Monday, February 29, 2016

Toys

Okie dokie, time to give Collectibles NJ some over due credit in regard to helping move my substantial collection. As we have pretty much concluded our business transaction that started almost two months prior. I posted this on their web page, but I wanted to address them here as well.


What can I say about Kevin and Collectibles NJ? They delivered on every level and more that was promised. I sought out to sell my collection, and hit every conceivable roadblock; I tried eBay myself, but the task was too daunting for one person. I tried contacting other businesses that “supposedly” dealt in these types of sales, but met no success or commitment; with most looking to cherry pick my items. But, in regard to Collectibles NJ, they were able to listen, help and more than delivery. Kevin had moved my entire collection of statues, 1/6th scale figures and other miscellaneous toys with such finite precision I’d never seen or thought possible. They accomplished in about a month, what would’ve taken me a year. Granted, I had a substantial amount of inventory, but despite the challenges, I now sit here with zero collectibles and a sizable financial return on my “inadvertent” investment. Through our entire arrangement, Kevin made himself available to me at all times, with full transparency in regard to our contract and sales. I want to thank Kevin and his staff at Collectibles NJ for your time and help. You’ve made a difference. Keep up the good work.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Wolverine

Today's post is kinda of short, but I wanted to give a shout out to my favorite Canadian X-man, no, not Deadpool, (although the movie was hilarious and bad-ass, all while being a welcome change up from the onslaught, pun intended, of Marvel's world building films), I'm, of course, speaking of Wolverine. 

Yup, old man Logan himself. For me, this character, despite never really existing, has become a symbol of strength and resilience for me. Growing up, Wolverine or Logan, was my favorite comic book character. I collected most of his stand alone series and his collaborations with the X-Men or Spider-Man, or whomever he happened to cross paths with back in the 80's and 90's. Why? Simple. He's a great character. I mean, sure, he was cool looking, as he had adamantium bonded to his skeleton, an accelerated healing factor and retractable claws, so what kid wouldn't love him and be like "Oh cool"? But, despite all of those factors, he always felt real. He's a character who has experienced love and loss, succumbs to his anger and aggression from time to time, an on again, off again loner, and he still tries to do what's right, even if he fails. Now, I haven't really read most, if not all, of the contemporary Wolverine comics, and I recall hearing that he died. I call bullshit. Wolverine can't die. I mean, he's Wolverine, bub. Oh well, I guess that is just the very old man/comic book fan in me; waiving his fist at the metaphorical children, while yelling things like: "Get off my lawn you little bastards!", and "Back in my day, there was no Marvel cinematic universe, dammit! We had Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher. And we were happy to have him!"


Sidenote 1: To any comic fans who might read this blog, I'm aware of the fact that Deadpool was never part of the X-men.

Sidenote 2: We also had a 1990's Captain America film. It was...eh...how do I say this? Not good. So yes, I do appreciate the abundance of comic films today, though I do believe the market is currently over-saturated; and heading towards an eventual apocalyptic, pun intended, bubble burst. But, that's just my opinion. I mean, what do I know? I like pineapple and ham on my pizza, and a thumb up my ass. Kidding, kidding. I meant a pinky. Sweet and salty. Giddy up.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Enter the Dragon

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” - Bruce Lee

Yea, Bruce Lee. We all know him. Master and originator of Jeet Kune Do and overall bad-ass who has yet to be surpassed, to this day, with regard to said bad-assness, at least in my opinion. If you have the opportunity, look up the interview where he states this quote. I believe it's on Youtube or Vimeo, or some other form of streaming service. You will find it to be a rewarding experience, much like pressing your ass cheeks against the wall of a glass enclosed shower for all outside to view.

Search: "Pressed Ham"

 So, yea, be like water, it's something to reflect upon...well, for me. With OCD, as I've stated in previous posts, there's a lot of routine. And with that, a lot of inflexibility in regard to routine. 
Obsessive vacuuming. Yea, two words, which when put together sound entirely at odds and out of place to a "normal" person. It's like hearing "pickled blinking", or "stammered fornicating", or "fellated clowning" for the first time. Now, I just made all of them up, but I'm sure they do exist...somewhere on the internet. 

I vacuumed a lot. I mean, before  I went to work, if I had to the opportunity after I got home, and before bed. It. Was. A lot. It gradually worsened right before my wife left. Then she left and I knew things had to finally change. It's taking time and still continues to do so, but, right now, it's dropped substantially. Now, I'm lucky if I vacuum once every two weeks. But, something I never thought I could never stop myself from doing, is starting to happen. It's surprising and strange. It's because, I'm making a continued effort with myself and therapy. It's because I'm trying to be like water. I'm trying to be flexible. Never truly setting into a routine. Never truly succumbing to the OCD like I once did. For the first time in regard to my OCD, I'm trying. Some things you really can't break, like when you go to work, take lunch, go to bed, etc. They just are what they are. I know for me, routine, in regard to OCD is bad. I never truly realized how much it took over my life nor my wife's. The daily to weekly cleaning became routine. The routine became inflexible. The inflexibility contributed to the strain on our marriage. All bad. 

