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OCD

March 6, 2011

Szia! Hogy vagytok?

What? You say you do not speak Hungarian? Oh. Well in that case:

Hi! How are you guys?

I am doing surprisingly well. Seriously you guys, I have to thank you for every single one of your supportive comments on my last – and very short – post.  Before I published it, I was feeling so guilty. It sort of seemed like I was giving up. I tend to give up very easily when things in life become just a smidge too difficult, and I definitely didn’t want that to be the case with blogging. I also felt very bad for the sake of all of you. I always put a crap ton of pressure on myself in every aspect of life, blogging not excluded. I had this idea that I had to do a long, in-depth, philosophical post about my life, my ED, or my views on recovery every single night. I thought that in order to make friends, attract readers, and keep people coming back, I had to be consistent. I thought that if I didn’t, you’d stop reading or liking me.

I thought that my posts had to be grammatically and structurally flawless. I believed that every single paragraph…no, every sentence had to be 200% cohesive and interesting. I have always been a perfectionist, and I had this mentalitly that by posting like I had been, I was being the perfect blogger. But honestly, I didn’t have time for all of that. Blogging was just becoming a burden and a chore, not a creative outlet. It was no longer fun. 😦 

I think it’s true for all of us that we always want what we can’t have. Yesterday, I “couldn’t” have the freedom to skip a night of posting, so all I wanted to do was quit blogging. Today, because I didn’t feel the pressure to write, I actually wanted to. Funny, this human brain of ours, idn’it?

But anyway, I did have a topic to this post. If I’ve bored or confused you with the previous 3 paragraphs, just look at the title again for a little refresher.

Yup, obsessive-compulsive disorder. I think we all have it to a certain degree. Though in some of us it is more severe than in others, we all have some quirks, rituals, or idiosyncrasies. For me, I think my OCD is pretty darn bad. I am not on any medication for it; that hasn’t even been brought up. Medicine to help with anxiety, which would in turn help with my ED, was a huge topic for discussion about 2 months ago. Now that my weight is up and my mood is better, I think it’s out of the question. Neither my parents nor my doctors think I need it, and that is just fine by me!

But the OCD…now that’s a different story. I have difficulty putting my reasons into words, but I refuse medication of any kind that people try to force upon me in order to help with the ED. I have been OCD for a while now, but it has gotten much worse since the ED started. So, no medication for OCD  for me, but thankfully. I sometimes think it’s pretty bad, but no one else seems to think it’s severe enough to warrant it.

I thought it would be fun (maybe more fun for me than for you) to go through as many of my OCD tendencies as I can think of. One of my tendencies is that I love being organized, thus, I love lists. How ’bout I make one right now? Then I’ll elaborate on the ones I feel I need to. 🙂

