As far as I see it, I am crazy, a loon or mentally disabled. I wasn’t always this way though

“I am first and foremost an artist and secondly a self-proclaimed crazy person. People don’t like to use the word ‘crazy’ and repeatedly reassure me that I’m not. But to me it is what it is, I am crazy, a loon or mentally disabled. I wasn’t always this way though. Years ago while cycling to work I got hit by a car. The trauma caused me to develop obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and unfortunately this is an incurable problem. It got so bad I even went on a holiday to the loonie bin and have been a returning visitor to the resort ever since. I am what you would call a contamination head: the world to me is dirty. My life is dictated by this, every action, relationship or even the food I eat is effected. To put it in some sort of perspective I spend the equivalent of a full-time job on OCD behaviours. I use plastic bags as barriers because of an irrational fear. I need to have a forty-five-minute shower after going home each day, I need to clean my floors every day which takes about an hour. I can’t have human contact – no hugs, no handshakes not even bumping into someone. I haven’t even hugged my own mother in years because of this. All because my ‘fight or flight’ response it is obscured so that bumping into a bin bag has the same physical response as being attacked. Adrenaline pumps through my system and ravages my nerves. Though as an artist, I use this turmoil to benefit my art. This OCD is both a hinderance and an influence to my creativity. It stops me from using many tools to create but has inspired some of my most moving work. You have to look at the silver lining.”

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