PROPER USAGE OF "OCD"
People who say they're OCD are usually just... well, not. I like to think I keep a lot of this on the DL, but as an advocate for mental illness awareness/understanding, here is a list of some of my assorted oddities. Some are funny, some aren't. Thanks for the inspiration, @kaitmaree, @nervesofscared, + @mollyebnorton.
- •PeeingIf there is a bathroom I use on the regular, I have to pee in the same stall. Every time.
- •Walking like a penguinWhen the ground is bricks arranged diagonally in consummate Vs. No cracks, no lines.
- •Alternate stepsWide stairs: "Up, step, up, step." I have to make sure each leg gets proper "up" usage. It's only fair.
- •Alternate chewingLeft side chomp. Right side chomp. Also, see above.
- •Clothing color coordinatingMy closet is arranged in rainbow format. When I get a multi-colored garment, I will spend a massively inappropriate amount of time agonizing over where to put it. Are you purple? Are you green? Do I just say "fuck it" and stick you in the back and forget you exist because you plague me?
- •Stray hairsI experience anxiety and revulsion when I see a strand of hair on someone's clothing. I once ninja-style pulled a long, blonde hair from a heavyset woman's bum in line at the Spruce Moose in Idyllwild with my mother. Who was mortified.
- •Straightening picturesI used to live in a Tim Burton-esque Victorian style house that was all sorts of crooked. Was I supposed to hang artwork lined up with the ceiling? The nearest doorframe? The cabinets and shelves? Because none of those things aligned with each other. Would take time before bed every night adjusting and readjusting until I found a sweet spot that caused the least amount of panic.
- •PicklesNot only do I hate them, but my aversion over the years has evolved into the absolute knowledge that if I eat a pickle, I will get (potentially terminally) sick. This is not a joke.
- •Walking down the aisleWithout my father, who I am convinced will die before I get married. And not in a "I'm forever alone" kinda way, in a "the moment I get engaged he'll have a massive heart attack" kinda way. I think about this a lot.
- •SexThere is no particular trigger for this, but many times a day I will think about someone I know having sex. Sometimes with me, sometimes not, sometimes just flying solo. These are not people I am sexually attracted to, so the images are upsetting and very difficult to banish. Meditation helps, but when I'm at work and suffering from vivid imaginings of one of my regulars getting a blow job, it's hard to stop and do breathing exercises.
- •I'm a fraudI am undeserving of and unqualified for my job. When people laugh at my quips, it's out of pity. When my intellect is praised, I think, "how would you know? What have I done to make you think I'm that smart?" In nearly every interaction, I fear someone will realize the truth and expose me as a fake. Oddly enough, my sense of physical self-confidence is healthy, but I chalk that up to intensive, successful treatment for an eating disorder and drug addiction. Also continued therapy.
- •Every dayFrom the moment I wake up and know in my heart that I cannot accomplish what lies before me and that I will disappoint everyone who is counting on me. I am plagued with every step, weighted down beneath that certainty and the veneer of pep and confidence that has convinced so many.
- •Every nightI know that tomorrow brings a mountain of unachievable tasks and new ways in which I undoubtedly will fail.
- •ButI make it through each day, and each night. I will continue to do so. I haven't lost my job, my friends, or my family yet. This isn't anal retentive tidiness or even anxiety, this is obsessive, this is compulsive, and this is my life. And that's ok.
- •P.S.While I exhibited mild symptoms as a child, they were only exacerbated to a diagnosable degree as a coping mechanism/side effect of my bipolar disorder. I'm sure more lists to follow on that delightful bit of fun!