When my cousin Faith saw the new OCD Diaries banner I unveiled yesterday, she said she immediately had The Door’s “Break On Through” running through her head.
My reaction was a satisfied smile, because that was exactly what I was going for when I enlisted another cousin, Andy Robinson — creator of the original banner — to make a new one.
When I started this blog, the idea was to come clean about my own battles with OCD, addiction and my past. It was a two-pronged attack: one against my own insecurities, because writing about them always helps clear my head, and the other against all the stupid ideas society has about mental illness and addiction.
By coming clean about my issues, I figured someone with their own demons would read it and realize they’re not alone, and that they always have the option to re-do their lives. The formula worked, based on the thousands of comments, emails, Facebook and Twitter messages I’ve received in the last 30 months.
But I started getting stuck behind a wall made out of my diseases. It was hurting loved ones at home and it was boxing me in as a writer. The more you focus on this stuff, the more it defines the person you are, and that was never part of the mission. So I decided to expand the themes of the blog and punch through that wall.
Break on through? Hell yes.
Expanding the theme is not nearly enough. I have to crush the bricks every day outside of the blog. I’m working hard on that, though I admittedly have a long road ahead.
My life didn’t begin when I was diagnosed and started fighting back, though my quality of life is light years ahead of what it was. I don’t want my life to be about this stuff and nothing else.
That said, my demons will be a recurring theme, as will messages to others fighting their personal battles. Coming clean and breaking stigmas is still at the heart of the blog. But beyond that, it’s a blog about learning to find the joy in life despite the darkness we often have to live with.
The darkness takes many forms — the poisonous nature of today’s political discourse, the way the media portrays our everyday challenges, the way we talk to each other.
With the wall breaking open a brick at a time, all those subjects become fair game.
Things are going to get more interesting around here. You’ve been warned.