Imagining OCD, Serial 008

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This is part our of a series of things I have noticed about the way I carry on a normal life that can be traced back to OCD—but in a much less serious sense as other situations written about on this site. “Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach, going to Disneyland, having fun.”

• When you hate wearing the hoodie that your mother purchased for you—a kind act indeed, don’t get me wrong. However, the hoodie has horizontal, large grey stripes. And you can’t wear it without thinking it puts an omen on you that you’re going to prison. Yeah, OCD.

• When writing, I can guess a number of words by looking at a document and be within thirty. I want to be within ten, I am obsessed over that. I am obsessed with the ability to measure real life things in my head without a figurative (or literal) system of weights and pulleys. Because I don’t trust systems I didn’t build (I don’t weigh myself because of this and other factors—I do not trust scales or batteries.) And even systems I have built have to be checked over multiple times and calibrated far more often than need. But my brain, with measurements, should be something I can trust perfectly. I know how many ounces that handful of asparagus is by looking at it. Because I have to. Yeah, OCD.

• I know my compulsions, but don’t act on them, thus they become akin to ingrown hairs—gross tentacles cultivating inside of your brain. You must do this but you must not do this. So many reasons, reasons other people just don’t come across. Because they have no conflicting needs to act. Yeah, OCD.

• When your place has a pipe burst because of an insanely unseasonable cold snap in the weather, cutting off almost all your water but one faucet… water which you drink, make coffee with, and all the other essential things you do with water. With this coming a worry that all of your water will stop, and your main concern is needing to urinate in a public place or neighbors house. And you know you can’t. Because going to the bathroom outside of your own place brings up so many psychosocial issues. The need to talk to people, the need to go through your rituals in a public or semi-public place, the need to vary your routine. Yeah, OCD.

• When you look at an item placed meticulously (in this case a cup next to the kitchen sink) and forget why it is there, but you know it is part of a system you put in place. When you know this item is part of your mental disorder, but so many things are that you’re literally forgetting what they’re there for. But you know it is there for a reason, for acting on a repetitive compulsion. But which one? Yeah, OCD.