EPISODE 7 TRANSCRIPT
04 | 19 | 17
Today is an exciting day for me in that it’s a bit of a milestone. About a year and a half ago when I first had the idea to do this I had the concept for the initial seven episodes. I knew that a lot of what I wanted to say to the world, the real important bits and pieces about OCPD, could be done in these first seven videos. Then the trick would just be to get you guys to watch. So even if I never made another video, I’m proud to have taken my initial idea this far. It feels like I’ve accomplished something.
What this also means is that starting on Wednesday I will no longer be relying on a script to talk to you guys, and not to bitch, but there’s a lot of worry surrounding that. The thing with people with OCPD is that for many of us, we don’t even want to bother with something unless we are confident we are going to excel at it. There are so many great projects, and video projects specifically out there, that I feel like I’ll never be good enough. For someone with OCPD, this is crippling. So I am going against every bone in my body by producing this channel. Every ounce of me is telling me to stop. Saying, “what are you doing?”. OK, but enough about that for now. If you’re watching you can probably relate and know exactly what I’m talking about. The good news though is that even though we are only seven episodes in, the format is changing. I will be keeping most of the videos from here on out to around the five minute mark. So I’ll be taking up a lot less of your time. Because I will only be outlining the topics I want to discuss, the show will be much more a conversational style stream of consciousness, meaning it will be a lot more personality driven. I still don’t feel comfortable sitting in a room by myself talking to a camera, but we’ll get there. Alright, so now it’s time to do some more talking about myself.
We left off the second part of this series with me going through a long and dark time period after my second divorce. It’s not easy to point out where one episode of depression ended and another begins, so I’ll talk about my situation to start with. After a little more than a year of isolating myself, and more importantly not making any progress on the issues I was facing, I decided to move countries again. I had chosen a European country and was preparing to go. I made a phone call to an old friend of mine that was living and working in Central America with his family. I was just calling to catch up and within that conversation I obviously mentioned I’d be moving from the States to Europe. He thought I might benefit from living in Central America and offered me a position within the company he was working for. I initially said no, but after a couple of weeks I decided that my life would more likely be crazier in Central America than in Europe. I’m attracted to crazy, so I chose Central America.
The work was initially ok, but the hours were long and the pay was low and that wore on me after a while. But other things were going on as well. Due to the low pay, I could not afford the language lessons I was planning on taking. I tried and tried to learn the language in various ways, but this was the first time in my life that I was studying something that I couldn’t seem to excel in. For someone with OCPD that is a death knell. The more I got discouraged, the more I would self sabotage the learning process, and so it would go. I entered a sort of relationship with a Spanish speaker I worked with. She also spoke a good amount of English, so that part wasn’t a challenge. We would spend entire weekends with her friends and those times would be entirely in Spanish. I thought for sure that would help, but all it helped to do was to make me feel completely isolated. When you don’t understand anything, you constantly feel like the butt of every joke. This part of my story is relevant because I arrived in the country depressed and this did nothing to pull me out of it.
I ended up after about six months making friends within the expat community. My plan was to go down there and really assimilate and be part of the culture and to learn Spanish. Hanging out with the expat community felt like the opposite of that (probably because it was) and it felt like another failure. But I needed conversation and I needed friends, so it was what I had to do. During this time I made a very close friend that I continue to to be close to, to this day, even if we don’t talk much anymore. I mention her because she is always quick to point out how bad I seemed during this time. Sometimes it’s hard to remember things exactly how they happened and sometimes in conversation I’d say “I don’t think I was that bad” and she gently reminds me that I was “that bad”. Now I’m not throwing her under the bus. As someone that knows me well, she is one of the people in my life that has encouraged me the most to seek out professional help, even paying for me to see someone at one point. I have a lot of love for her, but she knows my tendency to think that I can heal myself, and she knows for me that’s a dangerous train of thought. That’s been a theme with me throughout my life up to this point. I’ve looked at therapy as a sign of weakness, and so have thought I could beat this OCPD thing through sheer willpower. That was an incredibly dumb thing to think.
Anyway, I make this big move, go through all these significant changes and the depression is an ever present force preventing me from making progress. But, I’m so incredibly busy during this time I think others noticed it on me seemingly more than I did. The OCPD definitely hurt me within the position I had taken. This is where you and I will relate to being too focused on details that didn’t matter and having a harder time seeing the big picture. In the end, the position just didn’t work. I think it was about a year and a half from start to finish. This is where my story takes a very unexpected turn. I’ve found myself in many strange situations in life. I seem to be attracted to them. But I could never have predicted the next few years.
A few months before I stopped working for the company I’ve been talking about, I had started to DJ. It was a happy accident. How it happened really isn’t important, but it did alter my path. I thought once I stopped working that I would probably leave the country. But I quickly realized that in a couple of nights of work, I was making as much as I made working 60 hours prior to that. This was both good and bad. Good for obvious reasons, but bad because something happened that has made my quality of life significantly worse down to this day. Up until this point I’ve suffered with depression and OCPD for most of my life, but I was surviving. But it was at this time that I developed both a general anxiety disorder and a social anxiety disorder. I’d learned to live with the things wrong with me up to this point, but this was a game changer.
