We’re All Messed Up

In at least one kind of way, in different ways for different people, we are.

Let me tell you one of the ways I’m messed up.

It started when I was about eight years old. Or maybe ten. I can’t remember exactly how long ago exactly, but I’ve been this way long enough to say “for most of my life.”

It’s called obsessive-compulsive disorder. At least that’s what a doctor would call it if there was a diagnosis.

But you don’t need a diagnosis to know something is wrong with you when you’re always counting in even numbers, touching everything more than once, muttering a ‘reset word’ to yourself every few minutes, cleaning things you’ve cleaned several times already, rearranging objects that are obviously not out of place, washing your hands more frequently than you eat or use the toilet, scared shitless to shake hands and basically avoiding everyone you can.

I’ve taken cab rides from places with toilets to find a toilet that’s clean enough for me… to pee.

I’ve faked a phone call to avoid a handshake, faked a sprained finger to avoid a handshake, faked an emergency to avoid a handshake.

It has made me strange, pushed people away and stressed me the hell out for more than twenty years.

I’m better now, even though I still run through bottles of hand sanitiser faster than any normal person should and I’d rather bump fists than feel the grip of someone else’s hand around mine.

I still catch myself saying “good” under my breath to make me feel like everything’s okay.

I still open doors with my elbow and flush public toilets with a protective wad of toilet roll.

It still takes a shitload of willpower not to touch things with both hands for ‘balance’.

I still can’t bring myself to lift a toilet seat with anything other than a foot.

But hey, at least I can talk about it.

All these years, I’ve been fighting my weaker self and exposing myself to the things I’m afraid of just so I can get used to them and act a bit more normal.

But I’ve been hiding those battles because it’s embarrassing to show my lack of control over my own self. I’ve been quiet when what I really needed to do was scream.

Most of us don’t ever want to appear helpless, but this damn pride is worn thin and I’m tired.

The fact is, being messed up isn’t the new normal, it’s the only normal.

To be human is to be flawed. People just hate to admit it, that’s all.

Well, I don’t have time for hiding anymore. I’m screaming now.