OCD

By
“When I read, I’m taken away,” my eight-year-old hand scripted in an early attempt at poetry. It is true that, as with Sara Crewe, The Little Princess with a big imagination, most of my seventeen years have been spent somewhere other than the world inhabited by my contemporaries. However, far from living another’s story, I have lived a life that is wonderfully and uniquely my own, one that has been immeasurably enriched by the parallel literary worlds in which I have dwelt.


Early on, my love of books helped me stand up to a well-meaning but exacting teacher who solemnly insisted that the words “and” and “because” must never start a sentence. Defiantly, I called on my good friend Pippi Longstocking, pointing out a complete and published sentence by a celebrated author: “And Pippi jumped into the lake.” I was no troublemaker, but I nonetheless insisted that if Pippi was wrong, I had no desire to be right. The teacher’s response? “You’re not Pippi.” I vowed that day to be more like Miss Longstocking—not to mention her creator, Astrid Lindgren—daring enough not only to jump into a lake fully clothed, but to begin my sentences with a bold conjunction. And, I am proud to report, since then I have successfully attempted both feats.


In middle school, the same spell that forced me to obey obsessive compulsions, I discovered, held poor Ella Enchanted. The doctor’s diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder marked the beginning of a scary and frustrating journey where I felt as if I had lost control of everything in my life, including my own actions. Throughout those difficult years, by holding the figurative hand of my magical counterpart, I was able to confront my inner demons (which were slightly different in form, and yet no less formidable, than the giant trolls which held Ella captive) and emerge a stronger person.


Despite my newfound strength, I was blindsided by the fallout following an extremely opinionated opinion piece I wrote for my school newspaper. I learned the disastrous effects a few well-chosen words could have on a girl who was, quite frankly, never very popular to begin with when my condemnation of the school’s policy of selling junky snacks actually helped lead to the removal of said snacks. My mighty pen had spoken, and a sympathetic friend became as hard to find as a bag of Doritos under the new regime. Blameless (or so I insisted), and yet condemned like Stanley Yelnats (who, you may recall, was forced to dig Holes), I stood proudly next to Howard Roark, The Fountainhead of inner strength, and both ignored the taunts of society and continued to pursue my passion for journalism. Although some still doubt me, I, like the eccentric Willy Wonka, moved on and created my own high school legacy; minus the chocolate, of course.


Following in my size-seven footsteps, nine years behind and yet, in many ways, light years ahead, is my brother Zack. Years of sharing literature have caused our bond to grow closer and infinitely more positive than that joining The Boy Who Lived and the Dark Lord. As Voldemort’s fruitless attempts to defeat Harry Potter are recounted by my expressive and animated reading voice, there is indeed something magical about the variety of characters that come to life before us each night. Sharing my life with the countless two-dimensional friends I have made throughout the years has shaped me into the person who now stands before you. Recognizing myself in the fervent glow of my brother’s eyes as I share these companions with him allows me to stare unflinchingly ahead, with full confidence in who I am and who I hope to become.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

lizlaughluv14 said...
Nov. 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm
Helloo I have it as well and, because I can relate, I adore your antonyms. :) You're truly gifted and don't ever stop writing!
 
raindance72 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 10:17 am

I searched OCD this morning very lazily; I had wanted to do it for a long time. I was never diagnosed, but I have had in the past many symptoms consistent with the disorder. I seem to have broken the string of obsessions, and writing has certainly been a tool in this.

Your article was great. I love the way you put your words together; you have real talent. Do the world some good and don't stop writing! :)

 
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