So then, as a distraction from my ongoing but strangely serene personal crisis, I will give a little review of the OCD camp I went to with M last weekend.
The Stockholm OCD society Ananke arranges this camp every summer, a chance for sufferers and family members to meet and discuss in a nice setting. And a nice setting it was – a conference centre and hotel, as well as a rehab centre for various physical handicaps, on the sunny south coast of Sweden. There were private rooms, a big swimming pool, saunas and a wide range of rehab toys we could borrow, including a selection of crazy bicycles.
The food was, however, up to the usual Swedish standard – that is to say, quite dreadful. They managed to fail with potato wedges, which were wet and chewy as small fish. Now, think how much effort it must take to successfully fail to make potato wedges. The mind boggles.
The talks were of a mixed quality, mostly bad or irrelevant. One talk about therapy or something started with the lady telling us all to stand up and close our eyes. And then she played – you guessed it – pan-pipe music. There’s nothing on Earth that makes me more tense and irritable than pan-fucking-pipes. Just how did it happen that an instrument so closely connected to demons, filth and virility has become the new-age noise maker of choice?
I left that lecture rather fast. But there was one excellent lecture, given by Olle Åsard, a long-time member of Ananke. He gave a fantastic description of how it actually is to suffer OCD and how it completely swells to take over your life. A scary but funny talk I will not forget.
The weekend was of course overshadowed by the fact that M and me were discussing our probable break-up. But, on the bright side, I learned to swim properly at last, I saw one of Sweden’s best-preserved castles and I met a new friend, Tracy from England.