“From my first conscious memory, I was a perpetual outsider: a living, breathing, exposed nerve, destined through some twisted karma to feel unworthy of living at every turn. It wasn’t—isn’t—simply a function of feeling sorry for myself; it’s a matter of truly, madly, deeply feeling that absolutely everyone else is better than me.
I’d spent the vast majority of my life feeling like a freak because there couldn’t possibly be anybody else on earth who did to herself what I did to myself. There couldn’t be another human being who felt about herself the way I felt about myself. How could I intellectually rationalize pulling out my own eyelashes? I couldn’t. But if I couldn’t rationalize it, then why couldn’t I stop? Instead, I spent my first two decades of life searching for the solution to the indefinable void where my sense of self should have been, and the next decade pretending I didn’t need it.
I’ve since found out, of course, that the void is no longer indefinable.
What I have falls under the heading of obsessive-compulsive disorders. One term. One concept. OCD. Throw in anxiety and addiction – in my case, alcoholism – and it all falls into place. Back then, though—as a kid, through adolescence, puberty, teens, twenties, thirties—all I knew was this: I was a freak, and I was alone.” – Excerpt from “Body Punishment: OCD, Addiction and Finding the Courage to Heal.”
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