What’s In A Name?

When I initially started writing this book, I was calling it “Finding myself in the Darkness.” I started this whole thing trying to discover who I was, so the name suited as while it was a journey of self discovery, I was also not looking for light in the darkness.

So before I get onto why I changed the name to “A Mind not My Own” I am going to explain why I started with the original title. When I started on this journey I wasn’t looking to find some light, or some illuminating, wondrous, magnificent thing, which put everything into perspective, made everything clear, and easy to see. I don’t and still don’t see why people look for, or want to find some magical light. I get that it is an easy way to understand, or discover who you are, but what you have actually done is found out who you are, when you are in the light. What happens when the light goes off? What happens if you cant see the light anymore? You find yourself in darkness with no fucking clue where to go, or who you are.

The thing with light is that it only hides darkness, regardless of the intensity of the light, how powerful and efficient the energy supply is, eventually at some point it will go out. When a light is on, the dark doesn’t move out the lights way, and as soon as the lights off come back. When a light is on, it covers the dark. The dark is still there, the whole time, you just cant see it because of the light, and interestingly if there was no darkness, there would be no way for us to see light. So while, looking for the light in a dark place, seems like what everyone wants to do, it doesn’t really achieve much, or at least achieve what you wanted it to.

So the journey I am on, is to find out who I am, regardless of wether I am in the light or in the dark. When you know who you are in the dark, it doesn’t matter if there is light, you become your own light. How I actually do this, what the steps are, which direction I take etc, I have no clue.

It is important to also realise that for me, maybe more so for many others, light, or good days are few and far between. While I might handle or deal with the OCD issues well, I am still in constant pain, and restricted as to what I can do. Its an ever present issue in my life, much like some other issues. So, knowing who I am in any circumstance, light, dark, raining, sunny, what ever I need to know regardless of the external circumstances who I truly am.

OCD is not an illness which has a cure, it can be managed, it can be kept in check, but curing it. No, this is not an illness that you take a pill for and then everything is better, fully recovered, never need to worry about it again. Some people might take medication, do some therapy etc and then never have another problem with OCD, as long as they live. It is pretty rare though, and not something I am expecting to occur.

While I am still on a journey of self discovery, I don’t think that it is something that I could write one book about, or really could write a series about, and it be a good, or worthwhile read. Nor do I feel that you can really know who you are, you might know who you are at a set point in time, but you evolve, change, grow etc as you get older. But you can know who you are at the core, but the bits around the core, they change etc.

So I decided that I wanted to change the book title, and decided on “A mind not my own.” As a person who suffers from mental illness, as I do, there is an element where you realise that your mind, isnt really your own, at least you don’t have 100% control over it. We know what the conscious mind is on about, we have an element of control, but it goes off and does its own thing as it wants. If we were truly in control, 100% in control of our minds we could stop our heart beating, if we wanted too. We could stop the hair on our heads stop growing, or grow so fast that over night we had hair down to our arse. We might like to tell ourselves or tell others we are in charge of our minds, but we don’t really have complete control. We might have control over our decision making, the conscious mind, but with OCD, while technically you don’t lose control over decision making etc, your mind gives you impossible choices, choices which will make you feel that if you decide to do one thing, you feel better, but feel horrible because you gave in and did the compulsion, or you don’t do the compulsion, you feel horrible because you didn’t do it. In both choices, you feel horrid, but at least in one you got some relief.

The other reason I decided to name this “A mind not my own” was because I have seemed to compartmentalised my mind somewhat in a way to help cope with my mental health issues. There is me, my personality, then there is the OCD, the crazy mixed up bullshit, and then there is the analytical mind, watching both of the other compartments, and laughing, kinda like it is saying, you 2 are so fucked up its not funny. Its weird, for some reason I have always had colours associated to these compartments, Yellow, a weak, lightish yellow is the OCD, an off-white, a cloudy, off-white is the me part of me, and then there is green, a light green, but more intense than the others for the analytical part of my mind. While they are all parts of my mind, etc they all seem to have their own “Style”. I am not saying that I have different personalities, or that each part should have a name, or what ever. What I am saying is there is separate parts of my mind, doing one thing or another. Sometimes they don’t seem to see eye to eye on things, and they don’t always seem to get on well. So with these things in mind, I settled on calling the book “A Mind Not My Own”.

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