‘Twas the night before OCDcon…

So, I just spent way too long (about an hour and a half…oops) adapting the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore to OCDcon. Enjoy my rhyming labors.


night before OCDcon

“A Visit from Doubt”

By Morgan Rondinelli


‘Twas the night before OCDcon, when all through the mind

Many thoughts were stirring, and some in rewind;

The suitcases were packed by the door with care,

In the hopes that they would safely make it there;

The attendees were restless turning in their beds;

While visions of who they’d meet danced in their heads;

And some already in Austin, and I in my town

Had just tried to settle our brains to try to lie down,

When out of my amygdala there arose such a clatter,

I sprang into alert to see what was the matter.

Away to the races my thoughts flew like a flash,

Tore apart my composure and made my heart dash.

The OCD tucked away in the depths of my mind,

Gave importance to matters I’d thought left behind,

When what came to my wondering conscious first-hand,

But a miniature doubt and eight tiny commands.

With a little CBT so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be a trick.

More rapid than eagles the protests they came,

And OCD whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, checking! now, tapping! now, counting and praying!

On, redoing! on, listing! on, ruminating and avoiding!

To the upmost importance! to prevent a fall!

Now ritualize! ritualize! ritualize them all!”

As we know leaves will return each year, it’s true,

When they met with practice, she knew what to do;

So into exposure and mindfulness she flew

With the box full of tools, and therapists’ advice too—

And then, in a tantrum, I heard with a shout

The groaning and grumbling of each little doubt.

As I drew in my head, and was standing my ground,

Down into imagination OCD came with a bound.

He was dressed all in denim, from his head to his knee,

And his clothes were all silly with jewels sparkly;

A bundle of attempts he had won in the past,

And now he looked like a weak, defeated outcast.

Her eyes—how they twinkled! her smile, so big!

Her back could hold mountains, her legs do a jig!

Her courage was ready like a trap set,

And now OCD was the one breaking out in a sweat;

The memory of old pain she held in her chest,

And her courage, it encircled her heart like a vest;

She had strength abound and a little humor too

That she used to comfort those that she knew.

She was quiet in person, a right timid gal,

And she longed to be around those who understood her so well.

A call of her name, a hug from a friend

Soon she would no longer have to pretend;

She said no more, but went straight to bed,

And closed her eyes; and imagined the conference ahead,

And laying her hand gently on her chest;

And thanking OCD for trying his best,

She took a deep breath, then exhaled once more

And away she slept though excited for what was in store.

But I imagine she thought, with all of her might—

Happy OCDcon to all, and to all a good fight!

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