I was pretty sure I’d read it in a Joan Didion essay, although now that I try to track it down, I can’t find it. Of course. But I thought that Didion, who suffers from migraines that annihilate her world, had once mentioned that while a normal person notices when he gets a headache, someone with chronic headaches notices when she feels well.
It resonated with me. A normal person notices when life gets chaotic, but an obsessive-compulsive notices when things seem calm.
Isn’t that sad and crazy and hard?
Life with OCD is like living on turbulent waters– you take notice when the sea is still. And then you barely want to breathe for fear you’ll disturb it.
What I am trying (and perhaps failing) to say is a word to those who do not suffer from OCD: I don’t think you can understand what it’s like to be tortured by your own mind for so long that the continuous agony of thinking becomes the new norm.