Conditional Corner: A collection of fiction, poetry and artwork about OCD

Conditional Corner is a series that runs Fridays on TSParentsOnline. All stories, including this excerpt from a compilation called Check Mates, were originally published at Conditional Publications.

Check Mates is an original collection of fiction and poetry written about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) by the people who know best – Obsessive-Compulsives. Split between realism and stories of the beyond, there is a diverse range of styles and genres, and a mix of rage, frustration, tears, violence, pain, heartache, subversion, love, strength, metaphysics, philosophy, friendship, hope, and even a bit of humor. And maybe – just maybe – it will knock away a few stereotypes.

checkmateshomepageimage2red2The following is a poem called “Imagine” that was written by a girl named Kristin from New Jersey who was 15 when she penned it. She says her religion is what gets her through the tough times. She is also the youngest contributor in “Check Mates” and provides a glimpse of just how much OCD can hurt at such an early age.

If, after reading this sample, you are interested in finding out more about Check Mates, other samples are available here, or you can purchase it at We hope you enjoy the poem “Imagine!”

Imagine getting dressed in the morning
Then realizing you did it “wrong,”
And that you have to take off your clothes
And start over
And over
And over again …

Imagine having to tap your foot in a 16-beat pattern
While other people watch, half amused, half freaked out.
Imagine being forced to keep it going for hours
And hours
And even more hours …

Imagine becoming “stuck” in front of a mirror,
Staring at imperfections that no other human would notice,
Unable to move as the minutes tick by
And by
And by …

Imagine being fired from work
Because of all these things you do —
Imagine being alienated from people around you
Because everyone things you’re “weird” —

Imagine dealing with this monstrous OCD until you die
Until you die
Until you die.

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About ConditionalPublications

So you got your diagnosis. In a world dominated by labels, what does that mean? Everyone at Conditional Publications has a label too. We know how hard it can be, and we know no one is the same. We know how isolating it can be to receive a diagnosis and feel like no one around you really understands. And most of all, we know how hard it is to find books that really tell it like it is. Too much information is fed to us by medical professionals. They may understand the science of it, but only we know what it’s like to live it. That’s why we founded Conditional Publications. Why ‘Conditional’? Because we believe these diagnoses are more like another human condition, a way of being. They shape your whole personality; like it or not, we wouldn’t be the same without them.
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