Imagining OCD, Serial 006

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This is part our 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. “I gotta have as much fun and go around the board as many times as I can before it’s my turn to leave.”

• Imagine studying the concept of belief rather intensely to gain more knowledge about your own brain and its biases, and how to approach others rationally with belief systems that are a bit misguided. Imagine knowing that the human brain is susceptible to “magical thinking” and doing a rather good job of stopping such thinking in your mind. Being a well-grounded, scientific, and even healthily skeptical person. Yet, being obsessed with what fortune cookies tell you. Yeah, OCD.

• I have an obsession with pockets. The more pockets my shorts, pants, and even a bookbag or briefcase has the better quality it is. I need pockets, I judge clothing on the number of pockets and how convenient they are. Big pockets being better. Pockets become, with my singular thinking, the only relevant characteristic of clothing. Yet, throughout every single day I only use the front two pockets on my pants. That is all. I never use the majority of pockets I have, I merely have them. Yeah, OCD

• Imagine having a fear of jail as part of your catalog of phobias (Not exactly an irrational one, I’d say), and dreading even thinking of the concept of such—though you’re an ardent rule follower. To the point where even the concept of being put in a jail would be near impossible without a bizarre mix-up of sorts that happens on television probably one-hundred times more often than in real life. Imagine also being obsessed with your weight merely because you do not want to purchase new clothes because your current ones should be perfect as-is. Then you hear a story of someone that lost a good amount of weight being in jail for forty days. And you think to yourself: I could handle that! Yeah, OCD.

• I keep every receipt from everything I purchase. I did this originally, well I am not quite sure. See—I tally everything I spend in a spreadsheet on my computer. That is a perfectly rational thing to do—I have a budget. Now, my budget has massive calculations and functions written to predict the future as I am obsessed with the potential of not having money. But one month I decided to keep my receipts, even though I know I will never look at them physically ever again. And I keep them in envelopes according to which debit or credit card of mine was used. And if, say, I didn’t spend anything on a certain card that month—I place an empty envelope labeled with that month and the name of the card in my container of receipts. Yeah, OCD

• And finally something that made me happy while writing an article for this site the other day. I rarely look at the thesaurus, as that often leads to sloppy writing. However I will when a word is repeated awkwardly. I happened to use the word “thing” too many times in a sentence, it needed some synonym action. I looked up synonyms for “thing” on my word processing program and the first item that came up was “obsession.” And it made me happy. My word processor knows me. Yeah, OCD.