When you're constantly battling intrusive thoughts and uncontrollable, repetitive behaviors, it's tricky just navigating your own daily routine — much less balancing it with a romantic partner's feelings and habits. But that's the reality of living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): It affects every part of your life, relationships included.
Approximately 2.2 million American adults live with OCD, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. And for some, it can be downright debilitating.
Poet Neil Hilborn's OCD poses a number of daily challenges for him, causing him to obsessively avoid cracks in the sidewalk and repeatedly check he locked his apartment door. When it comes to dating, he deals with the same uncontrollable urges. In a spoken word poem that he first wrote and performed in 2013, Hilborn opens up about this very dilemma, talking about his own OCD and the effect it had on one of his past relationships.
It's these same tics, he says, that led him to ask a girl out six times in 30 seconds ("none of them felt right so I had to keep going," he says in the poem) and spend most of their first date "organizing [his] meal by color rather than eating."
His words have struck a chord with listeners everywhere — when Hilborn reposted the video of his performance last week, it went viral, racking up more than 27 million views so far.
Appropriately titled "OCD," Hilborn's poem explains:
The first time I saw her, everything in my head went quiet. All the tics — all the constantly refreshing images — just disappeared. When you have obsessive compulsive disorder, you don't really get quiet moments. Even in bed I'm thinking, 'Did I lock the door? Yes. Did I wash my hands? Yes.'
Watch the full video below to hear how Hilborn's love story ends.
[h/t The Huffington Post]