Why Divergent Meant So Much To Me…
I didn’t know, at first, why this book spoke to me so much, but, later, I read something about that author that said she had used Behavioral Therapy techniques as inspiration. I understood then why I loved this so much, among other reasons. I have OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I will refrain from getting into it too much, but I will say it is not always like the people on TV. It is truly like living in terror. Like, seeing headlights coming straight at you and you are panicked, flushed, and scared to death right before it hits. But, it never hits. You are just stuck there, waiting for it to wreck your life. That fear can be crippling. It can prevent you from reacting well in situations or even from handling small things, sometimes. There is a way to combat it, though.
People with OCD have to go through their own simulations, just like the Dauntless. We call them Exposures. It might not be quite as extreme, but it sure seems that way to us. We have to face everything we are afraid of and never back down, or well, learn not to. We have to simulate how our feared situations feel, how they would look, everything. Just like Four, we have to do them over and over until we aren’t afraid anymore, until the fear isn’t crippling. We had to rewire our brain. It was one of, if not the most, hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It took months of painstaking work, but the feeling of conquering fear is amazing.
OCD never goes away. I will always have to keep it in check. And sometimes there is no reason for the anxiety, it just comes on as a feeling that I can’t stop. I had a reprieve for a while, but over the years, I have begun to fear more.
The thing that really inspired me was facing fears and becoming fearless (not truly, but more like courageous). I liked the idea of a society full of people who wanted to be strong (even though they had a lot of down falls). They celebrated strength, courage, and life. I liked the idea of interpreting the anxiety as feeling alive rather than it feeling like the end of the world.
After I read Divergent, I tried to interpret things differently. When I felt scared, I tried to turn it into a thrill. I tried to embrace it. I was re-inspired to face my fears. I used to be more dauntless. I will be once again.