Most people have heard of OCD and everyone has some form of obsessions, but I’ve been living with it all my live and it has draining. I constantly count things until I reach 21 and after that I forget it and have to do it all over again. It’s a constant fight and I’ve tried behavioral therapy and medications and they never seriously helped me, and I really thought I was crazy and at no time be so-called normal. I even count letters, numbers, driver’s licenses on cars, clocks and objects like holes in ceiling tiles. Most numbers I convert into digital and have my own counting process, where the #1 equals 2, the #2 equals 5 and the #3 equals 5 (think you can figure out the rest?). One day a woman asked me why I was staring at her chest, and I told her I have OCD and that I’m counting the letters and trying to add them up to 21, but she didn’t believe me (after that I would glance quickly and then try to remember it and count them).
Then, one day when I was talking to my psychologist, I mentioned to him that my mom recommended me to be a massage therapist. His eyes lit up, and he said that is the career for you. He went on to mention that massage therapy would help keep me busy and could help control my obsessions.
I soon enrolled in massage therapy class and loved it! I noticed some of my obsessions getting less, and I really thought I found my new drug. But then I realized I kept counting the strokes, and the obsessions were back again (does someone really want 21 of the same stroke).
One thing I noticed was when I would think of 5-10 techniques in advance while I was massaging, and that helped some. That thought process helped me become a better teacher too, when I started teaching massage back in 2001. Students were constantly asking questions, and I always had to be 10 steps ahead of them, so I kept thinking of what they would say, before they said it. And when I started massagenerd.com, I had to keep as busy as possible, so I could get information out to the masses.
As you can see, I’m still haunted by obsessions, but I try my best to keep them under control by keeping busy. Honestly, OCD has not totally disabled me; I just have to find other ways of dealing with it. Some days I think to myself what my life would be without OCD, but then I realize that OCD has made me, who I am today.
To quote my favorite TV character: Adrian Monk: It’s a gift… and a curse.