Friday, June 4, 2010

OCD Sharing

Life post!

Below, you will see a picture of a scan of one of my daily routine pages. I don't always follow them to the letter, but if I don't look at it, things get forgotten. Even brushing my teeth.

I don't have timers set to go off to tell me it's time to eat breakfast or anything like that. It's more of a guide. I'll get focused on something and completely forget everything around me. I get obsessed. Having these pages helps, I can look at the clock and know I'm supposed to be doing something instead of dusting all the windowsills. Or organizing the bathroom counter. Again.

I even have one labeled "Crazy Chaos Day Routines" All that one has is my early morning stuff and my evening stuff.

I'm still learning how to deal with this, how to live best. I am very thankfully I do not have OCD fully, I only have facets. The facets I have are hard enough to live with, I can't imagine what it's like with full-blown extreme OCD.

What facets do I have?

  • I eat a certain way. Bascially boils down to two bites of everything in order. My drink glass almost always has to be on the left when eating out. The exception is when they seat us at a tiny table and putting it on the left greatly increases the risk of someone bumping it and knocking it over.
  • I can't stand messes. When things get crazy in my life, my house gets trashed and then I can't sleep because I know it's a mess.
  • Germs. I'm so thankful I can open public building doors and use bathrooms and water fountains. My issue with germs is mainly contained to raw meat. And bugs. Bugs are just bad.
  • An odd food one is that when spreading anything on bread I have to cover the slice fully. Crust to crust. Jam, mayo, butter, anything.
  • Not wanting to make a left turn while driving without a traffic light is annoying. We've been working on that one. I would go 10 minutes out of my way to avoid making a turn like that.
  • When I am stressed out, I will put my clothes away according to type, length, and color. (That usually only happens during deployments.)
  • I can't handle change. At least not very well. My brain needs time to absorb the information and realize that it really is okay. Usually only takes like 20 minutes, but I'm flipping out for those 20 minutes. (That's for same day sudden changes, if I've got more than a day, I deal much better.)
  • I can't let anyone cook or clean in my kitchen. They put things in the wrong place, use the wrong knife and it's just not good. So I just don't let people. I am very upfront and tell them it's me. It's not that I don't like them, it's that having them cooking in my kitchen will drive me crazy. Even just making a sandwich.

Most of things people have pointed out to me. I never realized I felt the compulsion to do things until my husband would try to stop me. At first he thought it was funny. Like rearranging the sugar packets at a restaurant so the colors were all messed up. He'd see how long I could stand it before I had to fix it.

Now he realizes how much it does stress me out and it's actively trying to help me deal. Most of my compulsions are harmless. Who cares if I butter the entire piece of toast or eat two bites of everything on my plate in order? Doesn't hurt anyone, doesn't hurt me, so why try to change it?

I just have to remind myself on a daily basis that nothing is perfect, nothing will ever be perfect, so don't worry about it.


  1. I have OCD. So does my mom. Ours manifests itself mostly in rituals and thoughts. For example, I have a hard time choosing a fork or a spoon because if I pick *that* one, something *bad* will happen. It's ridiculous, but that's how my brain works. It's a very, very bizarre disease and I'm so thankful that I have medication to help me cope with it. They say creative people are much more prone to OCD.

  2. "...nothing is perfect, nothing will ever be perfect, so don't worry about it."
    I think that's an incredible attitude to have after everything else you said in the post.

    It's an attitude that I'm trying to adopt myself, even without having OCD. I think when I hear OCD, I don't realize the varying degrees it can manifest itself. Thanks for this look into how it affects you.