Warning: Lengthy post. You can either run away right now OR grab a cup of coffee (or maybe a bottle of beer?), grab a bag of chips, sit back and read away! 🙂 Just so we’re clear: Lengthy post ahead! You’ve been forewarned!
My sister once told me quite recently that I seemed to enjoy having OCD. Our conversation that time was verging on an argument. I didn’t want to pick a fight partly because I didn’t want to stress myself, partly because I was taken aback by her statement. And I had other things to worry about, bigger fish to fry. Why get worked up about it? But.
Did I enjoy having OCD? The truth to that is no. I DO NOT ENJOY HAVING OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER. As mild as it is, it can be truly a pain in the ass sometimes.
She does not know what and how it feels like to have something to pick at, gnaw at and worry about for what seems like eternity. She does not know how it feels like to panic over something and feel like the world will come to a grinding, sudden halt just because. She does not know how I could easily lose sleep worrying over something trifling. She is twenty years old and even though she has an idea of what this mental disorder is about and she could surmise how it feels like, I doubt she would say what she just told me if she had OCD too.
I realized that I have mild OCD when I was in college. A friend pointed it out to me, after having observed my actions. I researched about the topic and even I had to agree. Yep, OCD did sound like me. However, it was never serious. I never went to therapy or was medicated for this because I don’t think this is something that has gotten out of hand. It has not interfered with my job or my relationships. I keep my thoughts of worries to myself. So far, it hasn’t spun out of control. We all treated it like a joke. And why not? It wasn’t like I had turned my room into a shrine of obsessive-compulsiveness. But there WERE time I found myself battling with my own self just to squash any obsessive-compulsive thoughts. If that isn’t one of the nuttiest things in the world!
- I would be inside the bathroom and hang my towel on the first hook. I would stop myself because the moment I hang my towel there, I would think something will go wrong that day. Otherwise, the worst will happen to me. My day in the office would suck or I would meet an accident. I have to hang my towel on the second hook, where I always do. I cannot proceed with having shower because if I don’t, gloom and doom thoughts bombard my brains.
- And there is the matter with doors. (This first happened to me when I was about eight or nine years old.) I would lock a door, any door — the bathroom door, the office door, the bedroom door. The moment I turn my back on it, I always feel the need to check and see if I really did lock it. So I check. And check and check. And check. Because someone might just come barging in while I am not looking.
- I always have to wear slippers, even in the bedroom. In houses wherein I needed to take them off, I felt like I would catch germs and I would feel dirty. I would happily pirouette across the floor so I would have an excuse to stand on my tiptoes and minimize those germs getting into my feet. At the same time, the host would be
amazedawestruck at my ballet skill, which is not really that different from an elephant learning how to do synchronized swimming.
- I wash my hands twice because it feels just right. If I don’t, I might catch some never before known supergerms and they will contaminate me and eat me alive and I I might turn into a mutated creature. Because then how will my crush even dare look at me if I look like that?
- In the office, each time I come from the restroom, as soon as I sit on my desk, I pour alcohol on my palms and rub my hands. I have to do this every time because I feel unclean when I don’t.
- The things on my office desk need to be in their specific places and even angles. Yes, ANGLES. If I or someone else places them in another way, I would put it back in their usual spot and angle. Because if I don’t? The balance of the world will be upset and a meteor could strike the Earth and wipe out all of us.
These are just snippets of what I go through each day. Anyone with OCD, mild or clinical, can probably understand me and agree with me that this is not enjoyable. It is not something we parade around with and think, “Ooh, this is so much fun!”
If I could go through one day without worrying about simple, everyday things then I would.
I have been fighting this OCD quite recently. Take for example the aforementioned towel and hook. I now purposely hang it on the first hook. When I get the urge to place it on the second hook, I would firmly ignore it and fight the thoughts of doom taking place in my head. Quite loudly. It’s a baby step and it’s been quite a challenge squashing those obsessive-compulsive urges but I’m hoping someday soon this will all end so I can live without worrying over the most trivial things.