I'm learning to cope. I'm learning to sit with my anxiety and not feed Phil, the monster. I've got a long ways to go, and sure I'll fall, and make mistakes, and there are going to be good days and bad days, success and failure, but, all along the way, I'll continue to be like water. At this point, I have every intention to flow, not crash. 


Friday, February 19, 2016

Hyde Park Bruno

Today, I want to take a break from the OCD and talk about being a transplant. Having left NY for NJ so many years ago, I feel it's something I can honestly and accurately speak about. So, my title references a little known 1997 comedy starring John Cusack called, "Grosse Pointe Blank". It's a story about an assassin, Martin Blank, who returns to his hometown in Grosse Pointe, Michigan for his ten year high school reunion. Of course hilarity ensues as he attempts to reconnect with high school girlfriend,  and his past, all while tasked with carrying out a contract hit, at the same time! Comedic gold! It's actually more of a dark comedy versus a straight forward comedy. But, watch it and judge for yourself.
Now, there's a scene in the film where he attempts to return to his childhood home, and reconnect with his roots, but to his surprise, it's been turned into a mini mart. I know, it's seems like an odd choice to open a place of business in the middle of  a residential area, but as we're all well aware, Hollywood is completely disconnected from reality, so, eh. Anyway, he calls his therapist while in the mini mart and states: "You can never go home again...but I guess you can shop there." It's actually a really funny line, and it's been in my head, growing in relevance, ever since I left NY, seven years ago.
So yes, I made the choice to move down to Southern NJ to be with my wife. We had been seeing each other long distance for eight months, on weekends, and we wanted to be together. I knew I wanted to marry her and she wanted to marry me, and at that point, there really was no question for me. I wanted to be with her, as her life was now my life. With my job, I was able to work remotely, so from that perspective, I could easily relocate. In regard to friends and family, it was slightly harder for me to leave them. But, this was the next step in my life. So, I made a choice.
When I left, there was no fan fare, no real sadness, after all I wasn't moving too far away, only about four hours south of where I lived. But, I would still miss everyone. Throughout the years, I've gone up, family and friends have come down, not every weekend, but enough to stay in touch. It wasn't intentional because, honestly, that's life. We all increasingly become focused on our lives as time passes. It happens.
Having lived in South Jersey for so long, I've grown accustomed to being here, because "Home is where you make it." Home is with my wife. Though, there are slight differences that I'll never get use to, people calling sprinkles, "jimmies", if they only knew what a jimmy hat was in NY, mainly flat farm land from a topographical perspective, a beach in close proximity, living close to Philadelphia, and of course, the elongation of spoken vowels. Especially the letter "O". For example, instead of "Home", it's "Hoome", maddening, I know.
Of course, on the flip side, when I go home, so much changes in my absence, that it doesn't really feel like home. When I left in 2009, life moved on without me. Places changed, people moved on, people relocated, things changed. So, I never feel like I belong anywhere at this point in my life. I 'm a man without out a country. Going to my parent's house is hard, because they now have cats and I'm deathly allergic. So, I can never go home again...but I guess I can die there. Kidding. I can never move back in with my parents. No responsible adult can. It's just the way of things.
So after all of this rambling, what's my point? I guess, my point is, relocating and leaving home can be a natural part of life, and it can be done for numerous reasons, i.e. a loved one, a job, wanting to see other places, you name it. But, in the end, it only comes down to you making a choice. No one else. You are responsible for your choices. Right now, with my wife and I separated, I'm facing the reality of being down here alone. My job is here, and I cannot simply up and leave. But, I made this decision. Given another chance, I'd honestly still make it again, without hesitation. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Children of Men

