If there is one thing that people who know me would say, it’s that I am a clean freak. *smiling*
So what happens when you are OCD and like this?
Okay. Firstly, you very rarely like sitting still and that can drive you crazy! I tell myself not to worry about that cup in front of me that I’ve only just finished drinking from – but it’s staring at me, judging me for being lazy and doing nothing, when I should be doing something! *laughing* Seriously. This is what my crazy brain does to me. So I have to get up and put it in the sink, dish washer or clean it and put it away where it belongs! I know that I am definitely not lazy but that still that doesn’t stop my brain from judging me every time it sees something (anything!) out of place.
I’ll give you an example of the way my brain works! Change your sets if you are squeamish folks, *This is scary and weird!*
One day my brother came over and made out he was getting a drink or something from the kitchen. He calls out, “Paula can you come in here?” Sure! The moment I came through the door, I could feel my heart racing a million miles an hour. I’m not joking I was practically hyperventilating OMG!
“What have you done?” I stammered, at least partially incoherent.
“Nothing. Why? What’s wrong?….”
He had opened every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen and had emptied the contents, well as much as the benches would take, onto them!…. My brain went into over drive and I didn’t know what to do… okay – do I laugh or do I cry? Then he wants me to go sit back down in the lounge room as if nothing had happened and just ignore that my kitchen looks like a department store! Are you serious? He goes can I make you a cup of tea or something? No. I just want to clean this all up!
My son and brother where laughing and trying to get me to see that it was nothing and it can all just go back into the cupboard! I’m still going OH. MY. GOD. NO! Why, why did you do this?
Seeing I was getting overly distressed they hugged me and said don’t worry about it. It’s nothing, so don’t let it bother you. As if I could just sit down and accept this intrusion into my well-ordered world without a worry in the world. Well thanks guys but that’s not working . YOU are not trying to deal with the blown fuse in my brain right now!…*still in shock*
What did this teach me?
Mainly that my son and my brother when they get together are dangerous to my mental health?!
No. Seriously, after it was all put back and my world was tidily compartmentalised again, the way the kitchen was supposed to be according to the organisation chart in my brain *smiling*, it showed me just how ridiculous my OCD had become.
I no longer take medication for OCD as I’ve kind of worked through a lot of the behaviors. I say “behaviors” because that’s what I believe they are, at least it seems that way to me. Usually my family will bring it to my attention and I kind of go, Oh yeah! okay Paula, stop it! Like without even realizing it I tap my index finger up and down, spelling out words for the things I see around me. Scary and weird I know! *laughing* But 9 times out of 10 i am not even consciously aware that I’m doing it!
Personally I believe Anxiety is the killer. If you don’t stay calm in certain situations then your OCD may rear it’s ugly head. Like yesterday….my daughter-in-law came running to me saying that my Llamas were out of their enclosure!
“What? How?” I bellow – not thinking, just reacting.
She stammers back to me “Someone must have left the gate open! Cam has gone looking for them.”
Finally my brain works out what is going on, and now I panic. Holy shit, the Llamas are out! No! No! No! No! I can’t stay calm, I’m just cursing inwardly and outwardly. Stay calm! I frantically try to assure myself. How to find them? How to get them back to their pen? Let’s see… What do they love the most? Food! Okay. I quickly grab some Alpaca Mix and jump on the back of the motorbike with my son, and head off to the back of the property. I am yelling out their names, all the while feeling sick in my stomach with worry, when finally I see Margie. And Teco. I try to talk to him – “baby boy! where are you? Teco baby…” It feels like forever but finally this beautiful Llama of mine swings his neck around a tree to see what all the racket is about, and sees me. Thankfully, we found them. It took a lot more coaching to get them to follow me back to the front of our property…..Seriously, my anxiety was through the roof as we have no boundary fence and if they had gone in that direction I would have lost them! At one point I just wanted to sit down and cry because I just couldn’t get Margie to go back into her paddock. Just when I am near the end of my tether, she finally relents, and gallops in! All I can do is let out a big lungful of air. *Phew* Thankfully, all has ended up well.
So how does someone like me who checks rechecks, double checks and works through lists of things, make this kind of mistake? How on earth did I not remember to close that lock? No more trying to understand it or I’ll drive myself crazy. I have to just forgive myself and let it go, otherwise the next step would be paranoia and I’ll end up putting a 24 hour guard around them. No, I would! *laughing my head off*… In all seriousness that unlocked gate business will never, ever happen again! It may not have seemed like it from the way I have told the story but staying calm and taking a deep breath helped control my anxiety, which has the advantage of keeping my OCD at arms length!
How I deal with this side of my personality now is that I force myself to ignore things that are out of place, and I tell myself that my house doesn’t need to look like a show home! Why? because that’s what it is! A home!! I know that but I still need to remind myself of the fact. Also, stay calm and let the anxiety run through your body like a cold shiver.
I’m still going to wash my hands more than the norm but no longer to the point of getting dermatitis. Still going to check the front doors locked a few times before going to bed, but no longer fret that I should have checked it again. Still going to check that the power switch to the kettle and toaster are turned off before going to bed but not constantly throughout the day. Part of me is always going to be a bit Compulsive and a bit more Obsessive but I have come to the understanding that it’s just learning little tricks and pathways and procedures and thoughts that remind me how to cope!
Definitely it’s a working progress *smiling* To those that struggle daily as a result of their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I wish you well with trying to find your own special something that gives you that ever so elusive peace from this terrible disorder.
Do you Obsess about anything?