  • I love lists (duh!) – I think organization is so important. I have a great memory, but when the information is too much to store mentally, I must make a list. You might say, “Sure, everybody makes lists.” But I don’t mean a shopping list, or a to-do list. I mean lists of useless information that I feel like I have to remember. An example would be my list of things to do on the computer. It might be to read x, y, and z’s blog on my google reader. Well, if I’m already in the reader, I won’t read some blogs and forget to read the rest. But I feel the need to write it down anyway, just to be sure.
  • I love all other forms of organization and alignment – When my pantry or fridge gets too cluttered, I’ll devote the afternoon to reorganizing it. It is definitely a major anxiety-relieving coping mechanism for me. I don’t know whether or not it’s healthy, but I do it. Another would be that I number my pointe shoes. When they get worn out to the point (pun intended ;-)) that they’re unusable, we call them dead. So anyway, I number all my dead pointe shoes, from the first pair I ever had to the ones I just retired. For whatever reason, I have to keep them in order or else I just don’t feel right. Oh, and all the cereal boxes or cans in the pantry have to be in a line and/or facing the same way as well. I love order!
  • I often check to make sure the front door is locked – this one usually isn’t bad, but it can be sometimes. Once I was home alone and in the shower. I had a bit of a freak out when I thought the door was unlocked and heard someone come in. I shut off the water, jumped out naked, and ran downstairs, sopping wet, only to find out that the door was indeed locked.
  • I always walk up or down the stairs starting with my left foot. If I accidentally start with the right, I’ll stop in my tracks and switch feet. 
  • I always eat yogurt and oatmeal with one spoon and soup with another. In my book, spoons are not interchangeable.
  • My favorite bite of banana is the top (I get excited about it), and I hate the bottom. I literally cannot eat it, and always throw it out.
  • I’m obsessed with symmetry – if I leave 2 pencils and 1 eraser on my desk, the eraser has to be in the middle of the 2 pencils.
  • I constantly check to make sure I didn’t lost my cell phone, house keys, Ipod, etc, even though I just checked and had it two minutes ago.
  •  I usually check a least 3 times that I put my phone on silent before ballet class.
  • I always pick out certain pieces of the Kashi Go Lean cereal and eat them at the end of the meal.
  • I hang everything in my closet in the same direction. If it’s not facing the right way, I must change it.
  • My pillows have to be in a certain diretion – I have 2 pillows on my bed. The outside, or the side with the opening in the pillow case, must face outwards towards the edges of the bed. (Thanks for the reminder on that one Ash!)
  • I can’t watch the screens on my ipod and cell phone go dark – say I’ve just used either one and set it on a table face up. The screen is lit and will stay like that for a few seconds if it’s my cell, and 60 seconds if it’s my itouch. I either have to then turn it face-down before the light goes out, or look away. If I happen to glance at it and see the screen go from being lit to dark, I have to press a button to turn the screen back on, then either turn it face down again, press the lock button (which makes it go dark faster) and then look away, or look away until I know for certain that the light has gone out.
  • Perfectionism? – Is this one even OCD? I don’t know. I do know that I have this need for everything to always be perfect, either myself, or the people and things around me. If my dad make a grammatical error, I correct him, because grammatical errors are not perfect. If I keep messing up a step in ballet, I get angry, because when I mess up, I’m not perfect. (I know I’m never “perfect”, but when I mess up at something, I’m even farther from perfect than I was before) When people drive either too passively or aggressively, I lose my patience because they are not driving perfectly. When my mom forgets something and asks me again, I get mad at her because she wasn’t perfect enough to remember. In Black Swan Natalie says this line, “I just want to be perfect.” Yeah, me too, and it’s something I really need to stop wanting.

Wow, is this a long post or what? And no pictures or anything. How boring is that? All of my posts seem to be either all pictures (the birthday recaps) or all words. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll find the balance some day. 🙂

 

Qs~

Do you have any of the same OCD obsessions, compulsions, or rituals that I do? Do you have any that are different from mine?

What’s your blogging schedule like?

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2011 7:51 pm

    I feel like you read my mind! I can relate to feelings of guilt and perfectionism surrounding blogging, as well as other aspects of my life.
    I have experienced OCD tendencies, and while they may seem innocent, they escalated to a point where I would feel extremely panicked or guilty if I did not fufill them. Thankfully, as I have gotten healthier and have recieved medication for my anxiety they have decreased to the point where they are nearly non-exsistant.
    I adore lists, organization, and I am a perfectionist.
    If your OCD behaviors are just comfertable to you, than I don’t see anything wrong with them. But if you feel that they are an outlet that you must control, I might talk to my parents about it.
    Anyways, thanks for the post Bryana, I love reading!
    – Emma ❤

    • March 9, 2011 9:52 am

      Yay! I am so glad that your OCD tendencies are not a problem anymore. If they get to the point where we can’t function without doing them, they really do need to be taken care of in some way. I’m happy to hear that they are nearly non-existant.

