Welcome. This is a website about my OCD. I will have much more to write about. It will take me some time, at times. It will come in bursts. Because with this OCD comes brick walls of not being able to communicate because of my obsession with organization. It took me all of half a day to get the title of the actual home page to be different than the title shown on the main cover image. Because one needed to have the “(?) (!)” and the other could not.
Anyway… we begin. And only begin…
You check to make sure the oven is off at night even though you know you didn’t use the oven. And check again three seconds later to make sure you were right that it is, indeed, off. And check again. Then the front door lock. You check that as you’re about to retire for the night. And it’s locked, which is satisfying. For a few seconds. Until—for some reason—your brain wants to just check again. And then once more. And a fourth time.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). You’ve seen the aforementioned scenes played out in movies and on TV to the point where they’ve become clichéd tropes. Many people do these things I’ve described above to varying degrees of disability. I have OCD, and I don’t do anything like what’s described here to any debilitating scale. OCD can be much different than what you’ve come to learn it as.
My mind cannot turn off. This is the crux of what I deal with. When I see people watching TV or playing with their kids in the park, I think: How the hell can they do that? Those things aren’t options for me. I’ve tried them, but if I leave my mind alone for a few seconds, it gets filled with all sorts of really strange stuff. Fear, guilt, lists of better things I should be doing—and these things I think, they build on top of one another: I also cannot compartmentalize thoughts, I can only stack them.
Think of your thoughts at 10,000 books. What would you do with them? The logical answer is you’d find sturdy bookshelves (compartments) to place them on. It would take a lot of bookshelves, maybe in different rooms, all set up so they don’t fall on you. That’s essentially the main goal, right? You don’t want this stack of books falling on you.
My brain stacks them into a single, straight heap. 10,000 books high. Another thought is book number 10,001 in the stack. Imagine the physics required to keep that single stack from falling. You can assume—eventually it will fall over. And they do. My brain has to pick them up, and again, it stacks them one-by-one on top of one another.
How does this play out beyond this proverbial stack of books? Basically, everything else in life needs to be nearly perfect. Lest I take my mind off the stack of books—as taking your mind off the books will cause them all to fall once again.
That is a very short metaphor for what is an insanely complex wiring of my own mind (and I don’t use the term “insane” or its derivatives lightly.) And that is the crux of this site. It is about me, but it is for others (that’s you!) too—for whatever you may take from it. I am an obsessive note-taker, I have hundreds of pages of notes and charts I’ve compiled trying to figure out… me. And now I’m merely sharing that. Where will this go? I have no idea.
One thing this site will shirk away from is the environment of “Ra! Ra! We’re all in this together! Kumbaya.” I’m not writing self-help articles. I am opening up the pathways my extremely flawed mind works, and I can only hope it A. at least interests people to know someone has an over-aching mode of thinking that is wildly different than others or B. connects in some way (any way) to people.
This is a very short introduction. It is not a manifesto. That is coming later. (I think: I write manifestos to myself all day long, I am a full-stack web developer and manager—why not fucking combine the two?)
A word of warning: I am verbose. I am excessively verbose. That cannot be said enough. I cannot write in the simple and short. But I can categorize.
So back to OCD. I have it. I have it differently than the ways most people think of OCD, and THAT will be the primary thread throughout the articles on this site. Not just what I have, but the fact that what I have exists and is not talked about much.
I mention the phrase “atypical OCD.” That is not a psychological terms I’ve been given. It is what I’ve observed. (This journey, if you want to call it that, I have gone mostly alone.) I am willing to bet most people with OCD, oxymoronically, have atypical OCD. Because it manifests itself in so many ways that, like I mentioned above, you don’t see on TV or in movies.
Ok, I’ll explore brevity for a second: some of us don’t wash our hands one-hundred times a day.
There will be more. Keep reading. This is a work in progress. And that previous sentence—that can be taken many different ways, and I meant them all.