The title is a direct reference to Alfonso CuarĂ³n's 2006 film. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you do, as it's an incredibly somber science fiction tale. In broad strokes, it takes place in a future where women have become infertile, and reproduction is a thing of the past; slowly leading humankind to it's inevitable extinction. So, yea, somber. So, why am I using this film as my title? Easy. As someone who is afflicted with OCD, I have great concerns about passing on my DNA. The good, and the bad. And maybe, maybe I just shouldn't reproduce at all. I know, it sounds silly and overly dramatic, but I have my reasons. Let me be clear before I start, infertility is a serious and emotionally damaging medical condition. I am in no way, attempting to co-op anyone's pain or suffering for the purpose of this post.
Children. Yes, I would love to have them. I know, someday, my wife would as well. Maybe not with me. But, can I blame her?  Her concerns deal more with my OCD and how I would handle children. Which is one of the reasons I'm seeking therapy. But, honestly, my interactions with children have always been successful, and I'm not entirely sure as to why. But, they just have been. I'm able to read them books, from "The Little Engine that Could" to Stephen King's "IT", make jokes, do voices, fly them around like Superman, use puppets to amuse them, you name it, I've got no problem doing it. I'm a one man PBS show. But despite that, I have reservations. My concern lies with passing on me. My concern lies with passing on my OCD. Sure the child might be funny, they might be tall, they might have big ears or a cleft chin. But, they might also have OCD. It's something I've thought about, on and off, for a very long time.
You're probably thinking, "What about your parents?" Well, yes, they both have varying forms of OCD and anxiety. As I recall my childhood, it becomes more apparent to me. Both of them would obsess about little things here and there. As a kid, I dismissed it because they were my parents, and I knew nothing else. I don't blame them for passing it on. It wasn't intentional. But, despite not blaming them, right now, I feel I can't do that to my own child. At this point in my life, I'd know what to look for in regard to OCD. The symptoms and the signs. Hell, I gave my wife anxiety just from dealing with me and my OCD for years on end. That eats me up. I feel like a virus. I feel like a disease. So, yea, right now, I can't imagine giving it to a son or daughter, someone I would cherish and love the most, outside of my wife, and watch them experience what I've experienced. But, that's just my current state of mind.

Hopefully, with therapy, things will change.

Oh, I forgot to mention, as bleak as "Children of Men" is as a film, it ends with a sense of hope for humankind and it's future.

Sorry. Didn't mean to spoil the ending.

Honestly it's been out since 2006. You should've seen it by now.

Actually, you probably can find it in one of Walmart's many DVD/Blu-ray bins for $5.99 at this point.

Ladies, it has Clive Owen.

Gentlemen, it has...Michael Caine? From "The Dark Knight"?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Anxiety Now!

I love the smell of anxiety ridden thoughts in the morning. Yes, both the title and first sentence are a reference to "Apocalypse Now". I know, by now, in 2016, the phrase, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning", is older than old. I'm talking older than Betty White, and Abe Vigoda, (who just recently passed, even though I was under the impression that he had passed years prior), put together. So, I guess I'm apologizing for my lack of originality at this moment. So, apologies. Today, I want to talk about my anxiety. Now, I know that my OCD is the cause of my anxiety, but, my anxiety also fuels my OCD. Kind of like a snake eating it's tail, in a constant, perpetual circle. As always, allow me to explain, or to quote Marty Feldman's, Igor, from "Young Frankenstein": "Walk this way."
Ya see, many things can give me anxiety at any given time. Case in point, driving to work on a day when it snows. I know, most people don't like driving in the snow. I'll get to that point. So, it's the night before a snow storm, and we're expecting maybe 3 to 6 inches of snow. Depending on where you live, that's a little or a lottle. For me, not so much, since I grew up in Northern NY. But, despite having past experience in regard to driving in the snow, I still get anxious. So, the night before, as I think about it, the anxiety begins. Not crippling anxiousness, but enough to be in my mind. That's when the OCD kicks down the mental door in my brain and says "Bonjour!" I know, Phil can speak French. This is, of course, mainly due to my 4 year stint in French class ala high school, he just chooses not to, most of the time. See first blog post.
So, now, I'm getting anxious about the next day and the thought becomes pervasive in my mind. The only bitch of it is, unlike my cleaning, there's no real way to calm my thoughts. I just have to ride it out like a rodeo clown on a bull...or a sex gimp, dressed like a bull. Wait, do rodeo clowns ride bulls and/or sex gimps? Hmmm. I'll  have to investigate to confirm my initial comparative statement. Note to self: check Pornhub. Anyway, I wake up the next day and ta da, it's gone, I mean, there's snow. Now, my anxiety increases because there is snow and I have to go to work. Again, it's  not crippling, but it's in my head.
So, I shovel out our driveway, and the back porch for the pooches and get my sore ass to work. I'd like to clarify that my ass is sore from shoveling, not anything else non shoveling related. I'd like to further clarify that I used my hands to grasp the handle and shovel snow, not my ass or ass cheeks. Logistically, I don't believe that's something that can be accomplished with your ass. Note to self: check Pornhub...again.
Anyhoo, I'm driving to work in the snow, and I'm still anxious, and like Dustin Hoffman, "I'm an excellent driver", so I really shouldn't have any concern. But thanks to my anxiety, and my inability to rationalize, rational thought; I'm unable to push it aside, and keep my head clear. I know that people get anxious for many reasons, and I'm sure that many people can have anxiety when driving in the snow or dealing with snow. So, their reaction would be expected or normal. But, for me, I shouldn't let it overwhelm and consume me, which it does at times. So again, it's something that needs further 'sploring in the mind of me. But, that's why I'm currently seeing a therapist...and watching Pornhub at an unusually high viewing rate.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Drive(n)

