The Art of Living with Anxiety

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When I was little, I made my parents check my stuffed animals for hidden bombs at bedtime.  In high school, I was obsessive about wearing clean pants.  And in college, I had to inspect every electrical outlet in my apartment before I could fall sleep at night.  I was Jack Nicholson in the movie As Good as It Gets. And I am one of the lucky ones.

I inherited lots of my dad’s best DNA, but I also inherited his big thighs and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  I say I’m lucky because for me it seems to have relaxed in my 20s, but I will always feel a connection to others who struggle with OCD and anxiety.  I think we can all relate in some way, right?  Whether you check your alarm 3 times before bed, alphabetize your CD’s, or insist on being the dumper and not the dumpee in your relationships – it’s there – just beneath the surface – the need to control.

So I want to share with you the important work of two artists who deal with these themes in a really powerful way.

The first is Neil Hillborn, a young guy living with OCD, who blew the internet away this week with his short, poetic performance below.  Watch ’til the end.  It takes an unexpected turn and then steals your heart. (via Gawker)

The second is John William Keedy, a photographer who “explores themes of anxiety and varied neuroses in his series titled It’s Hardly Noticeable.” (Check out the photos below and several more here via My Modern Met!)

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