Blake stands in a corner, shuffling and swaying, praying his fervent best before he begins what looks like a dance – part Bunny Hop, part Cha Cha. He gives one last look up toward the heavens (actually the ceiling of our kitchen), looks satisfied and walks away. My hubby and I have been sitting close by, working on a project, but taking in the scene all the same. When Blake is safely out of earshot, my husband looks at me with wide eyes. He’s trying to find the humor in this.
“I don’t know what religion that is, but it isn’t mine,” he says with a half-smile.
We must do this – try to find the humor, the funny side of our 14-year-old son’s compulsions – in order to keep going. It’s a way of maintaining the peace, of staying sane, and of not crumbling into a mess of argument and discord. The truth is, we are sad that our son chooses OCD’s ways over defeating the disorder. Yet we have to let him come to his decision to accept treatment when he is ready.
Along those lines, I found myself inspired this week by a young man who did just that. He sought treatment for himself. He’d contacted me because he’d done his research. He recognized that he had OCD and it was affecting his life to such a degree that he was willing to do whatever it took to get better, including driving well over an hour to meet with me. I was inspired because this young man, barely an adult, empowered himself and chose to get better. I am committed to helping him get there.
What made me sad, though, is that he is all alone in his recognition that he has OCD. No family member or friend is aware. He is that good at hiding it – at least that’s what he tells me. Either way, he and I are the only ones who have ever discussed that he is suffering. While it is an honor to share knowledge of his story, it is my honest hope that, as he progresses through treatment, he will find the courage to share this with another supportive soul in his life.
When I meet a young person like this, it gives me hope, once again, that one day Blake will decide that living according to OCD’s rules is not worth it. I hope that he, too, will find the courage, either with our knowledge or without, to brush up on his OCD fighting skills and put the disorder in its place once again.