Man, the things you learn about yourself when you pay someone else to listen. No, I'm not talking about a prostitute. Perv. I'm talking about a psychologist. Though, I believe a lady of the evening would be much cheaper in regard to my co-pay cost. Zing! Take that, health insurance!
So, after my first session, which mainly consists of you vomiting up everything about yourself all over a therapist, he came to an early assessment that while I do have OCD; I'm also driven. This, I know. But, this in turn, pushes my OCD even more. Now, there's nothing wrong with having a consistent drive. It's what, in my opinion, helps everyone in their day to day and life in general. Without my drive, I wouldn't be alive today. Let me explain.
You see, right after college, I kinda hit a series of bad luck, well, I think I'll just call it "no luck". I had my first post-college job as a Financial Service Representative, "Loan Officer", at a local credit union. I worked there for about two years until I was accused of illegally aiding in wire transferring account member's funds. Now, of course, I didn't do this, as my parent's raised me to be an honest person. The individual responsible had tried to cover his tracks by using me, and several other employees, to view the accounts under the guise of "Hey, can you help me look at an account I'm helping a member with?" Obviously, the last thing I think of, aside from improperly ending a sentence with a  preposition, is financial fraud. So, I was let go, regardless of my innocence, as the company needed to "Save Face".
Then, I had gotten another job, just to fill in the gaps, working at a local union. I was let go. I suspect due to my manager wanting to higher a relative. So, nepotism. Honestly, I didn't see myself there for the long run. Oh, then my long term girlfriend had finally called it quits in regard to our relationship. It had been ok for awhile, but still, another blow to me and my life. So, yea.
Things evened out for awhile, I was able to get a job as a Financial Analyst with IBM and things were going well. I met my wife, as she had been finishing up her senior year of college, and we began to date long distance, for 8 months, after she graduated and moved back to NJ. I then decided to ask her to marry me, she, of  course, said yes, and I moved down from Upstate NY to Southern NJ. Making the choice to leave my old life behind and starting a new one with her.
I was at my job with IBM for 3 years, then the housing market collapsed and the Recession hit. I lost my job in April of 2009. We were getting married that October. I was unemployed for over a year. Eventually, I got a job with Burberry as a Supply Chain Analyst and the rest is history up until this point in time.
So, sad run of stories, right? Yes. We've all got them, and I'm sure there are far worse out there. But, I'm a driven person. I did everything I could to get through these events in my life, and not have them break me; despite how disheartening they were. And yes, my wife was there to help get me through it as well. For which, I will always be grateful.  Over the years, I came to see my drive as my greatest strength. Now, I'm realizing that it's also my greatest weakness. It's an odd dichotomy. I'm driven to do both good and bad things, not realizing they were connected. Of course, this is purely surface level assessment, but at this point, it's something for me to think about.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Blade Runner: #OCD

Let me start by saying, I did not grow up in the great technological evolution of smart phones, wifi, bluetooth, Siri, Amazon, all forms of social media, or pretty much everything else we take for granted in 2016. As a child of the 80's, I was amazed by Laser Tag. Amazing shit to this day. My point is, I can live without this social technology we all hold so dear.
Anyway, I was putzing on Twitter earlier, I barely use it, as I see little need to condense any thought into some meaningless, brief phrase, in the hopes that someone else; bored on their smart phone, will be inclined to quickly read and, just as easily, dismiss what've I've just posted. But, I hash tagged?, OCD. It was interesting, as there were some decent posts with actual merit and medical meaning and research, but for the most part, all I encountered was shit. Plain and simple. Like most things on the internet. I know, broad statement. But, I'm a fan of making very broad, uninformed statements about stuff. I have yet to be challenged by anyone who can hear me in my bathroom at 6 am on a weekday morning.
Now, I'm not a P.C. person. Honestly, everyone is too P.C. for my taste. We are human. We say things.  We do things. Not everyone is going to agree with them. Such is life. But, I'd be remiss if I didn't say I saw an overwhelming amount of posts of minor events, that people consider, OCD behavior, for nothing more than the purpose of making a joke. I mentioned in my first post, ever, that there is a HUGE misconception of OCD and how people can be afflicted, and honestly, this just supports what I suspect. #OCD. Four simple characters on a keyboard, or smart phone, that people use to express their ignorance in an attempt to construct a joke in the wrong context.
I know what you're thinking, but Nick, aren't you being just a tad little P.C. right now? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps. I don't know. This is my blog. So no. Maybe I'm contradicting myself. Maybe I'm taking it a tad personal. Which aggravates me. But, it just reinforces what I've experienced. People simply don't get it. And maybe, they have no need to understand. But, when it comes to loved ones and significant others, maybe they should. Because, right now, that's what's ending my marriage.  And not for my wife's lack of understanding, but by mine. I chose to not research what I had for so long, confront it, and seek therapy. And it cost me her. So maybe it is personal, but at this point, what other reason do I have? There's no shame in educating yourself, whether it's for you or a loved one. Despite, my dislike for the internet, there is helpful information out there. You just have to sift through the shit.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Analyze This, That, These Those, Them, They, Their, The, Tuh: Scheduling a 2nd Session: The Sequel

