My OCD Is Not Quirky, I Am Ailing

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Wait. Before we begin. I’m not looking for anything special from anyone. I have a condition in my head that is wrong. Not good. Not beneficial to me. That hurts my wellbeing. I’d rather it not be there. I’m not offended, really, by fun being poked at certain things I do. As long as it doesn’t stop there. That is to say—that it is understood that the things I do are often a surface-level symptom of a deep mental issue that holds me back despite my best efforts for it not to.

I have OCD and I am quirky because of that. What is “quirky?” Well, let’s see what nifty stuff you’ll find me doing:

I rotate everything. For example, I have two sponges in the kitchen. The current one and the previous one. The current one goes to the left of the soap, the previous one to the right. The previous one faces backward. The previous one is used for getting a lot of dirt off dishes because I don’t feel good about getting the current one too dirty.

I can tell the difference in fractions of an inch if a shirt sleeve is too small for my liking.

I’m up to twenty personal towels in my house, each with their own specific usage and washing schedule.

“He’s quirky like that!”

Yeah, about all this.

I can’t go outside without wearing my watch. It has nothing to do with telling time—I have a smartphone and know where to find clocks in the outside world. I need to feel my specific watch on my wrist, but only when outside. If I do not have my watch, I will not be able to concentrate on anything—even having fun. I may fake it, but I am in hell obsessed with my watch. Everything is ruined. I can only think of this.

I’ve never counted, but there are (estimating) around one hundred items in my house that have a very specific place, almost to the inch. If they are moved from that place—again even by inches—I need them to go back. If they do not I become depressed and anxious. There is no reason for this reaction—but it is real. It is not a feeling of being “bothered” or “having my space invaded.” It is true depression or anxiety.

I cannot make most purchases without considering every potential outcome of the purchase—of what I may be missing out on if I don’t purchase the right type (color, flavor, feature-set) of the item in question. Oh, but it is more than considering actually. Whichever item I buy, I immediately—always—have buyer’s remorse and believe the item I did not choose would be better. This goes for items below what you’d consider major purchases. I will obsess over not having purchased the right flavor of rice cakes, and my night will be ruined because of it. I will not be happy and will obsess over it—sometimes to the point of going back and purchasing the other item and all the hassles that go with that reaction. I only get around this by buying the exact same items all the time if they are recurring purchases.

So this is me. And by that I mean, there is a quirky side of my OCD. It can be funny, but it really isn’t. Because where I’m going with the deeper issues, if you’ll read into them, are activities that occur for me and most people all the time. My OCD is a weight upon me all the time. I don’t think it can be said enough: all the time.

To some, I may come off as an interesting specimen. Doing things in odd ways. Chances are it is chuckled about at gatherings of people who know me.

It is, however, actually debilitating. Because it is happening all the time and it is stopping me from enjoying most anything. I don’t want to go out because I don’t want to embark on a journey into the random. I don’t want to go shopping, because I know I will trigger a loop in my brain that can’t be satiated. Oh, I like buying stuff. I am a consumer (sort of.) But the effort it takes is often not worth it.

In fact, a lot of what others would consider normal life is not worth the effort I have to put in to attempt to enjoy or gain positivity from it.

It isn’t quirky to me. It is a life of problems inside my head that cannot be quelled. It is… all bad.