17 September 2014
Chronic conditions are one of the leading causes for death and disability. You may have heard about these conditions such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, etc., but are you aware of the social burdens they can have on their victims? Most people are not affected by chronic conditions in their own lives, and do not take into consideration the day-to-day struggle and constant battle being faced by others who do have them. It is a common misconception that people with OCD are just germ freaks or they are obsessed with one action such as not stepping on cracks in the sidewalk. Neil Hilborn is a poet who showcased his OCD through spoken poetry at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in 2013. Hilborn does a great job explaining how a relationship can be negatively affected when a person with OCD overwhelms their partner. While most people believe that OCD victims are incapable of a normal relationship, a partner who is able to tolerate and help maintain their impulsive behavior can complement their qualities in a relationship.
Hilborn logically argues his perspective about his first date with a new love interest. She is aware that Hilborn has OCD, but she has not experienced the severity of his condition. According to Hilborn, “On our first date, I spent more time organizing my meal by color than I did eating it, or talking to her... But she loved it” (Hilborn). In other words, Hilborn is spending more time focusing on his food rather than getting to know this woman. In Hilborn’s argument, his positive conclusion follows negative premises, which makes his argument invalid. He spent more time organizing his food by color rather than eating or talking to her. One might conclude that by reading these premises the conclusion would have a negative connotation. This is not only an invalid argument but it also is unsound and does not logically make sense. It is clear that Hilborn does not have a problem showcasing his symptoms even on the first date. While this shows that he is being honest, it also leaves me to question if he feels comfortable. As mentioned in the quote above, the girl does not mind that he is paying more attention to his food rather than her! Since they are not familiar with each other, being nervous on a first date is normal, but she lets him believe it is ok he is not taking this time to get to know her. It is commendable that she is accepting him, but she is also encouraging habits that eventually annoy her. Channeling his thoughts away from his food and towards her would have made a great improvement in their communication. Hilborn could have used basic logic to conclude that this was a horrible first date and not a great start to a relationship.
Throughout his speech, Hilborn uses a lot of different emotions to try and connect with the reader. Even as Hilborn’s relationship with this girl starts to progress, you cannot help but feel sympathy toward him and his troubled mind. Once Hilborn and his love interest move-in together he writes, “She said she felt safe, like no one would ever rob us because I definitely locked the door eighteen times” (Hilborn). In making this comment, I noticed that this girl was providing Hilborn with reassurance that locking the door multiple times was a good thing and it would protect her. I also recognized this same pattern throughout the whole speech, where before discussing all his compulsions he writes, “She loved” (Hilborn). Basically, Hilborn has been lead to believe by this girl, who supposedly loves him, that his behavior is admirable. She loves that it takes him forever to walk home from work and the way he turns the lights on and off numerous times. I am a strong believer that too much of anything can take a toll on a relationship, but with no warning how was he supposed to know when enough was enough? Suddenly, half way through reading my text I was surprised when Hilborn abruptly wrote, “But...
Cited: Hilborn, Neil. “OCD.” Reddit Videos. Antron81, 12 August. 2013. Web.
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