Of Being a Ghost (in a Machine Not of Your Making)

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I rarely feel listened to. That’s a simple complaint, no? Kind of a boring one, too. We probably all feel that way, actually quite often. But this feeling is very different for someone like me with OCD. For me, I’m damn sure I’ve thought of every eventuality in making a decision (though sometimes paralyzing, I do eventually come through on decisions on my own. “On my own” being the key phrase here.)

OCD causes one to have a lot of black-and-white thinking (that’s actually a medical condition- called “splitting”.) Things have to be one way, as both (or many) ways have been thought through with such energy expelled, that the right way must be (in our minds) a known thing. No one else has spent the energy thinking through every which way the dichotomy of a future event can unfold.

As well (and this is something I will expound on more in future articles), those with OCD have a very compressed way of thinking- everything is of equal importance. It exists, it is therefore at the top of the list. My rankings of things that are important right now are numbered 1, 1, 1, 1, 1… and a (very) few things that can be ignored.

So this creates a condition. People are used to others having a way of thinking that affords latitude to the importance of decisions. We all know how we handle crises in a group. Some better than others, but a crisis is ranked in a certain way to most people. We also all know how we handle mundane, every day decisions. Most of us would like to get beyond said decisions and move on with life.

I can’t. Everything is processed, in my mind, like you would process a crisis. And that is very off-putting when I need to come together with others and involve myself in decisions.

Thus, I often feel like a ghost. I am hyper-aware of what most consider mundane, and I am ever more aware when the energy I’ve expelled in thinking through the mundane is shirked for another way of doing things. It is as if all of my aforementioned energy is being ignored, and I don’t understand why. This is important! (Because everything is important.) This is important, and the wrong decision is being made! This is worse than a crisis… this is a crisis going wrong! (Note, this “crisis” is most likely something like what color portable outdoor chairs we should buy 1)

I walk though life noticing, at a heightened level, things that are not right. Not right by me, and because of the way I am wired- this includes most things. I cannot help this, I did not set up this world, I am just a ghost walking through it. And I cannot accept the fact that I am a ghost relative to the enormous world around me. That is not fair. I know things. At least my brain has convinced me that I know these things, and to a greater degree than others.

The mere usage of the word “ghost” should show you where I place myself in my surroundings… my thoughts are paramount, as this is my world you are all fucking with! And you’re fucking with Very Important Things!

This all starts to veer off into the subject that many people with OCD, like myself, are seen as- quite frankly- assholes. While that too is to be expounded on in another article, it serves this subject here to realize this condition you put on us comes from our feeling of constantly being a ghost in the decision making of things. And no one, including us and you, wants to be a ghost when things are important. Thus we act out on that feeling, trying to break through to just be seen as present with that which we know our brains have mastered.

This entire condition has no happy solution. No one is going to, nor should anyone, take my direction on decisions one-hundred percent of the time. As well, my brain is not going to prioritize things beyond most everything being Number One. And my brain is not going to let up until it feels these things are being done properly.

I’m an asshole. But I give you permission to ignore me. I’m used to being a ghost, it’s going to happen. I can… eventually… shift my focus to another Priority Number One.


1 This actually happened.