1. Picking up my medication
I always feel as if I am being looked at as a doctor shopper. This is because, with my OCD, I always have a lot (too many) questions. Obvious stuff. I need to know everything is going to work out. But knowing how I present myself, I fear that I’m going to be flagged as suspicious. Note: I am not a doctor shopper, and the one narcotic I am on is basically useless.
Ok, that’s a loaded one. What I am discussing here is the way my OCD makes me think of every eventuality.
Common among people with OCD and something I’ve gone as far as literally putting on my resume is the need to think of every eventuality to any action taken. In short, people are generally just not paranoid enough to me. This comes into play a lot with work, especially those who work under me (because their missteps are my missteps when it comes to responsibility when all is finished.)
I use the term “every” loosely here, as of course I know I cannot literally think of every single way an action can cause every possible reaction. I have been looked upon as somewhat pompous when thinking aloud in short about this because I do use the term “every eventuality” often. So let’s keep it to “as many eventualities as possible.” It frustrates me when people don’t take into consideration all of the edge cases that may be caused by what they do. Edge cases being those fringe possibilities that very likely will not happen. Problem is to someone with OCD, we know these fringe possibilities can happen, and we have to prepare for them because they have happened in the past, albeit rarely. But “rarely”, to my OCD, is as good as “often.” And these potential edge cases are generally always negative, and straight up: I don’t like negative things happening. I wish others would also do whatever it takes to prevent such!
3. Calling anyone on the phone
I hate the phone. I love communicating with people, and I do so digitally all day. However, on the phone-my OCD does not have time to analyze every eventuality to what I say. I cannot calculate as much as I need to calculate in person or on the phone. Don’t get me wrong, I wish not to manipulate anyone. I just wish to come across correctly. As per who I know I am. I can do that via instant messaging (of any sort) or email.
I obsess over the meaning of things like days. Ok, that I know is an odd thing to think about in terms of obsession. But to me, a new day is a reason for my brain to decide-on its own-to be very content or absolutely miserable. I start the day as one or the other: high-high or low-low. From there real life happens of course, which changes things slightly for the better or worse, but the new day is the switch that tells my brain to go way up or way down. And how do we get to the new day? Sleep.
5. Being selfish
I always fear the innate selfishness of OCD will come through
OCD is inherently selfish. It is, there’s no real way around that. As much as I know this, I can’t quite control it. I need things to be a certain way, we’ve probably established that with just a cursory understanding of the disorder. But the key is I need things to be my way. I am me, and I’m seen as the one who needs things to be a certain way. This is imposing, I know. I hope I hide it well.
6. Updating my phone or computer
Here is where I should stop and lay down a basis of context that I should have to begin this article. When I say “anxious” I do not mean a little worried. I mean absolutely and completely overtaken by anxiety to the point where I will pace (if no one is around) or want to pace very badly (if people are around.) Everyone updates their digital wares. Heck, most people set their devices to auto-update. Not me. For me, it is a ritual. I feel that each update is a journey that could take me one of two places: A. Not much has changed or B. my whole weekend is ruined because everything is broken and I cannot get into my windows to the world.
7. Being a burden
I think my OCD will be a burden on others. Do you want to be around me talking about getting a stain out of my shirt for 2 hours? Because this happens. If I am having an OCD episode, I feel I am a burden on others. I am crazy, and I am forcing those around me to walk with me into this world of crazy. Society works best when people move in a nice synchronicity. I stop those gears! The problem here is that I know this, so another reason to keep what seems traumatic to me to myself.
8. Future dates
I’m scared out of my mind when I see dates on a calendar somewhat far into the future. I always have been. I remember trying to face this fear back when I had a handwritten calendar by going 8-9 months in advance and writing, on a day during that time period, the following: “How is life now?” I am obsessed with the notion that all sorts of horrible things will have happened up to that point that my life will be in shatters. Horrible things I can’t even write here.
9. Relating to other people
All of the above packaged together into a construct-I am often left alone with my thoughts, as they go in directions others don’t and use levels of energy others don’t. Thus, I am different, and not in a positive way. I won’t say most people look down on me, but I do know most people cannot relate to me. I know I frustrate people when I bring my OCD to the forefront for action for others to take. At the same time, I often hide my OCD to allow for some assemblage of social acceptability-which, of course, is a bit of a ruse. I am not thinking like others. I cannot think like others. I obsess. My obsessions often turn into compulsions (sometimes not, I can suppress well with my brand of OCD). Whether it is known to all or just to me-I am apart from society much more often than not. Pretty much always. If I try to explain my OCD, the best I get, even from those who care about me most, is a feeling of pity.
Usually-and this may ironically be my OCD thinking here-I am just not relatable. I am a part. Though my thoughts track with what is generally accepted as negative and positive, I am apart from most people in how I think, act, and know. And that to me is sad. Because in the end, I want to like this world. But if I cannot relate to others, and others cannot relate to me, I am left with more void than fulfillment.
Such is life with OCD, such is life around others without OCD.
10. I believe others will think I am faking it
This belief is paradoxical. We’ve all seen how OCD is portrayed in movies and television. We know the stereotype. I really don’t even need to spell it out. Watch Monk. I see this too, and I see these characters as sympathetic figures. Actually, most people do! Which on one hand is a little frustrating because of the lack of depth OCD is given, it is a tremendously multidimensional disorder. At the same time, I’m aware of the sympathy that comes from some people towards those with OCD. I feel if I let people know I have OCD or am going through an OCD episode-I am merely trying to get some quick sympathy.