OCD

It’s gotten really hard for me to tell what is my OCD and what is something else. I decided to make a list here to hopefully figure some of it out.

So, here are some of my quirks. I’m sure a lot of them will seem really rude, but I need to be honest.

 

  1. It seems fitting that the first one should be my obsessive concern that I’ve said or done something wrong. Fitting because I have a feeling by the end of this list I will be regretting much of it and worrying. I’m fairly certain this is an OCD trait, because OCD has a lot to do with obsessive thoughts. This one is so bad for me that I still regret stupid things I said when I was a kid. 
  2. I cannot use cleaning rags because I throw them away. I have cats, so there is always cat fur when I’m cleaning things. As soon as there is some kind of hair on the rag, it becomes trash. I just don’t don’t know how to clean rags properly. Hair seems to stick to them eternally. Instead of spending a fortune on rags and throwing them away, I buy a certain kind of sponge for cleaning. This sponge is made of a material that doesn’t hold onto hair, so I can clean it. I bleach my sponges regularly. I have several of them for different things. I have some for the bathroom and some for the kitchen. I even have one just for the walls. I don’t know if this is OCD or just common sense.
  3. I have two closets. I have all my clothes arranged from summer to winter shirts, and pants in the smaller closet. I love my closets. They’re exceptionally organized. Maybe this comes from the fact that I never had an organized closet growing up. Closets were where you shoved everything that didn’t have a place when I was a kid. When my grandfather passed away, I bought a nice outfit to wear to his funeral because I didn’t own anything nice. I was living with my mother and there was nowhere for me to put the outfit where it would be safe, so I gave it to my mother. She put it in her closet, I think. When I was moving, I tried to find it. I opened her closet… that was a mistake. There was an avalanche of stuff and it was clear I would never see my outfit again. Those are the closets I’m used to, so mine are beautiful to me. I hang all of my clothes facing the same direction, right-side-out, perfectly organized. No one else is ever allowed to put my clothes away because they will do it wrong. This could be OCD…
  4. I don’t anyone rearranging anything in my home. Everything has its place and it makes me angry if someone changes that. This one is my OCD.
  5. I have routines which are very likely OCD. I eat certain foods together, or with specific utensils, or while watching certain shows. Some examples are: I always eat Chinese food with chopsticks. I can’t even fathom using a fork. I prefer chopsticks in general, though. They are like using your fingers without the mess. I eat bagel bites with extra cheese, garlic powder and parsley flakes while watching my “stupid shows” like The Simpsons or Family Guy. I always eat french bread and grapefruit. It doesn’t feel right to eat just french bread. I want my grapefruit with it.
  6. I can’t stand the smell of food unless I’m hungry. My mother bought me some sweet smelling candle-like stuff once. It smells like fresh baked cookies, and I hate it. I got rid of it. It’s nauseating. I only want to smell cookies when I’m about to eat them. Then I want the smell gone. I hate cooking in my house because it’s so hard to get rid of the smell when I’m done. I wash all the dishes and spray air freshener, but it lingers. It’s horrible. I don’t know if this is OCD.
  7. More routines or habits are pacing while I talk on the phone (I can’t sit still on the phone), drinking coffee whenever I blog (hence the name of my blog), and playing logic games on my phone while watching a movie or show. These could be OCD.
  8. Ever since I was a child I have separated my food. I used to take my cheeseburgers apart when my parents took me to McDonald’s. I would separate the whole thing and eat everything by itself. I would eat all of it, but not together. I’d eat the bun first, then pick the cheese off the burger, eat the pickles, then finally eat the burger. I still do this with a lot of foods. For the most part I will eat things all together, but there are times when I just don’t want to and I’ll pull it all apart and eat it separately. Probably OCD.
  9. I’m gay, and I absolutely hate it when men try to touch me. A guy at work always tries to hug me and I just want to kick him for it. Maybe it has to do with them wanting to date or sleep with me, though. My boss, who is a man, can hug me and I don’t mind. He’s like an uncle to me. That one guy at work is always trying to hook up with me, though, so that’s probably what it is. I doubt this one is OCD.
  10. I can’t stand people teasing me. It drives me crazy. I never give the expected reaction. I don’t even know what people expect from me when they tease me. I have no clue how to handle it at all. I generally force out fake laughter, which is not even remotely convincing, but that doesn’t seem to be the right reaction. Also probably not OCD.
  11. People talking to me about unimportant things annoys me. When my neighbors try to make small talk, it takes all of my willpower to be polite and not just walk away mid-sentence. People talking about important things can annoy me, too, though, if they don’t know what they’re talking about. Also probably not OCD, but my severely lacking social skills.
  12. If I get sick, I throw away most of my food. Anything that has been in my fridge for a while, even if it is still good, has to go. I also throw away tupperware containers if food has gone bad in them. I don’t feel like I can get plastic clean enough. I don’t even want to own anything plastic. Try finding a glass water bottle, though, that fits my strict criteria. No clue if this is OCD.
  13. I have panic attacks over anything that is too dirty. I haven’t had this problem since moving into my own place, though. It happened often in the hoarded house I lived in. I remember trying to clean and hyperventilating because it was just so frightening. Definitely hoarding-related OCD.
  14. I have to wear my headphones and listen to music at work because I can’t stand listening to most people. Some of them just have voices that rub me the wrong way, and others just have nothing valuable to say. Probably not OCD… I’m probably just a jerk.
  15. I can’t stand the way it feels to file my nails. I’ve been working on this and getting a little better. I can’t stand if I bend a nail, though. If my nail bends, I will cut it off. Even after cutting it off, I can still feel that horrible feeling, though. I think this is OCD on some level.

