In reassessing my Pure-O OCD, I can’t help but strip it all down and look inward to myself. This may or may not be a big revelation. I don’t know. I’m going to write about it anyway, don’t expect a conclusion.
The mind is, in cliché but reality, a confusing thing. As far as I know, scientists much smarter than I know a lot about the physicality of the mind. We have it mapped, we know where certain things happen. We understand neurons and fluids, and we know not to bump it too hard.
Beyond that, what the mind does beyond the world of the material I’m not so sure we have a grasp of. I know I have a mental disorder, but heck if anyone can really explain much of it to me. Oh, and I have asked!
So I have OCD, we know that. I know that, and it is probably pretty obvious to you.
While I’m fairly certain my obsessiveness has come before anything else, when I turn the tables in a thought experiment, it seems that things fit backward as well. That is to say if my OCD is a creation of all the stereotypical characteristics I do have—extreme organization, a need for things to be “right,” fixations on things others consider minor at best—what if this disorder is just the logical place my mind goes when these things are put into hyper-drive. Of course “hyper-drive” itself can’t be explained well here, other than I know my mind does that. It is hyperactive. It thinks very quickly and fully, and thus thoughts that are seemingly meaningless to others are most often a very big deal to me.
One could say that I let my OCD explode.
That sentence there is loaded with a lot of activity: beginnings and endings, starts and finishes, journeys and destinations. So let’s focus on the keywords here.
“Let.” Does my OCD present itself without any doing of my own, or do I have some (not all) of the hands on the metaphoric gears and levers that make my OCD exist? Here’s one thing I do know, I do allow my OCD to do its thing because it is part of me. I’ve learned not to try to stop it. I sometimes do try to hide it when it would be socially wrong, and that is its own thing. But all in all, I let my OCD go. I am forty-three years old, I’m at a point where I’m done not doing what I want.
So in “letting” my OCD be, how much of that is a creation of my own self, and how much of that is some pre-OCD embryo I allow to be born into my world?
“Explode.” OCD does explode, at least for me. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I often simmer in my obsessions, stuck in its mud unable to act on them. I do have Pure-O, in the end. But those details aside, just OCD on its own… it explodes. It happens—if “happens” is what it does—very rapidly. I can build a world of eventualities off a thought-turned-obsession in seconds. It just happens. Or does it “just happen?” Again, how much of my OCD explosions is allowing something out in the way I’ve learned I should because I have OCD.
This may seem demeaning to others with OCD, or even to my own self. So I can only speak for my own self and remember we’re not making conclusions here. We’re just working with thought experiments.
I hate the term “acting out” so I won’t use it. I don’t “act out.” I know that, and I know that about others with OCD. However, one cannot deny that I know of the existence of my OCD when making decisions, and my OCD has a built-in level of comfort only in the fact that it exists.
Let me explain that a bit, the comfort part. I’ll use another mental disorder as an example. I do not suffer from depression. I get depressed, everyone does. But I know for sure I would not classify myself as someone with depression. Therefore, when I have experienced depression, it is a massively uncomfortable place because it is so unknown. I react horribly to depression, to a level where I have thoughts that are—let’s just say extremely unhealthy. I know this is because I do not know depression.
I do know my OCD though. Oh, I know it well. Well enough to be able to write hundreds of thousands of words on the subject. Thus, an implicit comfort. That is not to say I like when my OCD explodes, or when I am in an OCD episode. I just know it all well, I know how it works, I generally know the ending.
Therefore, if I have this avenue towards comfort in something, if I have this avenue I generally let thoughts go… I must have some hand in all of this. One goes where they are used to going. It is an entropy thing: order and disorder. Going where one believes they should, based on past experience, rather than going somewhere new.
This is why therapies of all sorts are so difficult: they require you to go where you are not comfortable. Thus, the OCD is a form of comfort.
Did I just blame myself for my OCD?
I did not.
I’m just thinking.