The Perils of Thought

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

Perils of Thought by Katherine Shook

I have a tangled, weaving, winding fast-paced, unpaved, track of mess in my head. I get tripped up on ONE thing, and I can't seem to shake it. Stuck. I get stuck, and I repeat "stuck" 1000 times. EXACTLY. It's precise. There's precision there, but it's not precise at all. It's imprecise and ill-timed. I missed a beat. I missed one. I have to start over. And now I can't function or go outside or be a part of society, because I don't belong. I'm not good enough. I'm not as good as everyone else. Thoughts roll-spiral, hell-for-leather, and I try to keep up, but I'm burning into ash, and I wait for my thoughts to disperse and snow back down to earth.

I think in black and white, not the colors, but in those confines. My mind divides. I exist in either/or. There is NO in between.

It's not cute. It's not particular. It's not nit-picky or wanting things a certain way. It's not getting upset because you misspelled a word. It's not cleanliness or being neat. It's not being organized or detail oriented.

It's chaos. It's debilitating. It's crushing. It's believing that there has to be balance in ALL for the world to continue its rotation and believing that belief so passionately that you work toward creating and maintaining balance for everyone. Because lord knows, the world is your responsibility. It's weight. Unbearable weight. So much weight. You can't move. It's worry. Loads of worry. It's seeing things that aren't there. It's feeling those things that aren't there crawling all over your body... that wet spot on the floor is seeping through your shoes and encroaching on your soul, and that slippery, gooey, germ-infested puddle is riddled with sharp-toothed, microscopic trolls that will devour every cell and tear you down, atom by atom. It's anticipating tragedy CONSTANTLY. It's checking... and checking... and checking... and checking... and checking.

It's demoralizing, undermining doubt. DOUBT EVERYTHING. Doubt yourself THE MOST.

It's illogical in every sense of the word.

It is OBSESSION. It is sinister and secretive. It's CLEARLY invisible. It is a painful, unrelenting thought loop. It's thinking about ONE thing - a person, a thing, a concept ... for months to years and refusing room for thoughts about anything else.

It is a disorder of perception... of mental operation.

It is...

Mental illness.

I have mental illness.

"I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder."

It took me a long time to have the courage and general cognizance to say those words. I denied it for most of my life.

I wasn't ready.

I have mental illness. I know this now, and accepting it enables me to better understand it and combat it.

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