 

Okay, I think that’s enough for now.

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HOARD

It’s that time again. Time to write about hoarding and its place/influence in my life.

 

I walk into my kitchen and start putting away the now dry dishes. Everything has its place; everything has a home. As fluidly as I brush my teeth in the morning, I spin around the kitchen placing things where they belong. It is second nature; I don’t even have to think about it. But I do think about it.

I stop for just a moment, look around at everything neatly organized in my kitchen, look down at the spatula in my hand and I know exactly where it goes. I know where it goes, and I know that it fits. I won’t have to jam or stuff anything into a place. Everything fits and everything is neat and organized. 

I have to think about it, because there was a time when I had to think about it for a different reason. Washing dishes, doing laundry, putting things away, etc., was a chore. Everything was a chore. It was all difficult because nothing had a place and even if it did, there was never enough room for it. OR, if there was room, you wouldn’t want to put it there anyway because, let’s face it, no sane person wants to put clean silverware in a drawer full of rodent feces. 

I have to think about it because I have to appreciate the mundane things that everyone else takes for granted. Those things are wonderful to me. 

I clean my bathroom sink every single day because the one I had before was falling through the floor and cleaning would collapse it. My sink here is pure white, perfectly clean and absolutely beautiful. It shines, literally shines. 

I move my furniture and sweep/vacuum and mop underneath and behind it because where I lived before, this feat was impossible. 

I sit on my couch because I never sat on the one where I came from. It was soaked with urine and the stench was overwhelming. 

I throw things away like old tupperware containers because no one can get mad if I do anymore. I donate old stuff to the thrift store because no one is telling me they’re saving it for something. 

I do these things now that I could not do before, and I appreciate them more than a normal person, because my mother is a hoarder and I didn’t have simple “luxuries” when I lived with her. 

I dance and spin and skip and run and jump through my entire house, because I have the space to do it. I walk through my house at night with the lights turned off because there is nothing in my way that I can run into and get hurt on. 

I invite people into my house. 

I tell people they can crash at my place, because I finally have somewhere for someone to sleep. I even have breakfast and coffee to offer them in the morning. I have guest pillows and blankets, and those have their own space, too! 

I’m 25 years old, and now I can finally have sleepovers like I wanted when I was a kid. Too bad I had to grow up in order to have a sleepover. 

I am doing all the things I couldn’t do before, and it’s a beautiful thing. 

 

Hoarding is so much more detrimental than some people realize. Even now, 150 miles away from my hoarder family, I am still affected. I would love to go visit my mother, but I can’t, because in two mobile homes and three campers, there is still nowhere for me to spend a night. I don’t want to sleep in her neighbor’s guest room. I wouldn’t be going there to visit them. 

