Robert Bowlin

I’ll have to say that having OCD in my life has been no picnic, or walk in the park. There have been times, a lot of times, in the last 8 years, I have felt as if I am at the end of my rope, dredging through a minefield of unwanted obsessive thoughts and the compulsions. Not resting until I made things “just right”, or having a sudden feeling that making the next phone call, or eating the rest of my meal was almost an impossible thing to do. I obeyed the call of OCD’s “voice” for many years, until the day I got someone on my side who could really help. For years, I searched and found no one. There was no help from anyone who knew firsthand about OCD’s tenacious grip, until I met Gregg Sansone.

During my consultation with Gregg, I went through the routine of giving examples of my symptoms, and man, did I have that routine down! But his response was different than the other therapists. He was right there in the trenches with me, describing what was going on in my head even before I could. It was a new day! I began to feel empowered, like I could be in charge, be the boss (Gregg’s words), and trust that what he was saying was hitting home. Why did I trust that what he was saying was the real deal? After all, I’d discussed my problem with many psychiatrists and counselors in the past, many of them friends I’d made in my travels around the country as a professional musician. It took meeting someone who had more conviction and analytical reasoning than OCD itself, to make the difference in my outlook toward recovery.

OCD’s “voice” can be very clever and insistent. That “voice” began for me in the tenth grade. Trying to fix little inconsequential things, or to repeat a certain thought, all in a “perfect” way. I suspected my friends in school didn’t have these thoughts, and boy did I feel like the Lone Ranger. I’d be miserable for a few months and then things would get better, only to return with a vengeance later. Then, after a few more OCD occurrences mixed with feeling pretty much OK, came the year of the big crash, in 1999. This time it wasn’t what the compulsions insisted for me TO do, but what they insisted I NOT do. I was compelled to not walk around the block, not sit in certain chairs, not eat all my meal, and hundreds of other limits all day. It was OCD boot camp- a living nightmare.

Eventually things got better once again, but returned with less intensity in 2004, continuing off and on, until I was so debilitated I began to tell more friends about what was happening, which led me to Gregg. Gregg Sansone is like a warrior who has fought his own battles with OCD, so he’s been there. He knows where I am. He’s an amiable, funny guy who can have all of us in the group session laughing, but when it comes to the real showdown with OCD, court is in session and the perpetrator IS going to jail, and we are the jailers. It’s been hard work, but good work.  Now after just a few sessions, Gregg Sansone seems like an old friend. Maybe that’s because we’ve been down the same road, more than just a few times.