Obsessive compulsives are a funny lot, aren’t they. I don’t mean funny “ha ha”, I mean funny “intriguing”.
What makes them tick? (ha! no pun intend!)
I’m sure you all have your own little personal… things… I was going to say foibles, but that’s not quite right. From arranging items on your desk perpendicularly to the edge, to the order of items on your kitchen cupboards, we all have a way of doing things that may not be unique is certainly very personal. Even the most untidy people have something that must be done a certain way, or an item that must always be left in the same place, even if that just means that the keys MUST be hanging on the hook.
Which makes me wonder how far the leap from being a tidy and organised person to an obsessive compulsive?
I’m a tidy person. I like it when things are put away in their place, and everything is neat. I’m not overly obsessive about this but I can only go for so long, tolerating a mess, before I have to do something about it. That may mean I just chuck everything into a cupboard —the adage “out of sight out of mind” was made for me— but usually it means a clear out of old junk and a reorganisation of bookshelves.
Bookshelves! Dammit… meant to pick one up from my parents at the weekend. I digress.
So what if I’m tidy? I’m not obsessive about it, I don’t have a compulsion to tidy everything I see.
But then you start to dig a bit deeper and start pairing up common habits, rituals if you will, and begin to wonder. Over the past few months —and I’d guess that this is since Louise’s Mum died and I’m trying to be more “protective”… or something— I’ve not been able to get to sleep unless I’ve checked that the backdoor is locked. Doesn’t matter if Louise has says she has locked it, doesn’t matter if I’ve HEARD that she’s locked it, if I don’t physically check the handle, giving it a good rattle, myself then I’m unable to drop off. Obsessive? Compulsive?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to belittle OCD, or those who sufferer from it. Mental illness is a huge area and, because of the nature of the beast, has differing effects on everyone. That caveat aside though, it’s startling to think how close many of us are to becoming sufferers.
With that cheery thought in mind, what little rituals do YOU have? What silly little things stress you out for no good reason (and you KNOW there is no good reason but they still stress you out!) ?
UPDATE: Even if you don’t want to comment PLEASE take a moment to read Martin’s comment. Very open honest and illuminating. Thanks for sharing Martin.