I’m also still struggling with some OCD because of the hoarded conditions I used to live in. A friend came over a few weeks ago and cooked dinner in my kitchen. I did okay with that, but she also washed my dishes. When she put them away, she moved my butter knives over one space in the drawer. 

Even thinking about it now angers me. It’s not like I have a panic attack when things like this happen, but I get angry. It’s disrespectful to rearrange someone’s things, especially when everything is perfectly organized to begin with. It really bothered me. It was as though I couldn’t put the butter knives back in their place enough times to make it right. Classic OCD. I didn’t repeat the action multiple time, but it is still bothering me. They should never have been moved in the first place. 

I don’t look OCD. I don’t act OCD. No one knows I’m OCD. No one can tell. But I am, obviously. Everyone would know if I actually allowed it to show. I don’t let people see it, though. I didn’t say anything to my friend about the butter knives. 

 

Thank you for reading my long, boring rant about hoarding. I need to get it out of my system every once in a while.

The Gauntlet Challenge- Day Seventeen

I’m scared. 

I’m scared I don’t have what it takes to go to college properly. 

I’m scared I don’t have support I may need in classes or just in general. 

I’m scared I won’t be able to afford… anything. 

I’m scared I’m not responsible enough. 

I’m scared I’m not good enough.

I’m scared I’m not capable enough. 

I’m scared I’m not stable enough. 

I’m scared I’m not focused enough. 

I’m scared I’m not disciplined enough. 

I’m scared I’m not independent enough. 

I’m scared I don’t have enough willpower. 

I’m scared I don’t have enough passion. 

I’m scared I don’t have enough motivation. 

I’m scared I don’t have a good enough handle on my anxiety. 

I’m scared I’m not smart enough. 

I’m scared I’m too ignorant. 

I’m scared I’m just setting myself up for colossal failure. 

I’m scared. 

 

Fear: 

Fear is one of the most powerful inhibitors. Fear can keep you in stasis. Fear can ruin your life if you let it. 

The first steps to overcoming fear is recognizing it, acknowledging it, facing it. 

I recognize and acknowledge my fears. I’m damn determined to face them, but I’m going to be scared all the way. 

 

I’m going to fail at giving references here because I’m simply re-exploring things I’ve learned in the past. This does not mean I’m not learning something new. The mind is an incredible tool and one can learn something new by merely thinking, without access to newly introduced information. 

 

Where does fear come from? Fear comes from the past and the future. The past plays the greatest role, because our fears often develop from things which we have experienced before. The future can garner fear, too, because it is unknown and people tend to fear the unfamiliar. 

Almost everything on my list of fears comes from the past. If I allow my fears to consume me, I will always live in the past. 

There are only two things on my list which I would say are not from past experiences- not having support and not having money. 

Support: I have been my own support and relied on myself to get what I need done for many years now. There’s no reason to assume I’ll stop anytime soon. 

Money: Money comes and goes. It is a huge issue, but no matter what’s going on, it will still come and go. I’m not stupid, and I’m fairly creative, so I can and will find a way to manage. Always. 

 

Overcoming Fear: 

As far I’m aware, and from what I’ve learned over the years, the best ways to overcome fear are by A) exposing oneself to the fears, and B) learning. 

Exposure is a common way to overcome fear. There have been many studies on this, none of which I can reference right now. Face what you fear and your anxiety reduces over time. However, if you have bad experiences while facing your fears, that only makes it worse, obviously. 

I used to have a severe anxiety about making phone calls. I know that’s silly, but it is what it is. When I had to sort my hospital bills and search for a roommate, I was forced to make many phone calls. I no longer experience that level of anxiety. It has become just another chore on the to-do list. I don’t like making calls, but I don’t feel like I’ll have a panic attack anymore. 

As for learning being a method of overcoming fears, this one is more personal. Knowledge is power for me. I began experimenting with this when I was a kid. I was deathly afraid of spiders, so I decided to learn about them. Studying spiders helped me overcome my fear of them. 

It’s obvious that learning about something can help eliminate fear. The people who make racist comments about the Muslim flight students at my hotel are just afraid. It still makes me angry, but I know they’re acting out of fear. If they would take the time to learn about the students, they would see that they have nothing to fear. The students at the hotel are Muslim, but they don’t take their religion very seriously at all. They don’t pray the way they’re supposed to, according to their religion. They don’t follow Muslim laws. They act like all the rowdy college boys I’ve ever met, regardless of nationality or religion. Muslim terrorists are religious extremists who attack in the name of their beliefs and their god. These boys don’t care enough about their religion to be terrorists. Rather than being preoccupied with praying and worshiping god, these guys are preoccupied with getting high and having sex. It’s possible they’re not wonderfully moral people, but they are far from terrorists. 

