Trapped in a Tin Can

The author faces another lack-of-control moment. Will he survive?

Mood music for this post: “By the Sword” from Slash’s new and excellent solo album:

After only two days home from Washington DC, I’m on the road again.

This time I’m headed to New York to give a talk on DDoS attacks at a security event. I’m glad to do it because after spending the first part of my life in sheer terror of public speaking, it’s a gift that I can do it now and feel totally at ease. I speak at some security events and often at OA meetings, while I also Lector at church.

There’s nothing quite like facing down and killing your fears. That’s one of the many blessings of my recovery from mental illness and addiction.

But my current predicament reminds me that the OCD is never far from the surface.

I’m on the LimoLiner bus, known for it’s plush leather seats, satellite TV and Internet access. I usually have good luck with the Internet access, but this morning it’s touch and go. I can’t get the VPN working, so I can’t update headlines on or post an article I’m planning to write during the trip.

In other words, I have no control of the situation. OCD cases like me crave control like a junkie craves the needle. To lose control is physically painful for people like me. It typically feels like a Zippo lighter is torching the core of my brain and the head and back go numb and then ache. Fortunately, I’m not feeling the physical pain this time.

I’m falling back on my tools of recovery, letting go and letting God.

I have limited Internet access, so I’ll just make the best of it. I also have my iTunes library and am enjoying the hell out of Slash’s new solo album. The coffee isn’t bad, either.

In the big picture, this beats the hell out of the rages I’d go through when things took a turn beyond my control. Traffic. Flight delays. Being late for a movie. All these things used to result in rage. Not the kind where I would hurt anyone, but the kind where every vicious thought on Earth would flash through my mind and wipe me out.

I still have my mood swings. I always will. But it’s nice to be rid of the rage.

I’ll write more later. Meantime, seize the day.


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