by Falkner Discher
July 7, 2020
Le Choix is a dance piece choreographed and performed by Falkner Discher, representing his OCD and how he chooses to respond to it. Falkner Discher is a professional dance artist located in Baltimore, Maryland. Through his various outlets in the arts he strives to provide insight and context for others. In addition to dancing he coaches students and choreographs.
OCD and the difficulties that it presents isn’t what makes me special. Every single person has obstacles that make them strive for something greater. In sum, the context of our daily obstacles are not our defining moments, but rather the choices we make despite them.Falkner Discher
The single overarching realization that sparked healing in my own life was understanding that I had the power of choice. Each time I would let myself be directed by OCD, I was making a choice to let OCD define me and how I saw myself and ultimately victimize myself. In a specific way, coming to peace that while OCD may be a specific struggle for me; every person experiences their own obstacles and make their own choices on a daily basis. It just happens to be that OCD is the struggle I experience. In reading this back to myself even now I am taken aback by its obviousness, but at one time this was not something I understood.
OCD has provided a context for choices that I make in a greater or lesser way everyday. OCD may be pushing me to change my outfit, drive a different route, not eat, or any number of potential “rituals”. In sum, the OCD feelings, the rituals, and the resulting consequences of losing out on opportunities was something that I erroneous affirmed made me “special”. This “specialness” was something that no one else could understand and was what made me special a la’ the TV show Monk. In the show the titular character may be in pain from OCD but that is also what makes him the best sleuth. (I don’t endorse the show and I don’t appreciate the cultural cliches it makes about individuals diagnosed with OCD, that said it is useful to illustrate my point.) My mindset was, “I may be struggling, but that is what makes me special.”
In a broader scope, everyone experiences struggles that add context for their daily life. Each individual is different and experiences a varied set of contexts and feelings. While the obstacles may be different we all strive to move beyond them. For myself, these are exemplified by the feelings that OCD elicits. While the various contexts and circumstances of life are certainly part of what make us, as individuals, unique we have choices as to if we let them define us.
To define us, I mean dictate our outlooks. By me taking a perspective of “No one can understand me or my life,” I allowed the rancid feelings to slowly carve a hole in my being. I pushed away others, explained and rationalized my OCD behavior, and with each loss of opportunity bred greater feelings of resentment which in turn made me cling even more to my reliance on OCD to feel “in control”. For years, the first and greatest existential thought I would have in the morning was “How am I going to feed OCD today?” In short, OCD defined my identity.
In the scope of my own daily life, certainly OCD symptoms factor into my choices. Even now events occur on a daily basis that make me wonder if I should wash my hands just one more time. I strive to not listen to these voices when they whisper softly that the sink is just across the room. With as much progress as I have been able to make, I know that sometimes I do listen to the OCD. For those times that I do listen however, I make the choice to not allow myself to play the victim of my own making despite how OCD may want me to feel.
In all of this, the one thought I would like to leave on is that OCD and the difficulties that it presents isn’t what makes me special. Every single person has obstacles that make them strive for something greater. In sum, the context of our daily obstacles are not our defining moments, but rather the choices we make despite them.