 

Just writing out all my fears and thinking about them is helpful. I already have new ideas for several of my fears, although some of them simply cannot be addressed until I am actually in college and facing them. 

 

The Gauntlet Challenge- Day Sixteen

I’ve realized that there are far more options available at other colleges. I shouldn’t limit myself to one location. 

I’m thinking of moving to another city soon. This time, I’ll move based on the educational opportunities in the area. 

I’ve looked into a couple different colleges in nearby cities. One of them offers some exciting opportunities. My college here doesn’t offer anything I’m really interested in as a major. I’m just going to take some general classes and get my A.A. But I can finish that here and then move to another city and go to a college there for something I actually want to do. 

It has gotten to the point that there is only one thing keeping me where I am: my house. I love my house; I love its location and convenience, too. But if the only thing keeping me here is a lovely house in a good location, that’s just not enough. I can find another lovely place in another good location in a different city with more options. 

The college I’m interested in offers so much more in terms of science and psychology. Those are the fields of study in which I am interested. 

Goal set! 

 

*I would have provided more information, but I’m not exactly comfortable supplying the entire world with my location and the schools I may be attending. 

The Gauntlet Challenge- Day Thirteen

Still sick, and basically useless. I located the necessary paperwork for admissions. 

I kind of wish I could go back in time and retake my GED. My scores would have been so much better had I actually bothered to study. Going in to take my GED test after years of no schooling or studies was not my brightest idea. 

I’m going to go ahead and share my scores with you. 

1. Language Arts/Reading Skills         Score: 800     Percentile Ranking: 99%

2. Language Arts/Writing Skills          Score: 550      Percentile Ranking: 69%

3. Mathematics                                          Score: 480      Percentile Ranking: 42%

4. Science                                                    Score: 600      Percentile Ranking: 84%

5. Social Studies                                       Score: 550       Percentile Ranking: 69%

Total:                                                                  2980

I could have done so much better. 

Here is a link to some interesting information about GED scores: 

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080226151134AAuCvO5

My average was 596, which lands me in the 501-600 category with an estimated 3.0-3.4 GPA. 

I am a perfectionist. I realize this, and I realize that it has been my biggest downfall in my formal education thus far. 

I was homeschooled until age 14 when I entered public high school. I remember agreeing to it because my brother was also going. I didn’t think I could do it, but I figured if my brother could, I could, too. When my brother went to high school, he had to go in one year behind. I was able to enter 9th grade, right where I was supposed to be. I remember thinking that there was no way I’d be able to handle it if I had to be held back a year. My brother didn’t seem too bothered, though. I was very impressed. 

At the time, I don’t I knew what a perfectionist was, let alone that I was one. I don’t know where it came from. I’m sure someone could read all my entries on here “My Story” and probably give me some ideas of why I might have become a perfectionist, but I suppose it doesn’t even matter at this point. 

I failed my classes and dropped out of high school all because I got a C on a geometry test. I was really struggling in that class because the teacher was just so unhelpful. I don’t know how I decided that a C was a failing grade in my eyes. Perhaps because it’s so close to a D, which is just a disgrace. I often wonder if I would have finished high school had I gotten a B on that test. When I got a C, I gave up. I went to school every day, but I did nothing. I was in English Honors II, and I just gave up on everything. Then I dropped out. 

I did with everything. If my grades weren’t perfect, I gave up and quit. In fact, I knew I did poorly in the math section of my GED, and because of that, I didn’t even bother to go back and get my scores until TWO YEARS later. I had assumed I’d failed, so I didn’t bother finding out. I finally went because curiosity just got the better of me, and I found that I had passed. I was happy, but also disappointed. 

From these reflections, I have realized that I cannot allow this to happen again. I need to accept that I am not perfect and my grades will not always be perfect. I need to accept that I can only do my best, and if it is passing, it will have to be good enough. I hate that term: good enough.