This is part three of a series of things I have noticed about the way I carry on normal life that can be tracked back to OCD—but in a much less serious sense as other situations written about on this site. “But we can have lots of good fun that is funny”
• Imagine having a terrible nightmare about your impending death. It is going to happen, and soon. Why? The dream left that out of the plot. But you know you’re going to die. So the one thing you know you have to do is go into your pile of dirty clothes, find all the t-shirts, and put them back on their hangers in the proper order. This must be done. You’d love to have the time to wash them, but at least you’d be leaving this mortal coil with your shirts… colors, greys, blacks and whites in order. Yeah, OCD.
• You find it completely normal to look at the square meters of a pack of paper towels1 when purchasing, but never divide by the cost. Your brain is wired to obsess over certain things—like an extra meter squared—and finds the one with more square meters to be “right.” As well, you feel very uncomfortable with the mixing of metric and imperial systems in the same store. But your brain can ignore some of that if the numbers come out comforting and “right.” Yeah, OCD.
• Imagine during the workday, when you take a break from actual work, you find yourself clicking on the same websites over and over because they are in your bookmarks list, and you need to visit each one. Multiple times. Even sites you dislike now, because you cannot ever remove any data collected on your computer. You cannot delete the bookmark, you need to move it to a special folder for sites you used to like but do not now. But you don’t have the energy to navigate your own organizational system of bookmarks, so you keep visiting the site. And reading it! Yeah, OCD.
• Imagine you are faced with purchasing a second outdoor chair, and they come in red or blue. You already have one blue one. You obsess over the pros and cons for ten to fifteen minutes in the store, staring at chairs—frozen, thinking whether to get another blue one or one of a new color. Two of the same color is comforting and “right” in some respects in terms of how your mind sees “right.” That’s obvious—they match! However, different colors—when you will have only two chairs—could be a nice way to rotate the usage of the chairs, using the red and blue alternately. You envision the chair system you are going to set up. You’re now at twenty minutes frozen staring at outdoor chairs. Yeah, OCD.
• Imagine a seemingly homeless person asks you for a cigarette2 and you blow him off. Not in a crude way, you just don’t listen. Then, when you get home an hour later, you now cannot stop obsessing over causing a bad omen by not giving the guy a fifty-one cent cigarette. Bad things will happen to you. Maybe, probably. You’re already struggling with your belief in God (or god), and this is going to test it. You know if there is a god, it is an Angry God. And works through omens which turn into Bad Things. You feel the compulsion to go back and give the man a cigarette to make things right. Right by your mind, which is controlling all of this. This takes up an hour of your thinking. Yeah, OCD.