For a brief ten-minute period, I absolutely lost it. It had been building up for a while. The systematic OCD rituals over and over again had taken a toll on my cognitive wirings. Did I wash my hands long enough, are the blankets in perfect order before I lay down, and re-reading texts literally six times to make sure they’re perfect. It just wouldn’t stop, and it started to strangle the life out of me like a reticulated python.
Hi everybody, my name is Nicholas Bartlett, and I’m in the process of healing from a mental illness known as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
I didn’t really know I had it, and I don’t know exactly when it was fully on-set. What I can tell you is that it crippled every facet of my life until I had what most people would probably call a mental break.
I’m not going to talk about what happened in the ten minutes where I had a manic snap for my own personal privacy. But I can tell you it was an immediate reality check that I probably need to take better care of my mental health.
Before the breakdown, I knew I was doing pretty odd stuff. Most people don’t take five minutes to wash their hands or forty-five to do four dishes. At some level, I probably knew these actions were unreasonable, but I just couldn’t stop.
At a point, it became all-consuming.
Did I pull my socks up high enough? Did you close the refrigerator all the way? Is the oven off?
The repetitive questions felt like 90 percent of my life. It’s wearing especially when you’re unaware.
But now that I know what happens on the other side of trying to control every facet of the freaking world. I can immediately begin to make changes. And I’m excited for the opportunity to grow as a person.
Writing this is hard; it’s admitting that I’ve probably been self-sabotaging myself. We all know time is everything and like I said, 45 minutes to clean a pot, lid, and one small measuring cup. People in third-world countries would disapprove of this move.
But it is a part of my journey. And I feel that as a man, it’s still probably hard for most of us to admit what we’re going through. It feels like we got so much on our backs and were alone.
But we can talk about things; it’s all good, ya know?
And its healing and healing is truly one of the most beautiful aspects of life. This often gets lost because we talk about fighting things: fighting cancer, Covid, even pneumonia.
In my opinion, society needs to collectively shift its mindset toward healing rather than defeating.
But that’s just how I feel.
I have a lot of phenomenal things in my life right now, a job I love, cable in my room, and I probably get to coach basketball again soon, which just lights me up differently.
I love my life, and I’m not willing to let this happen again. You can’t play with your mentals like that, you can really not come back, and that’s just real.
This was a humbling experience, and writing this column may be the only way to process what happened.
And now I’m only going to only re-read this article back twice and live with the potential errors, hey we all gotta start somewhere.