  2. March 6, 2011 8:49 pm

    Ha, I find it so amusing how alot of people do that “I don’t want to”…
    *next day* “I’m back!”
    It’s kinda of like the allowing your self to eat the foods you crave. Once you let yourself you don’t want them so much, lol.
    Psh, I think I have to do a whole post now on my OCD…wait. I can just sum it up to one thing- my whole life!
    ha..wait, that’s kinda sad DX…well..yeah, but I’ve lived with them since before I can remember or even realized they were “weird”; my mom said I obsessively washed my hands all the time in preshool, and was petrified of my bangs having a part, so much so that when I was in gymnastics class, I wouldn’t do a handstand, and when I tried to, I did it with one hand to try to keep my hair in place.
    Hmm, blogging schedule? Well, in general I have time each day where I’m open to write if I feel I need to get something out that I’m thinking about. Haven’t quite found my niche yet.

    • March 9, 2011 9:54 am

      That’s a really great comparison. Blogging is like eating. If you don’t let yourself eat it (or take a blogging break) it’s all you will think about. Then, once you do eat it (or take that break) you realize you didn’t actually want it all that much after all.

  3. March 6, 2011 9:00 pm

    Girl? It’s YOUR blog, for YOU.
    You are not obligated or obliged..I am glad you saw the link between that and your OCD tendencies…hopefully going forward you can loosen up a bit.
    I blog about three times a week. I could never blog daily. It’d be counter-productive in my life.
    My blog writes itself…sort of like suddenly you felt the urge to write and explore your tendencies.

    You can get over some of the negative aspects of them but kudos for finding the sunny side…the aspects that are good!
    I HAVE to vacuum every night.
    That’s one of the reason’s I crave tile or hardwood floors. I need the lines, the freshness.
    It’s annoying but not hurting anyone so I do it. Examine the parts that really INTERFERE with your life and work on them first. It sounds like these behaviors are not interfering but think about it…so they make you late for things? Do you have to wake up in the middle of the night to check to see if your hangers are all in line?
    AND…If a friend called you and said “let’s go out” but you still had your list of to dos…would you pass the opportunity up? That’s a biggie.

    • March 9, 2011 9:59 am

      Thanks for the sweet comment! No, my tendencies are not that bad (thankfully). I think my laziness beats the OCD desires sometimes. 🙂
      I completely agree with you about the blogging. I am starting to realize that blogging every day is really not helping me. Posting because I want to, not because I have to is a much better option.

  4. March 6, 2011 9:29 pm

    I’m so so glad you’re blogging because YOU want to, not because you feel like you have to!

    I do have some things I do that I think could be OCD-related. Like I always check, and double-check, and triple-check that I have my room key and prox card to get back in my dorm everyday before I leave for classes. Well, that might be a good thing, but I feel like I should know by the second or third time that I have them! And sometimes when I’m eating something, I time myself with my cell phone. I’ll take a bite, chew it slowly, and then wait 2 minutes until I take the next bite. It’s so crazy! And I always have to have my pillows facing a certain way.

    With my blogging, I don’t really have a set schedule, but I mostly post in the afternoon or at night when I have more time. And I usually try to come up with a really good idea about what to blog about before I write anything. I don’t know why, but I feel like I have so much pressure on me to be like a blogging genius or something, like you said!

    • March 9, 2011 10:01 am

      Oh yeah, they key is also a big one for me. If I’m in a hotel, I’ll check and check and check to make sure I’ve got it so I don’t get locked out of my room. Of course I could go to the front desk and ask for another one, but for some reason, I have to check.

  5. March 7, 2011 10:01 am

    We’ve chatted about OCD before and I’m so glad you did a post on it. My OCD is pretty severe and it does interfere with my life. It takes me 45 minutes just to sit down and eat dinner because I’m doing so many rituals. I absolutely hate it.
    Medication has been discussed for me, but I have never inquired into it because I’m hesitant to take too many meds. It seems like they have a pill for everything : /. I’m already on anxiety meds and I really don’t feel like they have helped my OCD much at all, just taken away my panic attacks.
    Maybe bringing this up with your therapist or even parents would be a good idea, especially if you think it is interfering with your daily life. There are definitely tools that can help manage the OCD!
    Love you girl! : )
    xxx

    • March 9, 2011 10:03 am

      Well even if meds have not helped with the OCD, having less panic attacks is a great thing. When my weight was at my lowest I used to have them constantly, over the minutest things. They were awful, so I am extremely happy that they’re more under control for you! 🙂

  6. March 7, 2011 11:15 am

    Hey! Believe it or not I actually understood your Hungarian greetings (before I read the translation :P).

