Only I Remain.
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Only I Remain.

Three years with OCD.

Only I Remain.
Tyler Simpson

Before I started the MCBS Program at Full Sail University, life was a bit confusing for me; for various reasons and excuses, I had ended up not graduating high school on time. While I would like to say this was entirely my fault, I’m not sure that it was. It was, however, almost certainly mostly my fault. I am by nature quite lazy, or at least easily distracted, or perhaps disenchanted; at least I was for a good majority of my life. One thing is for sure, that I used the bad things that happened to me as a crutch, and saw them as a way to slide by without putting in the effort to be the best that I could be.

I had always thought I wanted to become a game designer. I really enjoyed storytelling and mythology and I loved the idea of using emotion to tell better stories. So when it came time for me to finally settle down and chose something to devote my life to I went with Game Design. I chose Full Sail University because I knew that if I put forth the effort, I could learn here what I could not at other schools, and could learn from the mistakes my professors already made.

School went well for about a year; I received decent grades and was interested in what I was learning. It was at that point that I became so stressed out that I ended up in the hospital with quite bad panic attacks and other unpleasant problems. Those weeks and months after I was released from the Hospital were the hardest of my life so far. I could not eat, I could not get out of bed or sleep easily.

It’s hard to put into words how I felt then. I was consumed by a terrible fear. I felt like I was losing my mind, I was terrified of losing control, of harming myself or someone I loved. It is even more difficult to put into words how scary it is to be afraid that you will hurt the people you love when you don’t want to. It was long nights praying for control, for relief, or at the very least that I would die before I could harm those I loved.

A week or two after my release from the hospital I went to the Peace River Wellness Clinic, where I underwent a full psychiatric review. It was then that I was diagnosed with OCD. The fears that I had experienced, and the panic attacks, were the result of something triggering the disease that had been dormant inside my mind.

There is something about identifying a thing which makes it easier to fight. Knowing these fears were a result of OCD helped me to fight the waves of panic and irrational fears, especially when I learned that no one with OCD had ever acted on them. You see, OCD is especially crippling because it targets your deepest fears and uses them against you. Knowing this, and talking about it with others who have suffered through the same problems, helped me maintain control.

It was then, lying in bed with nothing else to do, that I tuned into the Yogscast Christmas Charity live stream. I’d been a fan of the Yogscast for quite a while and had considered creating gaming content for YouTube as well, however, their charity live streams made me consider another option. It planted in me the seed of an idea; that I could make the world a better place simply by bringing people together and allowing them to understand themselves better. It was at that point, whether or not I knew it, that I wanted to become a journalist.

I ended up in therapy and I believe that helped a lot, being able to talk things through with someone else there to guide you can open a lot of doors, and cause you that ask a lot of questions that you wouldn’t have before, and because of this I ended up learning quite a lot about the world, the people around me, and even more about myself.

All of this time I was still attending classes at Full Sail University studying Game Design, but my heart was no longer in it. I started to fail classes even though I knew the content, and even when I was interested. Eventually, I failed one class too many and was forced to take a year’s break from classes. Honestly, this break was exactly what I needed. I spent that year forging new relationships and healing, slowly but surely. When the time came to appeal my status at Full Sail, I ended up putting it off for a month or so, unsure of what to do. I enjoyed the Game Design program, but in my heart, I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.

At that point, I requested that with resuming my classes at Full Sail I be transferred to the new Media Communications Bachelor of Science program. I believed this program would give me tools and knowledge the Game Design program wouldn’t have, and would allow me to fulfill my goal, which is to inspire others to better themselves and their communities, therefore making the world a better place, and to bring the best parts of our world to those who may not have access to them.

Three years later, I am now a senior at Full Sail University. In two months, I will be graduating from the MCBS degree program with a 3.3 GPA. It has been a difficult three years, filled with ups and downs; but throughout it all, I have been pushed by the seed planted in me that December so long ago. I have learned much in my time at Full Sail, and plan to put it all to good use in a life spent helping others.

I am writing this now not for pity, for fame, or for fortune, but because someone out there may see this when they are going through the same things I was. If that person is you, I want you to know that you are not alone. You are stronger than you think. You can and will learn to control your fears, and in time, your hardships will mould you into a better and more empathetic person. Do not be afraid, and do not give up.

I still have bad days, occasional panic attacks, and irrational fears; but I have learned to control them. There is a great Frank Herbert quote from Dune that sums up my experiences quite well: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

No one person can change the world; we can, however, change our part in it. If we all come together and make changes within ourselves, then together we can change our lives, our communities, and our world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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