Worth Living Ambassador Angela Cassivi Dsouza
Angela grew up in Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. She studied at St Mary’s University and at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. She now lives in Ontario with her husband and two kids, where they operate three locations of their music school, Avalon Music Academy.
Musicians and artists in general, are known to be over-thinkers. I’m no exception. But there is a fine, yet distinct, line between over-thinking and obsessiveness. I suffer from obsessive thinking, or obsession-based OCD (essentially OCD without the compulsions). My mind is always thinking. It does not have an off switch. It latches on to a thought and will follow that thought around twists and turns for hours, days, weeks, or years. I have to take medication to sleep, every single night, or my mind would not allow it.
I once had a therapist tell me that I was lucky, in a way – that I got to view things in ways that no one else did. It’s an interesting way to look at it – but most days it just feel like hell. With every single thought comes a feeling and I am always on emotional overload. A seemingly tiny incident can send me over the edge and of course, people cannot understand why. Of course they can’t. They’re not in my head.
Sometimes I love my feelings. But mostly they’re exhausting.
Mostly I’m tired of feeling. I’m tired of having so many intense feelings that I can’t share with anyone because they are just not normal.
From the outside, I think I look remarkably normal. I run a successful business, I have two amazing kids, I have a husband with a good career. It sounds like a whole lot of normal.
But I’m trapped in my head. I’m trapped with endless thoughts that won’t release their grip. I want to hide in a dark closet all the time. I cry and I scream and I rage – and no one knows.
Most days I count down the hours until I can take my sleep meds and shut off my mind.
I wish this was something the world would talk about. I wish I could share this without judgment.
But I can’t.
No matter how tolerant people pretend to be, I’ve learned that they only throw their support behind “normal.”