Howdy all, and as you can tell from my title, It’s OCD Awareness Week!!! I thought it’d be fitting to talk about my earliest OCD organizing incidents and go from there, so buckle up buttercups.
I just thought it was another facet of my anxiety disorder. I didn’t know OCD itself fell under the blanket of Anxiety Disorders until last semester. I’ve had it since I could remember. I used to have a giant container filled with a bunch of plastic animal toys. I had every kind of animal, and a bunch of doubles and what not and wow when I go home for break, I’ll try and find them and take a photo to give you an idea. Anyway, I would take all the animals and make them go in a little line all around my house. It would go down the hallway, around the dining room table and through the kitchen. And there was always an order of some sort. The carnivores and herbivores needed to be evenly spread out so that things were even if the procession of animals ever “got attacked” as I would think of it. If anyone knocked over some of them by accident, I would feel like I had to redo everything, and sometimes I would. It was like I’d do this three or four times a week, whenever I got the urge to do it. It would come into my head and I would think about it and think about it and think about it until I finally did it. That’s the only way I’d get relief and be able to think straight.
I don’t remember when I stopped with that, but getting older it seemed to get worse. I’d never be able to sleep during the night. I always had to get up and check the heater in my room to make sure it was off. I’d have to get in bed, get out and check the heater, get in bed, wait a bit, then check again. I had to do this four times before I could sleep. Another big one that I’ve worked on with my psychiatrist is my compulsion to rip paper to shreds. I can’t crumple paper and throw it away. I have to rip the paper into tinier pieces. My psychiatrist worked with me on leaving a crumpled piece of paper in the trash and trying to ignore it. The first time he did it in his office, I burst into tears after maybe ten seconds because I had to rip the paper. My fingers were playing with the fabric of my leggings I was so uncomfortable. It was something I’m happy to say I do a bit better with now. My psychiatrist would keep trying to make me go a little longer without getting up and going in the trash to unfurl a piece of paper and shred it. It’s taken a long time, and I still have that compulsion.
OCD isn’t a joke. I stay awake at night because I get certain images and scenarios stuck in my head that I can’t shake. It’s exhausting to even think about. Just please don’t say “oh I’m sooooo OCD” because it’s not just being neat and tidy and all that “fun” stuff. It’s debilitating. If you do say that, I’ll throw little scraps of paper at you and go, “REALLY? REALLY?”
Goodness I just realized this post doesn’t have a lot of humor in it. So I guess I’ll give you guys my favorite joke:
Me: You know what really gets my goat?
Suitemate Emily: Chupacabra!
Suitemate Cyndi: *giving me a judgemental look*
Me: !!!!!!!!!!CHUPACABRA!!!!!!!!! *maniacal giggles*
Suitemate Cyndi: *gives me a slow clap*