Ehhhhhhhhhh. No, I'm not releasing gas. That, my dear anonymous readers, is me releasing a sigh of frustration. So, I mentioned how I'm seeking therapy. You know, speaking with someone about me and all of this, (motions hand around personal space), but, I've hit a road block. Honestly, since I think I'm funny, as does anyone who's seen me urinate while seated on a toilet, I'd be remiss if I didn't find humor in what I'm currently experiencing. So, to quote Heath Ledger: And. Here. We. Go.
Ok. I had my first session this week. Scheduling the first one was a challenge unto itself, as you simply cannot call, like a regular doctor's office, and get an appointment a week later. No. I had scheduled this meeting way back in the first week of January...for this week...in February. Anyways, I went, laid out my deal/issues/questions/concerns for an hour. He asked questions, I asked questions. He looked at me, I looked at him. We talked, we laughed, we cried, we sat, we played Rock 'Em Sock Robots. It. Was. Fantastic. Like a first date. I say first date because we awkwardly kissed prior to parting ways. No tongue, though. I'm no whore. Kidding. That didn't happen. I think.
I get a call to schedule my next session or sessions the next day and...he can't see me until April. What a let down. I thought we had something. Yes. After The Oscars. After St. Patrick's Day. After Easter. After. Shit. So, I scheduled three sessions in a row, because, Momma didn't raise a man who does things once. Just ask to watch me clap. Hint: It's more than once. Anyway, two months? What? So, I went back to the drawing board or piece of crumpled paper. I tried contacting at least 10 therapists/psychologists/clinical social workers/psychiatrists within my insurance network. Of those 10, I was able to schedule several brand spankin' new appointments with only two. Dos. Deux. Both in February.
So, now it has become a numbers game. I'm not taking any risks. It's like speed dating, except, hey, here are my issues, questions, concerns, shall we date? Or no? No, ok. My point is, if you're going to look into seeking help, please consider that time needs to be taken to find the right suitor and for an actual timeline for scheduling appointments. If you don't, you'll be whoring yourself outside of a Wawa to any Southern Jersey 206'er that'll hear your problems. And, I believe most of them do not have the academic background that would make them a licensed therapist. By the way, that was a regional, South Jersey joke. Yay, obscurity.

Contagion

Here's a break from the lessons. Below is a story, more of a cautionary tale for those afflicted with OCD, a spouse and the turmoil it causes. Take heed. Seek help if you can. You'll be thankful you did. When a marriage falls on hard times, one of the questions asked is: Who benefits? Easy. Everyone else who knows the story and is married or has a significant other.


