Hello to the whole Team Never Quit family! Thank you so much for what you do. I wanted to share my story. It is not very dramatic and first I do feel grateful for all the blessing in my life there are many.
Anxiety and OCD have quietly and relentlessly haunted me from the time I was in high school. It was never as severe as what Dr. McIngvale experienced so I felt strange sharing but here goes. For the last 10 or more years of my life I would get this form of OCD sometimes called “thought hoarding”. For me it was mostly being over come by the fear that I had just forgotten something important and that something bad would happen if I did not remember it. It would leave me with a fearful feeling sometimes for days on end.
I titled this Quiet Relentlessness because from the outside no one could see how much I was struggling. There were clues I always seemed lost in thought and not fully present. Missed a lot of work, grades where up and down I was not living up to my potential. I was also just one day after another of some level of fear and obsessive thoughts and that is a miserable way to live. It got to the point where I wondered if I would ever be able to enjoy anything for more then a few minutes at a time.
So coming up to the present a lot of work on myself including therapy, meditation, and listening to Podcasts like yours to keep me motivated to do the work I needed to get better and have more fun! Things have improved so much. OCD is chronic as you all know from listening to Dr. McIngvale. So it pops up and takes shots at you especially when you are weak or not expecting it. This sucks because if you give in it gets stronger. Which brings me to what happened yesterday. I am very embarrassed to share this story because to most people it would seem ridiculous but if sharing can help someone else then it will be more then worth it.
I was having a great day leading up to my four day weekend with my son and family and was present and relaxed. My mom asked me to buy her Powerball tickets from Maryland, she loves the lotto and has played for years, so I said of course. I went to the WaWa and went up to the machine and ordered 5 tickets for ten dollars then I realized the machine only takes cash and I didn’t think I had enough in my wallet, I did, so I canceled it and let the guy behind me use the machine while I went to the ATM. That is when the fear hit. I thought that the numbers that would have come out may have been the winning numbers and that because I was too stupid and distracted to check my wallet for the money it was lost! The negative insurgency in my head made a full on assault. I was in bad shape for a while crying screaming terrified I was going to spend the rest of my life thinking about how I didn’t win that money because I was stupid and all the things I could have done with that money for my family and charity and so on.
I know from long experience how to handle this. Including the fact that the attack will take many forms for example “man this sucks it happened right before your vacation, guess that’s another one ruined!” to What if man? Yeah, yeah statistically speaking wining the lotto is so small but “What if?”
My never quit story comes down to this. How willing am I to keep going in the face of sometimes relentless “What Ifs?” Thanks to your encouragement and the stories you all share I am willing to fight on as long as it takes. I used to think “man how could you complain about this?’ When others keep going in the face of actual physical danger and injures, the deaths of friends and here you are safe and sound and on and on. Today I take the perspective that to honor the men and women who don’t quit under more trying circumstances by not quitting myself.
“What if?” could eat up my joy, my experiences my whole life wearing it down a little bit at a time. I cannot let that happen. The path is a challenging one but I am up to it. More so because of the encouragement of strangers who already risked so much to defend the country I love so much. So thank you again so much! Hope to see Marcus in Philadelphia and listening to future podcasts! Keep it up you are making a difference.
Gianni “G” Migliaccio