- Mental Health
The Obsessions of the Obsessive Compulsive
The Obsessions of an OCD man
When this life begins we don’t really comprehend the huge undertakings we will encounter. We are given trials and tribulations throughout all of our days, and those tests end up making us who we are. To fully understand the nature of life we must first realize that there is no past, and no future. There is just right now. We will continually argue this point about a past not existing but stop to think what you have to prove the past does exist. The only thing we have in connection to the past is our memories, but are our memories are own. Did we make those memories in the haze of yesterday?
I come before you today to discuss with you the obsessions that afflict the obsessive compulsive. It has been said that I have OCD, though I choose not to believe it. I’ve attempted to deny it until irrefutable proof was thrust into my face by none other than me. It all started one day when my wife placed the remote control for the T.V on the entertainment center. She did not place it in any type of order; it sat askew atop the entertainment center. I watched her silently from my chair as she continued on into the kitchen, either to retrieve a drink or something else, my memory fails. The remote, an inanimate object, was laughing at me as it sat there out of line. So I did what any civilized obsessive compulsive would do. I got up and straightened the remote. I moved it so it was approximately six inches from the edge at both ends, in other words it was now straight.
Well, about that time my wife came back to the living room and saw what I had done.
“So you’re not obsessive compulsive huh?”
“It was crooked; I straightened it, nothing else.” I retorted.
It was at this point that I realized what she meant. I had an unhealthy addiction to neatness and structured order. Things need to have a place, and they need to be in that place. How many times have you heard that? I hear it all the time.
How Did It Start?
Looking back into a past that may not really exist, I guess it all started to really be serious during my last deployment overseas. Twenty people worked in my section and each one was a careless slob, as far as I was concerned. Our parts shelters were a constant state of disgusting disorder, our oil warehouse was atrocious, and our tools were being misplaced on a daily basis. Something had to be done and fast, I was going nuts. Well being a sergeant it was my duty to lead, so I straightened up the parts shelters. I organized them by types, inventoried them, and put it all onto a spreadsheet. This whole process took me four days to complete.
Did it last? Hell no it didn’t. People were wondering why I was always in a bad mood. Part of what was happening in my life had a little bit to do with it, the rest was the utter lack of organization and neatness from my co-workers, and my workers. About three weeks went by with me occasionally straightening up the parts shelter, and the others coming in behind me to mess it all up again. I finally had enough and I went to my boss. My boss was not as compulsive about neatness but pretty dang close. I explained everything that was happening and he agreed with me. He said, “You can’t run a shop without control over your supplies and people.”
“Right, in the civilian world this place would get shut down five seconds after an inspector would come through.”
So after that discussion things became only slightly better in that I now had support from my boss, and my peers. They however, still didn’t care but would do what they needed to do to keep out of trouble.
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Everything in my room was neat and ordered. The little packs of IceBreaker ™ gum I was able to get at the Chow Hall were stacked neatly. They were stacked according to flavor in rows of five. They also alternated front to back, so one front would be next to the following packs back and on until the last pack. There were a total of twenty five or thirty packs all stacked neatly on my bookshelf. One day my boss knocked on the door, asked me a question, and then spotted the rows of gum. At first he noticed how many there were. Then as he looked closer to count, he noticed the OCD way I had stacked them. Well needless to say he made a joke, pissed me off, and I asked, “Is there anything else or would you like to stick around and make more fun of me?” He chose the latter option.
It has never stopped since then, I try not to obsess about things but I can’t help it. I don’t see how I can just ignore order. I know there is chaos all over the universe, and in all forms of matter. I also know that in apparent chaos there is structured order in all. If the universe in all its wonder can create order from chaos, then dammit so can I.
Even now as I type this in my bare office, my pens sit according to type in alternating patterns, front to back in a neat little row. My drawer has papers in it, but they are stacked neatly with the most important one being on top. My laptop is perfectly centered in the middle of the desktop, it is not crooked, and not one single speck of dirt soils its keypad. I saw a picture the other day that was off center and drooping to the left. This was not my picture nor my house but a painting in a business’s lobby. I could not have ignored it so I straightened it. Maybe someday I’ll find a way to beat my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Next I will discuss the difference between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. Oddly enough, I've obsessed about this since I realized I have it. Stay tuned for more information.
© 2010 by Wesley Cox. All rights reserved. Copying without permission is illegal and will be prosecuted.