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Looking back, I always remind myself of my life when things were the worst—a teenager on the brink. I am a young guy seeking and trying to find my way at work and with others. I become a middle-aged man plowing through 8-10 glasses of wine daily. My career is booming. Why am I doing this? Opposites attract.

Where do I fit in?

What am I good at?

Who will love me?

Will I develop Cirrhosis? Will it hurt if I do?

What will history say about me? What about my family?

I can be the quietest person you've ever met. If I know and trust you, I will talk your ear off. I was a guy who lost touch with his soul. Nervous constantly. Checking, obsessing endlessly, managing evil thoughts, and so on. It was a nightmare. I slept so little. I somehow managed to be popular and have a lot of friends. Talk about irony. I hid everything except my hands. I would wash them so frequently they chapped and bled. My fingernails chewed to the cuticles. But I forged on. I started researching what was ailing me. The library would produce a book about OCD. It didn't take me long to figure out I had it. It did take me a long time to do something about it. It was embarrassing, constant, heavy, and painful to my core. I had to hide this from my parents as a kid, my wife as a young man, and my family as a retiree.

Suppose you're staring at a stove for an hour until you are comfortable that it was turned off, only to get hung up on whether the toaster is unplugged. You'll know what I mean. When I found alcohol in my teens, I thought it was something that would calm me. So I started drinking and would for the next 40 years. I quit five years ago. The depressant drug held a firm grip on my body and intellect like a jackal protecting Satan himself. The only relief gained after a trip to the liquor store. I bought my daily 1.5 bottle of wine and transported it home. Soon, I'll be somewhere else one more time. My daily binge is a three-hour process. Act one got me started, and I achieved a relaxing high. Act two had me at cruising altitude, which I would nurture until I began losing lift and the clock approached the bewitching hour of 10 PM. Did I know where I was? Hardly. I'd crash into bed only after a few rounds with the stove's fire.

What did I gain in my 3-hour, 3-act play? Only one thing. A further reliance and desire to repeat the script in 21 hours. The devil's grip tightened around my liver. The ever-tightening tunicate would morph from loving protection to death's saturation. Good night.

OCD is bad enough. Alcohol-infused OCD is worse. For me, it came with depression, too. What a bonus. I was fortunate. I found an excellent psychiatrist to work with me. Therapy and meds would start a process that allowed me to address the cause at the heart of my issues. It would take almost ten years, and on 2/14/19, I gave up trying to drown myself. I would stop soaking up poison and start a regimen of healthier life choices.

I retired and started working out and writing more. Slowly, my OCD and depression waned. While not nonexistent, these maladies lurk around with a loosened grip that allows me to fight and win against Prostate Cancer. I am hoping I have enough strength to manage Multiple Sclerosis for the rest of my life while we knock off a few items on the bucket list.

Whatever you do, stay after it, resolve it, defeat it, and celebrate life itself.

Peace, Chris

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About Chris

Christian J. Farber

After a thriving corporate career, Chris now enjoys retirement at the Jersey Shore. As a prostate cancer survivor, he's committed to educating men about the disease and covers various topics like Alcoholism, Multiple Sclerosis, and Career Success in his featured writing on platforms such as The Good Men Project, Huffington Post, and Thrive Global.

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