Ode to OCD

In honour of World Mental Health Awareness Day, because so many people suffer, yet are brave enough to acknowledge they are in the fight. And because it’s time I did the same.

I yearn for the time there was just you.
Not that I like you,
have ever embraced you.

Not that you’ve gone away.
You never go away.
I see you  in every puddle left by this dizzying rain.
You tell me things I want to hear.
Things I don’t.
I know I should feel privileged to have you. 
Every possible, conceivable reality exists because you tell me it does. 
You tell me I’m a king and lavish me in gifts of hubris…

And then you tell me that every dish I am served at this banquet is poisoned.
And I believe it.
I believe everything you say. The good. 

The bad…

The monstrous ugliness of it all.

Sometimes I can push you far enough away 
so that all I hear is the fulfilling noise of life.
I forget you are there–
and I am neither king, nor clown, nor fool–
I am simply me. 

But you always come back. 
In the form of some false memory,
A promise I don’t remember making,
A vow you keep me bound to. 

Until I yearn just for you.
Not because I enjoy this hollow existence, 
because I don’t.

You pollute my thoughts with fear, jealousy and paranoia,
you lie about futures that will never be, 
turn me against those I love.

And yet you’ve filled my past and present with people who care about me. 
And for that I am grateful.

No, I yearn for that time it was just you and me,
because that was my chance to obliterate you.
Dig the weeds from my garden. 

So I say to you now. Welcome back. 
Old friend, old foe.
Each year.
Make the most of our acquaintance,
for soon it will just be me.

(c) Darren Hawbrook 2020

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