Now in the past, I had had the occasional panic attack. I’d had maybe 2 or 3 that actually sent me to the hospital. But they were incredibly rare and had started in my late twenties. They are terrifying things, but they were isolated and once they were over I didn’t give them much thought until a year or two later when I would maybe have another one. Constant anxiety, which is what I now had, is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Before I talk about living with it, I’ll talk about what may have prompted it. I have one strong theory, and two weak ones. My biggest guess was that it was too much free time. This was the curse of DJing. A couple of nights of work, and the rest of the week spent living in my head. For years and years and years I had kept myself so busy (part of having OCPD) that I had essentially been outrunning my past and my thoughts. I feel fairly confident that with all this free time I was suddenly compelled to confront my past. Everything just came over me at once and I didn’t have a way to cope. At this point I started to slowly isolate myself. My bedroom amongst close friends became jokingly referred to as the cave as I’d rarely leave to socially interact. I’d have to be, in a very real sense, forced out. The other theories are that I lost a relative in death that meant a significant amount to me around this time. She died much too early and it had a lot to do with mental disorders. Also, around this time I started experiencing sleep paralysis. That caused me a significant amount of stress as well. However, I think these may have contributed to the anxiety, but I do not believe these two things were the catalyst. I’ll save the subject of sleep paralysis for a later video as well as that’s definitely worth exploring further.
Where things get sad is that my personality started to change. Or at least it felt like it had changed. All this self confidence I’d carried around with me my whole life vanished. This outgoing and extroverted person became shy and uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like me at all. In a way I felt similar to how I’d felt when being prescribed medication for anxiety and OCD in the distant past. I felt like an alternate version of me and a version I didn’t much like. As is the case with many symptoms of personality disorders, these things become vicious cycles. The more aware you are of how different you’re acting, the more odd you continue to act. It’s like the depression and OCPD were a volcano bubbling away my whole life and this was how it chose to erupt. Into a crippling anxiety disorder that took away my sense of identity.
Now we have one more relationship to discuss that will bring us to present day. Far and away this is the most painful thing to talk about and the most challenging in leaving out details, because it is such a fresh time period in my life.
I entered a relationship with someone that I had known for a while. Someone that I felt a deep connection with and someone that I had incredible respect for. But we entered the relationship with an agreement that it would be temporary. We made the decision to date at a time when our lives were’t going in the same direction. We could have changed that, but the decision was made to not. There was a lot wrong with my mental state at the start of this relationship. The anxiety had built up over the past year and I found interacting to fill me full of self doubt. I was DJing and I didn’t view it as an adult job and this person was very successful. So I felt miles behind the eight ball as to where I should be in life. Basically, I didn’t feel worthy of this amazing and special relationship that was forming. I mentioned manifest destiny earlier, and never did it screw me over more than in this time period. Not just screw me over, but essentially ruin my life.
Because what happened is that we moved out of the county for a time and then I moved on to Europe, and her back to Central America. At some point the decision was made that it was a real relationship and I invested in a business in Central America in oder to move back and restart my life there. Now, I didn’t want to mess up this relationship and so I was fighting harder than I ever had before to minimize my OCPD tendencies. It also helped that my partner was incredibly neat and tidy and organized herself, so that made life incredibly pleasant. But I couldn’t shake the anxiety and unease and I couldn’t get the thought out of my head that I was going to ruin this relationship. Initially it was the anxiety that started to do the most damage. By the way, this didn’t all come on at once. Her and I had dealt with the anxiety from the start of the relationship. But the longer we were together, the more I started messing up. Two of the big ways in which I did this were through lack of communication. When in my head I would start a cycle of worry based on losing her, I would shut down. I could go days without barely saying a word. Breaks my heart to know what she must have been feeling in those moments. Also, I knew the damage I was doing but my brain was incapable of creating speech. The second was in interacting with her friends. She is an incredible person and surrounded herself with a great friend circle. But my ever growing social anxiety meant I wasn’t comfortable with spontaneously hanging out with her friends, and when we did spend time with her friends I was so quiet that it was at the point of being rude and I was eventually viewed as someone that didn’t fit in with the group dynamic. They were right. I was a buzzkill and I didn’t belong there at that time.
But the worst was yet to come. The business I had invested in and come back to run failed. I felt worthless and unlovable at this point and this is where the depression went into overdrive. If you don’t love yourself you can’t possibly imagine why another person would love you and I self sabotaged myself right out of the relationship. This incredibly caring and giving person didn’t deserve to be with someone so broken and I had become so despondent that she felt her personality and demeanor were now being affected. I’m very proud of her for making the tough decision that she did.
So here we are now. I’ve since moved to South America. Following the split we remained friends, she remained supportive and I stayed where I was for approximately a year. I’ve now been in my new country for around a year. Things are very complicated. I’m now involved in a few projects, but they are at ground floor level and time will tell where they take me. But emotionally and mentally I’m in complete disarray. Hence the name of this channel. I want this to be an inspiring story of hope and a story of success against all odds. But you are joining me at the start of this journey. The way I see it is if you buy into my story. If you believe the things that I’m telling you. Well if I manage to come out of this and go onto to lead a healthy life both physically & mentally and productively, then that should inspire you to do the same. Or at the very least demonstrate that it’s possible. Now part of that will be to go into the darkness with me. I’ve shared some big dramatic depressing moments in my life, but we are just getting started. The devil is in the details and if you are to understand how genuinely low I’m starting, we are going to have to dig much deeper. The good news, is that I do have a sense of humor and I hope to share much of myself while being able to laugh at the same time. There will be serious episodes, but there will be fun ones as well and we are all going to learn a lot together. I’m Darryl and welcome to OCPD: My Life In Debris!