Showing posts from November, 2023

Living with OCD II

  I've selected Goya's 'The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters' to accompany this blog post because it's a terrific evocation of just how far beyond our control the workings of our minds are.  Reason is switched off as the figure sleeps, and dark and shadowy beings from the recesses of the mind come into their own. The creatures become ever more shadowy and many in number the further back we go in the image. To me this suggests that the 'bats in the belfry' of the mind that Goya so dramatically brings to life are vast in number. This image speaks to me as someone with OCD because it gives a visual example of the futility of trying to suppress, control, neutralise, or otherwise prevent the presence of troubling or intrusive thoughts.  One person could not possibly capture and subdue all of the bats and strange birds (and the large cat!) in this image. And would it even be wise to try to do so? Goya makes it clear that the shadowy and troubling parts of the pic

Living with OCD

  OCD is the black hole that exists somewhere in the background of all that I do. It is there when I think and write, there when I go to work, it is there when I go for a walk with my wife. I can't be sure, but I'd be willing to bet it's still there when I go to sleep, waiting, plotting.  OCD has one goal: to take all of our time, energy, and credulity. It is a liar that demands to be taken with the utmost seriousness. It will use our morals, beliefs, and convictions - the things we think make us good people - and invert them. It will tell us we are the epitome of all that is evil, depraved, and unforgiveable in humanity.  It will do all of the above with such easy and utter conviction that we feel we must give it attention. How do you ignore it when your own mind is telling you that you have committed rape, murder, and goodness knows what else? Once OCD has got your attention - and it's going to get your attention if you don't know that this is OCD because you'