 My wife has been gone for a month. She left me. I lost my best friend, my lover and my spouse in one fell swoop. One evening after work, I arrived home to find our house empty; no dogs, no crates, no clothes, no wife. She had taken everything of value to her and went to her parent’s. All that awaited me that evening was a single yellow paper. A Dear John… It outlined our problems and why she had chosen to leave. Most of the reasons were faults that rested with me. I have OCD. It runs my life, and so it ran hers as well. The constant cleaning, the obsessive behavior, the compulsive spending, credit card debt, loan debt, lying about finances; all faults and negatives generated by me. Though, not every problem lay with me.
She had her own anxieties and sadness. Some family related, other’s work related. She wrote that she needed time and space, and that she loved me. I was devastated. I took the yellow paper, crumpled it up and threw it in the trash. (Later I would remove the crumpled paper and keep it as reminder). I was in an immense state of denial, anger, sadness, and betrayal. Every negative feeling I had, seemed to emerge at once. Each of them was vying to express themselves externally, for increments at a time. I called her, I texted her. Every word I could produce was negative and vile. Pure reaction to what had just happened to me. She never responded. 12:00 a.m. the next day, she answered with a text. She was alright and so were our sons, the dogs. It gave me relief that she was ok, but this was just the beginning.
As the first few days moved along, I was in a fog. I was in a constant state of ambivalence towards everyone and everything. Who do I tell? Who don’t I tell? I’m embarrassed. My wife left me. She left me. Me. That’s all I could think. I was so unbearable to be around, so bad, that she left me. You’ve taken what you have and given it her, I thought. Anxiety. You’re a virus. You ruin people. You break people. It’s hard to reconcile that in your head. Because, you can’t escape yourself, you can’t discard yourself. You are you. And you are defective.
After some time had passed, I told my best friend. He consoled me as much as he could over the phone. After all, he lives 180 miles north of where we are located. My whole family is. My whole support system might as well be on another planet. I am alone. I tell my brother. He consoles me. I hold off on telling my parent’s as I didn’t know what to tell them. I eventually tell my parents. They consoled me. Everyone did their best to help and support me. But in the end, it’s just you. I had failed at life again. It had once again hit me with another devastating blow...knocked me down. And honestly, I didn’t know if I wanted to get up for another round.
As time passed, friends and family came to see me. Well, friend and father. My best friend came down the weekend after it happened. We went out and hung out. He kept me company. But, he went home. My father came down a week later. Again, we went out and hung out. He kept me company. But, he went home. While visiting my father and mother offered financial support. I took it. I eventually ventured up to NY to see my lifelong friends, hoping to find solace in their company and familiar surroundings; and a distraction from my wife. I brought up our youngest son, (dog), as we both now were accompanied by one of them through this emotional theme park. It was the best I could hope for at this point.
My wife and I eventually met face to face. At a diner we use to frequent. We met as strangers, not spouses. Each of us clearly hurt and broken. We sat to talk. We ordered food. I wasn’t hungry. She told me how she felt. How she was broken and how she had to leave. She told me she didn’t know where we’d end up as a couple. The unknown. It was scary. I asked her if she still loved me, she did. I asked her if she missed me, she didn’t. Of course, it was obvious, as she had left me, then why would she miss me? We sat for an hour and half. Afterwards, we parted ways. I hugged her, barely, and told her I loved her. She reciprocated the gesture.
I spent a week by myself. No one but me, the things I chose to surround myself with, and the husk of house I now resided within. I had lived alone prior, a year and half, by myself, in an apartment, by my choosing. Looking back, it was a mistake. I considered myself an isolated person, taking pride in a lack of need for contact. But, now, being alone was the hardest part. Fortunately, after several difficult texts and emails between us, we agreed that each of us would keep a son. She had offered before, but I declined, as I didn’t want to separate them. That night we agreed, I talked to her. The exchange was heated and emotional. That was the last time I had spoken to her. That was the last time I heard her voice. It has been a month.
Our exchanges are currently relegated to texts and emails. Talking of our day to day in regard to bills, taking care of the dogs and other light subjects. We’ve both ventured to seek therapy on an individual basis. As we both have our own separate issues. I believe she’ll be in therapy for far less time than me; as my OCD needs to be controlled for the rest of my life. Much like Bruce Banner and the Hulk, it cannot be cured, only tamed. So, instead of “Hulk Smash!” it’s “Hulk clean!” (Note: This is the first and only joke in my story, I am actually quite funny outside of this subject matter). It is something I need to contend with on a daily basis, all while keeping it in check. And accept that it’s a part of me, and always will be.
Aside from resolving to seek therapy, I resolved to purge our house of objects and pieces of interest that had caused so many problems, my collection. It has accumulated debt and depleted savings. It’s now costing me my marriage. Initially, I ventured out on my own on eBay, looking to move a few items here or there. But I met limited success. I then decided to move everything at once. I scoured the internet for anyone who could help me with my cause of a mass chachki exodus. After extensive research, I had found my suitor. They would help me move every piece I had. They had the knowledge, the network and the capacity. In the end, they were able to do in a week, what would have taken me a year or more.
So, at this point in the story, I’ve tried to make amends as best I can. I honestly don’t know what any of it will do in the long run. All I know is that I tried and I’ll continue to try. But, unfortunately, the damage has been done. My wife needs time and she’s uncertain as to how our story ends. I can’t fault her for not knowing. I broke her. And in the end, I can’t blame her for leaving. I realized that some people need bold, life changing events to shake them to their core. Or at least, I did. Change, I use to believe, was something most people could never do, an empty promise, never to be fulfilled. But, it’s easy to make such a statement when you’ve never been faced with it. Can I change for the better? I don’t know. I hope I can. Will I make every attempt to change? Yes. I’m going to try. To Be Continued…

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: A Place for Everything and Everything in it's Place

So, a Spaghetti Western and Sergio Leone, what do they have to do with OCD? Nada. I just likes the title. Plus, it's pretty well known as far as Westerns go. Although, I feel like people lie about seeing it, since it's a classic. Much like stating, "I never urinated in a ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese when I was 29 years old." Because, I didn't. I don't care what the ball pit life guard said. He's full of shit. Anyhoo, I digress. Today's lesson on OCD deals with object placement. Yup. Everything needs to be where it is, despite not really needing to be there at all. Make sense? Allow me to explain.
You see, things occupy space. It's just physics. Or science. Or some kind of magic. And as such, for me at least, when I consider a place "home", Phil has a way of making me want to have things placed in a particular way until the end of time or when I die. Whichever comes first. Now, this doesn't apply to everything, like large objects, i.e. a couch, a bed, a table or a corpse. Nope, smaller objects like things you'd might find in a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, sex dungeon, or linen closet.
Now that I'm painting a picture, I might as well give an example and paint in some detail or "Happy Trees." RIP Bob Ross, (pours a small container of Crayola red paint onto the ground in reverence). My wife's nightstand. It's hers. Such as the name implies. She has all kinds of knick knacks and accoutrement which are spread all over it. A Lamp, a clock, notepads, hand lotion, (we're a dry skinned people in the winter), pens, pencils, and other stuff. And of course, she uses all of them and places them back on the table. Now, since she is not afflicted with OCD, she should not and does not care how or where they are placed on the table. But, hey, guess who does? Survey Says: me. Much to her frustration.
Each day, several times a day, I will reorganize what's on her end table, if it's not in it's proper place. Why? Because, I can't help the fact that everything needs to be in it's place. The presence of Phil won't let me just be. Of course, this extends to many objects in the house that need to be "just so." I stress "need", because that ties back to compulsion and the word "C" for Compulsive in O.C.D. Next time won't you sing with me? See? It all comes together like some kind of anxiety ridden puzzle.
Now, you can imagine, this does not make for an easy to live with house mate. I know. That's why I'm currently seeking therapy. Honestly, if I had to live with me? I would've pushed me down the stairs a long time ago...and blamed it on a ghost. Though, I don't think that would hold up in court, or would it? Hmmm.

