Man I’m really struggling. I used to be able to find some real optimism and motivation, a goal that I could focus on to take precedence over the OCD, even throughout that ordeal in the shared house. For example one of those times was learning to grow house plants, then collecting them, with the idealistic idea of being able to sell them to help my situation. Then it was cacti which seemed a better way to the same end. Plus, just having something growing and progressing no matter what else I did was useful. Another of those times was starting the podcast. Another was this blog itself.
After my last post I had 24 hours sober from this addiction, then relapsed again. Now I am currently feeling physically bad because I am critically low on food, as well as my knee being sore. I’ve been stuck between OCD obsessions and physical limitation, not able to get to the shop. The one day when I could’ve managed it was the day when everything closed for the queen, since my knee was recovering and I was in remission from OCD. Other things are falling behind too (such as cleaning) which only make the problem worse. But I cannot start on any of it without some level of control over the OCD symptoms. Without a focus.
Yet therapy is a privilege for the wealthy. Let’s say that I accept the privilege anyway. I have just had the idea to see if I can find any appropriate OCD specialist, one that would actually be suitable, and then see how much it would cost. What I’ll do with that information I don’t know. I’m just curious to see what would be possible if money were no thingy.
Another pressure I’m feeling is that one of my previous core friend group friends is visiting England from Hong Kong, for the first time in three years. He’s staying with his parents in Bristol, and invited all of our old group to visit. As it happens I visited him in Bristol at the end of 2018 right before all of the last few years began. Then just a few weeks later, I stayed with his parents for 5 days after my parents and brother made me homeless. Of course on Saturday I was feeling a surge of optimism and resilience after my last post, and decided not to let the thought of this upcoming visit overwhelm me, but to face everything head on.
Nevertheless, everything I’m doing is now gradually being framed in the context of that upcoming visit. The more days that OCD ruins me and the longer my knee remains sore, the less prepared and capable I’ll be for that trip. And my mind’s voice is coming out with the sort of misdirected platitudes that the friend would come up with, if I allowed the OCD to creep into conversations as a potential difficulty. It has to be all or nothing. I won’t do a video call with them if I can’t make the trip in person, either. If I decide I cannot go, then I cannot have contact with them for a while. It can only be a clean cut, because there’s no way for others to understand (at least, only specific trusted people do understand it, or other OCD sufferers or specialists).
I envisioned myself sitting there chatting with him and his parents and my other friend, as an ideal bookend to this whole situation. Besides his parents, these two friends happen to be the ones who kept me alive at certain crucial moments whilst living in my car. You don’t know how much I want to see them in person. And the fact is that I am capable of sudden remission from OCD through a level of rationalisation, or idealisation. I can just as easily rationalise not being able to do the trip as I can rationalise it being good timing and a fresh start.
But as romantic as all that is, the timing is still such that I’ve only had three months of time to recover from years of messed up shit, and the reality is that my day-to-day life is still completely fucked up. This is such a specific situation— if I can’t visit the friend now then he’s back to Hong Kong for who knows how long. He’s had a child since I last saw him. It’s not a simple case of the therapist voice sympathetically telling me: “be kind on yourself, there’s always future opportunities” blah blah. If this invite had come at any other time since the end of 2018 then I wouldn’t even be entertaining it, and to hell with the friends they’d have to deal with it, that is just life. It’s only now that I happen to have stable circumstances— just not-quite-sustained-enough.
To be able to make the trip, I need consistent remission from the worst OCD compulsion, and consistent work on knee stretches and physiotherapy so I can manage the train station. I need to be in better physical condition as well as mental. I need to not let the impending deadline overwhelm me.
Perhaps I need to take the ultimate selfish action— cancel the trip, and put a number on the cost of therapy. You just don’t know how much I fucking hate privilege.