Lately I’ve had a lot of ultra serious posts about some hard stuff, but honestly sometimes I just really need some humor to make me feel better. My OCD can drive me absolute nuts. Sometimes I just want to cut off my head so it will stop buzzing and telling me something’s wrong. But honestly when I take a step back and look at my OCD, some of the stuff I do is actually pretty damn funny. Now, I don’t want to offend anyone who has OCD or feels that mental illnesses are no laughing matter, but honestly sometimes there’s nothing to laugh about but yourself, and you are welcome to join me and laugh at me too. So here’s a list of weird/funny things I do because of my OCD.
- When I clean anything, I can’t be finished until every item in the room is perfectly lined up in squares. If I accidentally bump one item, I have to redo it. Sometimes I spend hours trying to get the picture frames to hang perfectly.
- There’s a wall of picture frames at my work where the frames move every time the door opens and closes. They are never ever straight for more than 5 minutes at a time. Sometimes I have to leave the room and do a mindless task to let go of the mis-match.
- I can’t wear different shades of black together. They clash horribly. Also, different fabric types count as different shades.
- I can’t wear pink and red together unless it’s Valentine’s day. Then it’s okay.
- My dresser drawers are an absolute mess. For some reason neatly folding stuff is just not possible for me. But I have to have every single item categorized by drawers. If something is in the wrong drawer, I will freak.
- I have to wash the dishes my way: a large amount of soap, sink 2/3 full, glasses, then tupperware, then silverware, then plates. Everything must be stacked in the sink as efficiently as possible (meaning, I play tetris with the dishes). Then every single little bubble of soap must be GONE from the dishes before they can be allowed to drain and dry. If someone tries to do it differently, I get stressed and must either leave the room or make them leave.
- I have to blow in a glass before I fill it with liquid, because dust. But I have to do it even when the glass is upside down or freshly washed.
- If I drop my toothbrush, I have to throw it away and get a new one.
- If I brush my hand against my thigh, I have to repeat the motion constantly until my hand cramps. Then I have to flex my fingers until I get distracted by something else.
- If I forget what I was going to say, I have to stop immediately until I remember it, or else I’ll have a breakdown.
- I can never convince myself that I’ve finished a task unless I write it on a list and check it off. I like to wait until I’ve done several things, just for the thrill of taking a chunk out of my to-do list. I even write down stuff I did that wasn’t on the list so that I can have more checks.
- When I’m bored, I start thinking about all the things that aren’t organized. I once asked my boss if I could take our bag full of plastic silverware packets, open the packets and sort the contents.
- When I walk on a tiled floor or a sectioned sidewalk, I limit the number of steps I can take per tile/section.When I walk past driveways, I jump to keep my step number within the larger section.
- I line up the smudge marks on my smartphone screen.
- I have to re-adjust the seat and the mirrors in my car every time I get into it, even if I was the last person driving. The reason is this: if I’m sitting a slightly different way, then the seat/rear view mirror ratio won’t be perfectly aligned so that the back window is symmetrically arranged in the mirror.
- I have a very set morning routine, with the exact same order applicable to every single morning ever. Woe betide any well-meaning family members who try to be “helpful” and do things like feeding the dog at the wrong time, or making me breakfast.
- From time to time I wake up in the middle of the night with an extremely strong intrusive thought – usually involving the well-being of someone I love. Regardless of the time, I have to find that person, talk to them (which includes waking them up) and make sure they are okay before I can relax.
- If I put my hair in a bun on the top of my head, I will obsess about whether or not it is perfectly centered or secured, and I will touch it until I knock it down or mess it up. Then I have to redo it and start again.
- I ABSOLUTELY MUST do everything as efficiently as possible. When I run errands, I must plan out the most efficient route time-wise, location-wise and importance – wise. I must make as few dishes as humanly possible when I’m cooking, and I must walk the fastest and most direct line between two points at top speed. Even when I don’t need to hurry, I do. The other day I had an argument with my dad because he chose to heat his soup on the stove instead of microwaving it. The extra pan and spoon were unbearable.
- My dresser drawers are a complete mess, but they are perfectly sorted by item type.
- My mom has this beautiful porcelain nativity set, and every year since I was a little kid, I have to re-arrange it so that each piece’s sight-line is directed at baby Jesus.
- This year I attempted to put the Christmas lights on the tree. After filling in the bottom ring of the tree with lights, I ended up shaking and sobbing because I couldn’t do it “right.” “Right” is defined as each single bulb being equidistant from each other bulb and the tree being evenly covered with lights. This is literally impossible to achieve, so I had to let someone else put the lights on.
- When I went Christmas tree shopping, I came back with a 5 foot tree, even though my ceilings are 9 feet high. Why? Because it was the only tree I could find that was perfectly symmetrical.
Now, I think it’s really important to remember that as funny as our little habits are, OCD can be really frustrating and upsetting for anyone who suffers from it. It’s funny afterward yes, but at the time, the distress and upset is very real and very scary. Sometimes I think I’d do anything to get some relief from that nagging sense that everything isn’t perfect. So join me in laughing at myself (and yourselves too maybe? :P), but do be kind to yourself and to anyone who suffers from OCD.
Thanks for reading, and I am really sorry I haven’t posted in a month. Lots of crazy stuff has been happening (I HAVE A NEW NIECE!!!) and frankly I’ve been lazy about writing. Thanks for your patience, and as always, if you have thoughts or suggestions, feel free to comment!