Courage in the Crosshairs

The author has been thinking a lot about courage lately. Some have told him it takes courage to write about his OCD battles. He thinks it’s more about being tired of running.

Over the weekend, I got this e-mail from an associate in the IT security industry I write about for a living:

“I’ve been reading your OCD diaries lately. This is perhaps one of the most courageous blogs on the planet and the work is stellar. Sometimes, insanity and the brilliance are intertwined. Your writing is meticulous and it’s a gift. That which the madman downs in, the mystic swims in. Same stuff. Keep swimming.”

A few people have told me it takes courage to write this blog. But I’m not so sure about that.

When I think of courage, I think of my grandfather. He was a career military man who propelled himself toward danger many times. He parachuted behind enemy lines in the hours leading up to the D-Day invasion of France in WW II. He was among those pinned down by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. He took a bullet in the leg during the Korean Conflict.

That’s courage: Putting your life on the line for the greater good when chances are better than average you’ll be coming home in a box.

I inherited a lot of things from my grandfather. I have his over-sized nose and ears. I wear a hat that was his. I like cigars. And on my desk at home I keep some of his service medals in a glass case, and I have the flag that was draped on his coffin when he died in 1996:

But I certainly am not risking my life to write this blog. I’ve never been in a firefight, and can’t be sure how I would handle myself under such circumstances. So it would be stupid for me to suggest I inherited courage from him.

When I really stop and think about it, I’d say this blog is less about courage and more about me being tired of running.

I got tired of keeping this disease to myself because of everything I’d been told about jeopardizing career and friendships by being too honest. I’ve seen too many good people go down in flames by keeping the affliction to themselves.

I just came around to realizing that when you rip your biggest skeletons from the closet and toss the bones into the sunlight, they turn to dust and you can then be free.

I’m not afraid of damaging friendships, because I’ve been open about my OCD to them all along. And it’s not like they couldn’t tell before that something was amiss.

I’m not afraid of this damaging me at work. The law protects me from discrimination. But what’s more is that I work with some great people.

Given that lack of fear, I’d have to say courage has nothing to do with it. Courage means pressing on in the face of fear.

I do think this is something God wants me to be doing. And I do see it as an act of service.

Service helps make me feel whole. And that’s reason enough to keep at it.

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10 thoughts on “Courage in the Crosshairs

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