Note to self: avoid steps in house when wife is present. Or construct a ladder leading to the second floor.

The 34-Year-Old-Non-Virgin

Yes, I collected action figures and have had sex. Shocking the two can actually exist within the same realm. It is possible, Hollywood stereo types be damned. Wait? What? Toys? But, you're old(ish). Yes. I collected toys. I collected action figures, high end statues, scaled replicas of vehicles and weapons. All of them, having origins within the area of comics and film. But, what does this have to do with OCD? Easy. Compulsion. Compulsion. Compulsion. Need to want. Need to have. Need to buy. Unlike most people who collect or have, I couldn't control it. It spun out of control and continued to do so for years. That is, until recently.
As a child, I loved toys. Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, DC Super Heroes, you freaking name it. Loved 'em. As any child should at 8 years old. I'd display them in my room, I'd set them up and make huge battle scenes on our dining room table, then proudly show them to my parents. They of course, amused me. What parent wouldn't? Darth Vader, that's who. Sorry, he just seemed like a piss poor father.
Anyway, I eventually grew up, went to middle school, then high school. But, for some reason, my childhood interest that I had put away, had swung back around. I found myself purchasing action figures again. Nerd! This continued into my 20's, post college life, early career life. My interests shifted to more museum quality pieces like statues of Spider-Man or Batman. My collection grew. As did my debt as a result of this "hobby". This went on for years. I amassed an impressive collection, but because of my OCD, because of Phil, I couldn't control it. And currently, it's costing me more than I'd ever imagine. If I saw something I liked, I'd get. Regardless of if I needed it or not. Honestly, you never really need anything outside of a few basics. Water, oxygen, food, love, friends and family. But, for me, I needed it. What I loved had become poisoned and tainted. So, it had to go.
Though, it's not all dark skies and violin music. Unlike say gambling, the money wasn't completely wasted. It was inadvertently invested. Sort of. I recently sold my entire collection on eBay, thanks to a company that specifically deals with collections like mine, for substantially more than I initially paid. They had the knowledge, resources and experience to move everything for the best price. In a way, it worked out. But, the damage has been done thanks to my compulsion.
Now, you might be thinking that because I suffer from OCD, that I feel I'm not accountable for my actions. Like I use it as a crutch or excuse. Let me clarify, I am 100% accountable. Despite my OCD, I'm still a person, an adult, capable of making the right decisions. It just makes things that much more difficult for me at times. It magnifies and intensifies feelings and emotions that normal people can control to a much better degree.

I apologize as this latest post was not as humorous as the last. So, here's a joke:

Scene: Two muffins are in an oven
Muffin 1: Phew, it's hot in here.
Muffin 2: Holy shit! A talking muffin!

Thank you. Tip your waitress.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Rationalizing the Irrational or Irrationalizing the Rational 2: Electric Boogaloo

