in. If you know anything about me, you know I share a lot of personal details from my life. It’s my way of giving back after overcoming my very worst obsessions; I want to help others feel less alone.
But I waited to post this interview because I still feel shy, and maybe a little ashamed, of the fact that I’m agnostic. I grew up Christian. Most people probably think I’m still Christian–people who don’t spend much time with me anymore, anyway. I don’t want others with scrupulosity to think they’re “doomed” to lose their faith, too. It’s what happened for me, and I’m really, truly happy where I am on my journey, but I know many people who would be terrified by that proposition.
Also, I don’t want pity. I don’t want anyone to pray for me, or fret over me, or talk about how I’m destined for hell now. I do want people to understand that ending up agnostic was not an easy process; I basically obsessed my way out of my faith. I can’t stop anyone from judging me, but I can hope they won’t do so. Read on, friends.
My husband and I drove the three hours to my parents’ house for the long holiday weekend, so naturally we listened to music. He chose many of his usual favorites when he drove up on Thursday–Phil Collins, Billy Ocean, Peter Gabriel–but when it was my turn to drive back on Sunday afternoon, I picked St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley.
In “Just a Thought,” Cee Lo Green sings:
All I want is your understanding
As in the small act of affection
“Why is this my life?”
Is almost everybody’s question
And I’ve tried
Everything but suicide
But it’s crossed my mind
I love that song. How often do musicians come right out and sing about suicide and depression, rather than using artistic metaphors? And having considered suicide myself (before I got professional help for my OCD symptoms), I really relate to it.
But it raises a good question, a question all of us should ask ourselves: Have I really tried everything?
If you’ve answered yes to all of the above, and your obsessions and compulsions are really stubborn, there’s still no need to give up:
I hope it never gets to the point when suicide is even a passing consideration, or “just a thought.” But if it does, ask for help. There are so many options for treating OCD, and researchers are still looking for more. Doctors and therapists care so much about people like you and me they have dedicated their lives to helping us. Never forget that you aren’t alone!