BOOK

CHAPTER II
THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL

     The fixation of supremacy over others or the justification of that to yourself
diminishes the reality of what it means to be human. Society often corresponds to the
subconscious turmoil of control. We want control over our future, our jobs, our
households or even the dramatized and often brutalized ideals of romantic relationships.
It’s easy to forget the responsibility we have as an intelligent species to be free. To be
free from worry and to be free from the grips of opinion. To let go of control is to be free.
     In 2012 I lost control for the first time. Growing up, every relationship I obtained
from friends and family, to romantic relationships, was constructed based on my control.
I was pronounced ‘father of the group’. I was the care taker. Each of my friends played a
specific role, from the lazy stoners to the aggressive fighters, we all share a period of
adolescent disposition. And this disposition was the loss of our adolescence. Every
moment we spent together was a fast-forward button waiting to collapse the base of our
teenage years. This set the precedent for the teenage angst that still resonates heavier
than lead with this group. Sinking to the bottom fastest was my partner in mischief,
who’s name we will refer to as Illusion. Where I was the aggressive pacifist he was the
first to fight and where I was the first to think he was the first to jump. Everything about
our friendship challenged my previous construct of relationships. In 2012 I lost control.
We would steal his fathers’ car every weekend to go do doughnuts in our girlfriend’s
driveways or take black-n-milds through neighborhood walks to find trouble to get into.
We were hated by so many people in school because we went out of our way to break
the confines of the school’s social normalcies. Despite constant suspensions and
inconspicuous lectures from adults, we would never stop. In 2012 I lost control. They
fought because they were angry, I was angry because they were. They only
subconsciously knew why they were upset but the full scope of their behavior was lost
on them. Granted they were some badass kids, but they were brilliant, often more
intelligent than the other kids in school. I believe this played a huge role in consideration
to their anger. In 2012 I lost control. The last car had been stolen and the last trip to
school had been taken. Illusion made his final brilliant act. Illusion lost control of his
fucking mind and brought brass knuckles to school, ready to forge metal. I could no
longer play father. In 2012 I lost control.
     The illusion ended with more of a haze of smoke than a parade of bangs. I wish
the vibrations of this year had settled in my ears faster than they did, but the illusion is
often comprised of processes that cannot be taken by shortcut.

“The spontaneous rapture,
the absolute disconnects of body and mind

When the soul is alternating between conscious and unaware
I am not a doctor but an expert on self-examination
Without any cure, an ongoing disposition
I am the most judgmental person to ever walk this earth.”

      Judgements are often a shortcut. Think of the last time you were truly
judgmental. The hypocrisy of your judgement more than likely came from your self-
image of inadequacies. Things like not being enough, not inspired, over-weight, under-
weight, or anything less than your ideals of perfection. The short-cut is taken place once
you have given your control to your insecurities. Now instead of making the attempt at
bettering yourself you have given into complacency; degrading them has risen you back
to satisfaction and backed you away from self-improvement.
     I gave away the illusion and Illusion, after over 2 years of hiatus, returned to my
life. My judgments consumed my every thought. Anger settled in my heart like maggots
in dead trees. I was angry that someone I trusted so deeply could do something so
idiotic, something so irresponsible that inevitably predeceased the abandonment of all
his friends that loved him. After pretending nothing had changed for some time, me and
others couldn’t live with the weight of Illusions bullshit. In 2014 they abandoned him,
and I returned to my father like status. The Illusion of control had set deeper into my
roots. I had never seen such dysfunction. Fortunately for me my family is rather, well not
normal, but loving and understanding. Illusion’s was not. In a house of three crying kids,
an alcoholic father, an angry sister, jailed eldest brother, tortuous older brother and
concerned mother; illusion couldn’t handle his surroundings and settled for a less than
adequate romantic relationship. Drugs began to control his movements the way
puppeteers govern their puppets. The manipulation of societal pressure had induced a
coma on Illusions conscious. Now his talents evicted him. The errors of his ways
proceeded him, in a way that overshadowed any redeeming qualities he may have
previously acquired. Even his smile forecasted a paralysis of unfortunate events. Now
when I see his smile I see height measurement lines, a number and a description of
what happened. This was the year Illusion went away for a long time.

