Before I say anything about this I just want to note that I have never been to a doctor about this. Read what I have to say before you make any comments. I have read some articles stating that people who are “neat freaks” think they have O.C.P.D, but they are really just either obsessive or compulsive, but that doesn’t mean it’s O.C.P.D. That is caused my an underlying fear that causes people to follow rituals or routines to prevent that fear from coming true.
I normally do not share this with anyone but I know that I have some version of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. I am not sure the severity of it as I have never been diagnosed. I think at my next doctor appointment I am going to bring it up. I have dealt with this for a long time. I am kind of over it.
Let me give you some individually specific examples of my life. Just tonight, I went to Meijer to get some things like cat food and toiletries. I saw some Reebok running sneakers on sale and tried them on. I totally fell in love with them but told myself I really did not need them (after 10 minutes of pacing back and forth thinking). So I put them back, got the rest of my stuff, checked out, and went home. Well true to form all I could think about were those sneakers. So I got ready for bed, grabbed my keys and went back to Meijer to get them. And not just any pair mind you. It had to be the shoes I tried on. If I touch something that I show interest in, I have to have that exact item, not another one. If someone had bought those pair of sneakers, I would have turned around and left without buying anything. Luckily no one bought them.
Last semester I was in a Microeconomics class. I almost always sat in the same seat (center row last seat) when I came in. Well one day I was running late to class and someone had taken my seat. I had to sit all the way to the left row in the middle seat. I panicked during the whole class that I was going to fail the class because of that seat. I couldn’t even take notes or pay attention because I was anxious.
When I drive places that is another story in itself. I ALWAYS have to take the exact same way to and from where I am going. I could take the same route every day and I always have to change lanes in the same spot. I have to do everything identical to the first or second time I did it. That is why I freak out when idiots on the road mess me up. If they fuck up my routine something bad will happen to someone I love.
Routines are what get me. I get ready for work, the gym, and going out almost always the same way. If something messes up my routine (like I am out of hair product or my floss is missing) it completely messes me up. I do not know how to go from point A to point C without point B first. Sometimes I just completely stop what I am doing. Normally I buy things in advance so I don’t have this problem.
Also, I have the hoarding mentality. I simply struggle to throw things away. I feel an overwhelming guilt when I have to throw something out. For God’s sake I save paper clips I find on the floor at work so they don’t get thrown out. My ex boyfriend got so fed up once with everything I had accumulated (and he was also fed up with my freaking out when he moved my stuff and I didn’t know where it was) that he bought be a huge bin to keep everything in. I have cried dealing with throwing things out. It’s hard for me. He used to see me at the store have an episode because I really wanted something and I couldn’t stop talking about it or researching it until I got it. I think that if something traumatic were to happen to me, I would probably break and became a full blown hoarder.
My basic fear is something terrible is going to happen to someone I love if I break my routine.
I don’t have rituals like other people. I dont have to turn the doorknob four times and tap the tv five times or whatever. Well, there are a couple things that I have to do an even amount of times or else my body feels lopsided.
Ok so now that you have a faint idea (there is much more but I want to keep this interesting and not drawn out) we can continue. This has caused me more grief than I have ever cared to admit. It does affect my every day life. Any wrench thrown into my routine completely messes me up. This who overtime jazz at Flagstar for example. It has broken my routine and has left me nerve racked, angry, and to tears over it. I can’t handle planning and moving my schedule around. All this obsessiveness leads to my compulsive behavior. I spent all day on Tuesday talking myself out of doing something compulsive like quitting my job. I was SO fucked up over it I couldnt concentrate on my work and I was making myself physically ill. Common sense SHOULD tell me that quitting my job is a stupid decision and not the right thing to do. But but my compulsiveness doesn’t seem to care.
This disorder affects me in every aspect of my life. Financially to socially. I have splurged more times that I ever should have because I can not control my compulsion. Sometimes the real reason I don’t go out is because I can’t. It was already in my brain that I am staying home, so when people call me or text me to go out, I don’t because it breaks the plan I had. I physically can not go anywhere at that point.
Every since I became truly self aware, it has helped me work on this. I force myself to throw things out even when it is hard because I know that if I don’t I will accrue a massive mess. I also force myself (I have only done it twice so far) to take different routes to places. I know the things I have to do to help me work past this or at least live with this. I just wish it didn’t make me have neurotic moments. If I decide on something. my mind is set and no one can tell me otherwise. Again, I am getting better at it but it is definitely a work in progress.
I do want to say that it isn’t entirely bad. It drives me to do things and meets goals for myself. I want to finish school and be successful, and I have the drive to do the work that it takes to get it. I haven’t even allowed myself any other options. Even when I am exhausted and worn out, I do what have to do because my brain is hooked on the idea. So there are some pros to it. The cons still outweigh them them. That basic dreadful fear sucks to have looming over your life.
So my goal is to definitely work on this.