Friday, October 25, 2013

The Face of OCD, and Pie

Isn't it fun to post pictures of ourselves?

New Idea: For every flattering picture you post of yourself on social media, you must post an equal and opposite unflattering photo.  Methinks that would curb the selfie epidemic.


I was on a work retreat this week with my colleagues.  We go to an island, we cook for each other, we long-term plan for the organization, we have some wine, we play some Pictionary.  It's a good time.

The second day of the retreat, I started feeling not-so-great.  I was feeling frustrated with our conversations and really antsy.  My face was itchy and my skin felt weird - when my colleagues asked if I was okay, I said maybe I was allergic to something.  The sun from the beautiful day was too intense, it was bothering me.  I apologized to my boss that I wasn't doing a 'good job', since it seemed like everyone else could focus better.  I was tense, I was stressed.  I was holding back tears.  I was having a bad time.

It wasn't until 5:00pm that I realized I had forgotten my medication.  At first, tears sprung to my eyes out of sheer relief.  I ran (yes, ran) to my room to grab them and take them.  Then I started sobbing.

I am really aware of the difference that the OCD prescription has made in my life, and I'm incredibly grateful for it.  But it was another story to be so rudely and unexpectedly confronted with it.  It is hard for your body to inform you of how heavily you rely on medication.  And then, that little voice said to me, as I curled up in the fetal position on my twin bed, racked with sobs, "Maybe this is the real you.  Maybe the medication just hides how broken and pathetic you are.  You are weak".

I lay in a dark place for a while.

I believe so strongly, both from scientific and anecdotal evidence, as well as first and second and third opinions, that medication is the right answer for me, probably for life.  But still, I've got a bit of left-wing hippy in me.  It's a pretty common idea in Vancouver to cleanse your body of chemicals and toxins, and that if you do enough yoga and eat enough quinoa your body will fix itself.  But this is not true for me.  So instead, I need to swallow my pride in the form of one quarter of one small pill every morning with my fibre and my Vitamin C.

It slowly kicked in with waves of calm and clarity.  I got up.  I made a pie.  I'll remember tomorrow.



  1. You approach your stumbles with such courage and honesty. I look forward to reading your episodes of learning. I'm a big fan.

    p.s. Left-wing hippies are usually trying to help, but sometimes quinoa and hemp just aren't enough.

  2. I like you. You are a real human. A rarity.

  3. There are periods in my life when I am really reminded of my brokenness....sometimes it's physical brokenness (currently my disfunctional and aching back), other times emotional, mental or spiritual. Our brokenness is everywhere and it's pervasive. But Shantini, on that day when we meet our creator, I am going to be so dang excited to see the FULLNESS of who he created Shantini to be. Until then I see the glimpses of a funny, loving, talented womanl that God is using here on earth...glimpses of the wholeness we become in Jesus. dang. It's going to be a good day.

  4. I have recently had a similar conversation with someone of societal note, who also has to stay on meds just to cope. We talked about the vulnerability it places one in, and also that its kind of a fact of life for MANY in our society. It's more of a comment of the society we berate ourselves to fit into, than it is about who we truly are. And you are certainly not alone. Fantastic people (including you) are on meds all over the place. Thank for putting it out there so others realize they are not so alone.