In the Middle

Image courtesy of Photokanok at Freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Photokanok at Freedigitalphotos.net

It’s been longer than usual since I’ve posted here.  Truth is, I’ve been dealing with a little blogging quandary, and I’ve needed time to mull it over.  I’m going to share it with you.  Those of you who write personal blogs may be able to relate.  If you can, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

I write in this blog about what it is like to live with a teenage son who has OCD and who, other than medication, refuses treatment.  From a number of comments and feedback I’ve gotten recently, I’ve started to think that I may be giving readers the impression that our lives are very difficult or painful, and that they are punctuated by frequent crises.  I also may be making it seem like Blake is barely functioning; that we are saddled with a teen who is unable to make it day-to-day.

I know I hold the responsibility if that is the impression I’ve created.  I started this blog as a place to share the many emotions I was feeling as I confronted the fact that my son denied the ways in which OCD affected his life.  I also wanted to document our life and the stories that punctuate it.  I hoped to be able to look back one day and see the journey – one that I hope will lead, eventually, to Blake deciding to fight back against his OCD.

TIRED OF STEREOTYPES

I also had another motive.  I was sick and tired of the stereotypes that I constantly see about OCD.  I wanted to show that the face of OCD is more than about a quirky desire to clean things.  I wanted to let people know that OCD is about much more than the little habits we have in our lives (like preferring that the labels in the cupboard face forward).  I wanted people to know that OCD can cause real pain, even torture, for those who have it and for those who love them.

The truth is, though, in our family, and many others that are touched by OCD, our lives are not dominated by crisis, pain and despair.  Our lives are actually like so many other lives out there.  We have great days.  We have painful days.  And, quite a bit of the time, we have days that are right there in the middle.  Unremarkable, you might even call them.  It is a good life.

Generally, I do not write about the “in the middle” days.  I write about OCD and its impact on our family.  I don’t write about how Blake has a project to do at school or how Michael is spending the afternoon with a friend.  I don’t talk much about how Blake has great relationships with his teachers and how he does well at school.  In fact, most of his teachers are unaware that he even has OCD because it is not that obvious to most people’s eyes.  I don’t write about how we talked about politics at dinner, or how the people three doors over took the boys to the swimming pool.

THE QUANDARY

I don’t write about all that because, unless it’s occurring along with an OCD incident, it’s not what my blog is about.  But maybe I’m doing a disservice.  Perhaps I’m causing people to fret too much about us.  Perhaps I’m not showing a wide enough picture of what life with OCD in the family is like.  Life with OCD in the family is lots of days “in the middle” and moments (some longer than other) with difficult and painful circumstances.  So, perhaps, I need to broaden what I write about.  Perhaps I need to show you what our life is like in the larger context, rather than waiting for and OCD moment to tell you about.

I’m still mulling it over.  Regardless of what I do, please know that we wouldn’t change the life that we have.  Yes, it has its struggles.  Yes, sometimes it is hard, but it makes us who we are – as a family and as individuals.  And I can say that I love who each of the people in my family is.  None of us is perfect, and we each have challenges.  Dealing with those challenges as a family makes us stronger.

 

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6 thoughts on “In the Middle

  1. I think I understand your dillema. I have had some of the same thoughts and feelings when writing for the depression blog I share with my friend Bernadette. It’s the place where I share how hard it is to be married to a depressed/anxious person, and so it probably comes off as if my life were one big tragedy. That’s one thing I love about having my second blog, where I can write about the very normal and very happy things about my life.

    Thanks for sharing your struggle – I appreciate the deep thoughts behind what you’re saying here. -Amy

  2. I understand what you are saying, Angie, and I think you really need to “go with your gut” as to the direction of your blog. My blog evolved over time, from more personal accounts of my son’s journey to general info on OCD. It just felt right, and I think you have to do what feels right to you. If sharing “non-OCD related” thoughts and stories about your lives feels right, then go for it! For what it’s worth, I never got the impression from your blog that your lives are one big hurdle after another, because I know you have just focused on how OCD affects your lives Whatever direction your blog goes, I’ll still be reading!

    • Janet, Thank you for your thoughts on this. You were definitely one of the people who was on my mind as I wrote this post. I appreciate your wisdom and experience from how your own blog evolved. And thank you for the feedback on how it seems to you. It’s tough to see what it looks like from the outside. I’m glad you’ll still be here reading! – Angie

  3. Yeah, I definitely understand. I probably do similarly on my own blog. I am a lot more likely to blog about things that are hard than about daily life that is going normally. I guess it can be hard for people to recognize sometimes that there is life that goes on in between blog posts, that the blog posts do not represent the entire reality of life…you can’t blog about every aspect of life or you’ll never get a chance to actually experience life.

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