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This Is How It Feels
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About the Author

When he was fifteen-years-old, Craig Miller was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Psychiatrists at a New Hampshire Hospital determined that the rituals and behaviors associated with Craig's OCD consumed ninety five percent of his waking hours. His compulsions spanned the entire spectrum of categorized behaviors including washing, checking, counting, and even self harming. His counting rituals were among his most intrusive as he would spend hours performing complex equations in his head to avoid certain numbers while favoring others. At times he spoke backwards after each sentence to "reverse the intent of the words." He even performed ritualistic prayers to satisfy an irrational fear of God. Aside from these behaviors, Craig's most prominent compulsion was the need to collect pieces of paper he found on the ground. He felt an overwhelming desire to "help" discarded shreds of trash on the side of the road. And as he walked home from school each day, he collected pieces that he saw along the way. He carefully flattened out their wrinkled creases and neatly folded them up in his pocket. For years he lived in a constant state of fear and depression, isolated from the world under the complete control of his OCD and the anxiety associated with it. But despite the overwhelming power OCD had over Craig, there was one thing that was off limits to his intrusive thoughts and compulsive behavior-- writing. As a result Craig began writing constantly, expressing his pain through song lyrics and poetry. He carried a pen with him always. And more often than not he used the paper he collected on the side of the road to write his words. By the time he reached twenty-years-old, his life's traumas, as well as his battle with mental illness had taken a toll on Craig. And one night while sitting on the edge of a rented bed, he attempted to end his life. For three days that followed he lay in the Intensive Care Unit fighting a battle to start over. His triumph over this battle would prove to change his life forever. Now at thirty-six, Craig is free from OCD and the mental illness that once plagued him. He has found peace in his life's events and overcome incredible odds to leave his past behind. And despite everything he has broken ties with, writing has been the one thing to remain with him through it all.

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