You're probably thinking to yourself, "Self, there was no part one." I know, but I'm a huge fan of films, so each title will incorporate some kind of film title reference. Yay for creativity. So last time I kinda built an outline of what my OCD is to me and broad strokes of what I experience. Bear in mind, I'm just starting to seek therapy for this at 34, and I have lived with this since I was about 12 years old. So puberty. Yup, deepening voice, growth spurts, facial hair, increased interest in woman and oh hey, that vacuum and duster look sexy, let's clean. So at this point, it's all personal experience. Which, as implied, is personal. Sidenote: I'm actually a very private person, unfortunately, the internet has broken me down, and I need a podium for my catharsis. So, here we be, and bear (rawr) with me.
From an outsider's perspective, OCD behavior is completely irrational. Why would you vacuum several times in one day, isn't once enough? Why are you constantly putting things in order in a particular place and position? What does it matter in the grand scheme of things? Why do you have to mow the lawn every Wednesday during the summer, even when it's been dry and you can skip a week? Why? I hear that a lot. Honestly, there is only one answer: Phil, my monster, or the OCD. I prefer, Phil, to monster because we've known each other for so long, there's no need to be impolite.
There is no rationalizing the behavior. I can try and rationalize it until I'm blue in the face or go to Home Depot, buy a bucket of blue paint, a brush, then go home and paint my face blue. It won't make any difference. I, in my mind, recognize it as irrational behavior, but I can't rationalize, think it through, and not do it. Not without help. You see, Phil won't let me. He's not a voice, well, he's more like a presence. Like a sales rep at Best Buy. lurking, who won't go away. Example: you're minding your business, looking at "Black Hawk Down" on DVD and he comes up and is like, "I see you have Black Hawk Down there, may I recommend Behind Enemy Lines?" First off, no. Owen Wilson. Just, just no. Second, go away before I shove this up your ass, indirectly turning you into a DVD player. I have to mention, I also have anger issues. But, that actually happened to me years ago. Not the sodomy by DVD threat, but everything else. Seriously though, I have to comply and perform any task so he'll temporarily quiet down. Just so I can get some peace. Peace most people take for granted on an everyday basis.
So, what I'm trying to say in all of this, in regard to rationalizing, irrational behavior or vice versa, is that, at this moment, it cannot be rationalized. At least for me.  Phil can only be temporarily satiated until the next thought or event. This is I how I cope on a day to day. I give in and perform meaningless daily tasks. Everyday, I bend over a Best Buy sales rep, and shove a DVD up his or her ass until they go away. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Honestly, I don't even  frequent Best Buy anymore. It's Amazon or bust.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Living with OCD: Or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Chaos

Hello All,

This is my first blog post, well my first blog ever. I know, everyone has them, right? So, what makes mine different? Honestly, not much. I know I'm far from ordinary, so perhaps that helps. Listen, if you're still here reading this, then clearly I have your attention. Or least, you have yet to open up another tab for Tinder, Twitter, Facebook, Twinderbook, whatever the hell kids love today. I say kids, because I'm 34 years old. Last I checked, I was 21, 30 lbs lighter; with a full head of hair, and no beard. I suspect I recently time traveled and all that changed upon my arrival. Further testing is required. Hmmm. Anyway, today, I'll be talking about one thing many people have heard about, but few actually understand. So strap in, or stay seated, or standing. It doesn't matter.
 O.C.D. or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is defined by Wikipedia as "mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly, perform certain routines repeatedly, or have certain thoughts repeatedly." Interesting. Yes, and no. OCD for most people, is a throw away line. Something they say as a joke. They might make a comment like, "I have all of The Golden Girls on dvd and, I'm OCD about owning all of them." No. First off, "Golden Girls", really? Second, have you not heard of digital media? Third, simply collecting an entire series where Bea Arthur struts around in 80's shoulder pads is not OCD. Perhaps you celebrate the entire collection and therefore want all of them. OCD is far more complex, maddening and debilitating. I know, I have it. Allow me to give you an example in the below paragraph. (Motions hand to below paragraph and smiles.)
My form of OCD is a wonderful combination of routine, anxiety, pervasive thoughts, cleaning, and proper placement of surroundings, allowing me to feel at ease or else! "Wow Nick!" you're saying. By the way, I'm Nick. No, Don't get up. Pleasure meeting you. "That's a lot of stuff." Yes it is. But, much like Connect Four, "Get three in a row and go for one more. Go for it. Connect Four!" Sorry, it's all connected. 
You see, there needs to be an external catalyst that drives an event. Something, like I don't know, vacuuming. Ok, I need to vacuum. Thought is generated. Let's say I pick a day to vacuum. Saturday. So, I have a thought, and a day or routine. Let's say I did this for the first time ever. Like, I just came into existence, someone handed me a Dyson, which are nice, and I vacuumed for the first time ever on a Saturday. Ok. So next Saturday rolls around and I do it again. And again the following Saturday. I've just set up a routine. Let's say another Saturday comes, and for whatever reason, I can't vacuum. I'm not home, I'm running errands, or I got locked inside the car again. Whatever the case, I can't do it. That one thought, because I'm looking to establish a routine, now becomes pervasive. It sits in my head, like background noise. Growing and growing. 
Or maybe it's a monster, saying "feed me." I assume the monster speaks English since I only speak English. Yea, four years of high school French class for nothing. Thanks school! So, now, that constant thought now triggers anxiety. My thoughts start racing, I can't focus and that damn English speaking monster, we'll call him Phil, keeps getting louder. All I can think about is vacuuming. It's madness! Sorry, I mean OCD.
 So, that is, in a nutshell, or paragraph(s), or nutshellgraph, is what I experience every day. There are many other thoughts, routines, and triggers, but I wanted to ease everyone in. Like a gentlemen. So, this is just to start. Join me next week, or time I write to further delve into OCD, me and Dupree. Kidding, I can't stand Owen Wilson. Luke Wilson is a better actor. But, I digress.