    I don’t think I have any really major OCD tendencies. The one thing I am particular about is my bowl and the utensils that I eat with. I always use the same ones, not really sure why. This used to be a huge deal and I would freak out if I couldn’t eat out of my bowl or anyone else used it. Weird no? Now I can eat out of other dishes, and it’s not SUCH a big deal any more. So I guess that’s a good thing.

    Happy you’re enjoying blogging again. Don’t let it become a chore though, because it’s supposed to be fun!

    Take care!!!

    • March 9, 2011 10:06 am

      Haha, that’s so cool that you understood the Hungarian!
      I have specific bowls and untensils for different foods too. Like you, I used to freak out if I couldn’t use them. Now if I can’t, it’s a pain, but I’ve realized it’s not the end of the world. 🙂

  7. March 7, 2011 1:40 pm

    I know what you mean – after I decide that I’m not going to blog for a while, I start really wanting to post something. lol. I usually only blog once or twice a week, though – whenever I actually have time!

    Hmm, OCD? I definitely have some tendancies, but I’ve actually “grown out” of some that I had when I was younger. Like I used to have to make sure the bathroom faucet was off a couple of times before I went to bed. And if I was eating M&M’s, I always ate one color at a time, ending with brown.

    I’m with you on making lists and the perfectionism. And I hate the end of the banana too, but I don’t know if it’s OCD – I just think the end is gross, lol!

    Have a good week, girl!

    • March 9, 2011 10:08 am

      Oh, the m&ms thing is something I would do too (if ED wouldn’t chime in if I tried to eat them) Food rituals are a whole nother story. I tried to leave them out of the OCD list, but maybe I should do a post on food rituals too. Hmm…

  8. March 7, 2011 5:38 pm

    I for sure have a few of these OCD tendencies myself! I seem to always eat a little bit of the cereal I am pouring into my bowl before I put the milk on it, and I always do things in order. It is weird, but I don’t understand why!

    And blogging schedule? What schedule! I try to just blog whenever I feel like it, because I think otherwise my posts get quite boring 😉

    • March 7, 2011 5:39 pm

      OH, I forgot to ask, you speak Hungarian!?! That is so cool!

      • March 9, 2011 10:09 am

        Thanks! Yeah, I speak it fluently. When my mom was teaching me how to talk, she switched between English and Hungarian, so now I know both! 🙂

  9. March 8, 2011 10:59 am

    I just blog when I feel like it! You don’t want it to become a burden to you! It should be fun to do! While I was reading about some of your OCD tendencies I was nodding my head and laughing (because I do them too!)! Don’t be ashamed or frustrated about them unless they are hurtful. I used to have a thing about not taking medication. However, once I started, I realized that it was just what I needed. And while I thought they were unhealthy at first, I realized it would be unhealthy to not take them. Thank God for anti-depressants! 😀

    • March 9, 2011 10:11 am

      Yeah, the anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds were on the table for me for months. But my docs thought weight gain would solve it all, and for the most part, it has. I’m glad that for you, the meds are doing what they are supposed to and are helping!!!

  10. April 16, 2011 8:21 pm

    Omg I do the same things with screens! It has to be fully lit or not at all – I cannot STAND seeing it go from light to dim to off. I either wake it back up or I turn it off – but if i’m turning it off I have to wake it back up first, not switch it straight from dim.

    I’m so fussy about things being in order. Matching. Being “right.” That said, I’m a very “all or nothing” person so if something is sooo messy (like my bedroom) I just leave it because I can’t stand it but won’t organize it. It has to be perfectly organized and spotless of not at all. I have a hard time finding middle ground.

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