I have never been the type of person to discuss my issues with other people. I’ve grown up without anyone listening to me so as an adult I learned to keep my personal life to myself. Well, it’s good in theory because then no one acn say that I complain too much. On the other hand, there are people out there dealing with the same issues as I am that may be able to help me cope better with my issues. I have several diagnosed mental illnesses; depression, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ADHD, and Borderline Personality Disorder, but the ones that make it all worse is definitely the anxiety and OCD.
In recent years, I’ve been trying to open up to people. I became so desperate to share my story and try to heal from what I had been through that my boyfriend told me it seems like I’m telling everyone I meet just so that I can get sympathy and attention from them. Anyone that truly knows me better than that but that’s what it seems like I’m doing. I have pulled back some so that I don’t complain all the time, but I still have a couple close friends who I can talk to when I need them. That’s the important thing.
How does OCD and anxiety tie into all of this? Oh, in so many ways my friend. I don’t have a bad case of OCD, mine is very mild; you won’t even notice it until you get to know me. I have little quirks in my personality which gives it away. I can give so many examples. In the morning, after I take my shower, I wrap my towel around my body and sit on the edge of the bathtub for about a minute. If I don’t sit down for at least about 10 seconds, my whole day is thrown off kilter. It sounds crazy, but for me…well, I can start my day without it if I’m in a rush but I will not have a very good day. I also have a “getting dressed” type of ritual I follow every morning but it isn’t as strange as sitting on the edge of the bathtub.
I have several small and seemingly meaningless rituals like this. They are all so engraved in my every day behavior that I don’t recognize it unless someone points it out to me. Another example I can think of though is when I lay down a blanket on the ground or on the floor; or even just folding a blanket. Everything has to be laid out perfectly. As few wrinkles as possible and I will do my best to brush them out. If you move a corner or it is displaced I will freak out until it is put back in order. I will have a mini meltdown from it.
I know exactly how silly that sounds, but when it happens something switches in my brain and I can’t focus on anything else but the disorder being put back in order. I guess that’s why it’s called a disorder…ha!
I also cannot stand when the microwave timer is not on zero. To me, this is an example of disorder. I don’t mind if you take something out before the timer that you set is up, but come on..how hard is it to push the clear button and put it back to zero? No matter what I’m in the kitchen doing, just grabbing water or placing a dirty dish in the sink, if that timer is not at zero I HAVE to clear it. My boyfriend will purposefully leave the timer set to some random number to see it bug me. Apparently this one is cute though, since he likes to watch me freak out.
Other things are smaller quirks that are more difficult to explain. I hate popped collars; I HAVE to fix them. This includes rolled up sleeves or pants legs that aren’t even or aren’t supposed to be rolled up…I must fix them all. If one little hair is out of place after a part has been made (this is for girls only), I will obsess about it until it is fixed. I do this with my boyfriend’s daughters all the time. I will make them hold still while I adjust the one little portion of hair out of place.
If I’m counting anything at all I can’t stop at an odd number unless it is 3 or multiple of 5; every other instance my count needs to end with an even number. I’ve been made fun of for this one a bit, but I’ve tried stopping and it just feels wrong and I can’t do it. This goes for a lot of things that happen to be uneven or not symmetrical though. If I see it, I will fix it. Something similar to this is my need to end a walk down the stairs (or up) on my right foot. I prefer to start on my right foot also, but it’s not as important as ending with my right foot. If I’m going to end on my left, I will stop on the third stair from the ground, and switch feet. If I’m used to the stairs I’ll know which foot I need to start with so that won’t happen, but I’m not always right. I look like a fool stopping on the stairs to switch feet but all I can focus on IS my feet and which one is going to hit the landing first. This might be my worst one.
Cleaning is another big trigger for me. My mom used to have me clean the house all the time because my OCD wouldn’t let me do a job any less than spotless. This one I’ve been able to control though. I’m messy for a reason and my boyfriend doesn’t understand that. When I do clean, I clean well I just don’t like getting caught up in needing to have the job done perfectly for me to be able to say it’s finished. It’s very stressful. So I clean when I can’t handle the mess anymore. Organization is like this for me as well. If you give me something it will be returned in the same order in which it was given to me. Usually more neatly stacked than when it was given to me. I also have to sort through it in the order in whih it was given to me. Every time. Not one piece of paper (or whatever the case may be) can be out of place.
I have other issues as well but these are most prominent ones. Over time I’ve been able to make them less obvious and even control some, but others I’m still struggling with. I’m thankful that I have a mild case; I’m not sure how I could handle anything bigger. OCD can control your life if you aren’t careful.
Each mental disorder affects my life in very particular ways. I’ve focused on my OCD tendencies for this entry. For more of my blogs follow me here! If you want to follow my creative blog where I post my novels in progress:
Thanks for tuning in 🙂 Stay tuned for more of me and my wacky world!!!