We grew accustomed to the dirtiness.
Some of us even began to like it, began to long for it.
I couldn’t stand it.
Its unbearable to watch but impossible to look away.
The personality of someone can be defined as the

qualities that form their distinctive character.
If you know anything about drugs,
I think those can define a person wildly more accurate.
So, what the fuck do you get when you mix it all into a blender
For one druggy milkshake.

     Where the world feels like it’s pointing its maniacal finger at you, your only
reaction is to panic and act compulsively. Behavior becomes erratic and your mental
state becomes caffeinated. The Global Point. The world is out of control, so you try to
control your own. This is the illusion of control.

 

     Vickie Cocklin LLC. Master of psychiatry writes on her experiences with OCD.
     My nerves were always bad. I was a worrier, like my grandmother. Doctor after
doctor, test after test. Creams for the hives, pills for the bleeding ulcers. Sleep meds for
the sleepless nights. Nothing for the bizarre body movements, nothing for the racing
thoughts or the need to touch the roof of my mouth with my tongue 4 times to calm my
nerves. No one could hear all the chatter in my poor little 16-year-old brain that had
been going on for as long as I can tell. Nor did I ever tell anyone. That chatter interfered
with my ability to pay attention in school, sleep, eat or maintain friendships. After the
state championship volleyball game, I saw a picture of my team, the champions,
celebrating. However, I was off a little from everyone although I was one of the star
players. I was pushing my foot into the ground. How bizarre I thought as I looked at the
picture. Actually, how sad. It was embarrassing so I switched that compulsive touch for
finger presses, because it was easier to hide. I finally made it through high school.
     I made it rather successfully through college with my anxiety. It became an effective
way to manage all the to dos of university and having a full-time job. When I started my
own business however, the intrusive thoughts came back. In a way that was
significantly unmanageable. Pressing my tongue or fingers was not enough. Counting
tiles, excessive exercise or checking the door so many unnecessary times never slowed
the chatter down. I cannot count how many times I drove back around the block to make
sure everything was okay. This time the chatter took on a more disturbing pace and
feature. It used to be about perfection and still was however, now there was a
component of fear and harm. I am a therapist for goodness sake this is not supposed to
be happening. So, I went to a psychiatrist who promptly diagnosed me with OCD.

What?! I am just stressed. Even though I had laughingly used the term OCD about
myself I did not believe it. Now I had to really hide what was going on with me because I
was also working with clients and I did not want to be judged or tell my family.
Interestingly working with clients was the only time I could focus; my brain was in the
moment but the minute I left everything flooded. I went on meds and got relief. I began
to run and meditate. I reduced my caffeine, sugar and protected my sleep. And worked
with a wonderful therapist that taught me more than university ever could.
     She taught me that my life long struggle with anxiety fatigued my brain. My brain
got tired so it put in a skill. Not a healthy one. But it was a skill. We called it a blanket.
The blanket of OCD. Because it covered up all my anxiety that I was not having success
treating. Now all I was concerned with was the touching door knobs, fingers and all the
chatter. Wow. There it is. As I learned to deal with my underlying anxiety and starve the
compulsions that the obsessions wanted relief from I got better.
     As a therapist I got better too. It allowed me to be a great diagnostician because I
can quickly see when someone is struggling with the chatter or voices or that monkey in
your brain, whatever you call it. It also created a deep understanding and compassion
for the suffering. I know it well.
     Many children get diagnosed improperly as troubled kids when they are struggling with
OCD. ADHD is one of the misdiagnosis and will firmly exacerbate it. It is estimated that
1 in 20 children suffer with OCD. Many people hide their OCD or think it to be normal.
Those that suffer in silence usually do so because of the stigma still placed upon mental
illness. OCD is an equal opportunist and affects equally across gender lines. So often it
is accompanied with depression, anxiety or with bi-polar disorder. Mental illness is like
having the flu or a cold. Take care of it. Get treatment. Don't hide from the reality that
you are not well and you will find a healthy way.
     It has taken me a long time to disclose my own struggles. I make no excuses for doing
so but, I do understand how I have bought into the dogma of our society at a young age.
It can appear to be easier to hide OCD and we can become masters of it. I thought not
disclosing my struggles was saving everyone else the burden but in fact it was creating
different problems. Finally I broke, I could no longer hide my internal issues. Those
issues were affecting everything, so I reached out. Which was the beginning of a new
and completely different understanding of mental illness.