The first time I heard of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was when I was watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. The fact that I must do certain things a certain way just to keep my sanity doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me. I got the shock of my life when I started to hear about weird habits and mannerisms which I was all too familiar with. For instance, at a time my folks had this linoleum flooring in the kitchen which had a pattern of unstructured rectangles. Little did I realize that I had made a subconscious decision to put my foot in each rectangle while walking into the kitchen without letting my soles touch the edges. If that wasn’t bad enough I eventually mastered my walk-in pattern such that I didn’t have to even look down at the rectangles – I always placed my feet in the ‘right’ place….ALWAYS.
If you left something spillable or breakable at the edge of a table or other elevated surface, and you tried to engage me in some conversation, then you could be rest assured that I wasn’t paying attention to you (not even 5%). Allow me to do the Math:
Analysis of What I’m thinking about during OCD Moment
- 2% – Whatever the person is saying
- 3% – Okay, I’m beginning to lose interest now
- 97% – Why is that hot cup of coffee placed on the edge of that table? There’s so much real estate on that table doing nothing. That cup better not fall. Someone will accidentally knock it over. Why can’t anyone see what I’m seeing??? I can’t ignore it. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. I’ll go and push it closer to the centre of the table as soon as this guy stops talking…(two quick twitches later) f@#% it!!! This can’t wait!
In the end, the hot coffee wins (again). I think I’ve given in to my OCD more times than OJ Simpson has put on an orange jumpsuit. I can also tell you for a fact that in my office I’m known to some as a neat-freak. My table and drawers are so organized that you’d think I was trained by the military.
Here’s a summary of some popular cases from Helpguide
Newsflash: I’m not any of those…I mean…so what if I carry hand sanitizers in my drawer…and in my car…and a sanitizer dispenser at home. And it isn’t a big deal if I can’t drive behind any car with ‘666’ as it’s licence plate number – these have to be valid exceptions for not being classified as a ‘level 10’ OCD sufferer. I triple my check if my cooker is off after I’ve used it because a long time ago I almost burnt my apartment down to the ground. Ok, I’m obsessively giving excuses for my OCD.
Why don’t you tell me about your OCD experiences, habits and what have you. I won’t judge…I may just subconsciously adopt them (God help me).