Part of my OCD and where I do veer off into something close to magical thinking (I’ll explain that part in a bit) is when it comes to numbers. I find it rather silly that my obsession revolves around a set of numbers that are so commonly elevated to mean something by different factions in life. But I can’t seem to help what I am obsessed with—and in this case, it is the time 1:11 or 11:11. AM or PM works! I believe if I look at a clock and this is the time I see (there are four minutes out of the day this can happen, but you already knew that) then good things are going to happen.
Or, now that I’ve been living with this obsession for some time (decades), and there is no actual correlation to good things happening, I’ve settled on the seeing the number as something telling me things will remain in stasis. Which is a good thing. A very good thing for those with OCD. I crave stasis.
However, my obsession comes with a twist. And this twist is what makes the obsession truly harmful to my mental state. You see, I also believe that when seeing the time 1:10, 11:10, 1:12, and/or 11:12—the complete opposite is foreboding.
This obsession has no compulsions really, though I do try to time things so I do not see the numbers I find are a sign of bad, and rig what I view and when to see 1:11 or 11:11—at least more often. Ok, I’ve set up an alarm for these four minutes of the day. Which is cheating, of course.
However, over the past few days, things have gotten strange. It is at this point I feel like I am telling you a ghost story. You don’t want to hear a ghost story. Ok, maybe you do—but I am positive you did not come to this site to hear a ghost story1.
I’ve been seeing the time 1:10, 11:10, 1:12, and 11:12 far too often. As in, I can’t not notice how often. Of course, my negative reaction to these numbers and my tempered reaction to 1:11 and 11:11 certainly lends itself to my noticing the numbers I consider foreboding of the negative more so than the positive. And my brain generally searches out the negative anyway.
Oh, magical thinking. Strictly defined, magical thinking involves believing that one can influence the external world outside of their own brains through thought. This would be the case if I believed that I could actually affect things somehow with these numbers. I do not believe I can—I believe they are just signs.
I hate believing in signs. It is tiresome. It is old. I have been believing in all sorts of signs since I was a young child, so we’re going on four decades of it here without much science to back it up. Yeah, I also love science. That is to say not only do I love reading about advanced science—I apply science to life first and foremost.
Except when I cannot. Because I have OCD.
Thus, I am left to think right now—is something bad brewing in my life? I don’t know. But because I obsess, I will not count it out even though it is entirely irrational. For one, I haven’t even synced up my clocks in months2!
But I cannot shake it. It is happening three to four times a day, and because of the way the times are aligned, this means I miss out on seeing the times 1:11 and 11:11.
So. I guess… I’ll wait? For nothing to happen? For something to happen?
All the while it is important to note that this has me feeling much more unsettled than I should be. Especially since my life is at a variety of crossroads, so to speak.
I don’t think I’m going to die.
I don’t like to think what else this could all mean.
I wish I could go back to just seeing the clock say 1:11 and 11:11 often. I know not to put much stock into it, but it also eliminates my obsessions a bit. And it just feels nice!
I’d like to feel nice. Not foreboding.