The Life of an Obsessive Compulsive
Ask my Parents and they will tell you I am not the most tidy of people. In fact when I was younger, there was a floordrobe instead of a carpet. When I come back from uni, my stuff literally overtakes the entire house and things begin to look messy and cramped. Ask me and I will tell you I hate it.
I’ve always had obsessive habits; from the way I count my footsteps in groups of 5, to how I have to make my tea and coffee in a certain way, to the order in which I make food. These are things I have to do in order to relieve my anxiety. Since coming to France, my anxiety levels have sky rocketed and so have my obsessive compulsive tendencies.
It’s become a ritual for me to wash up and clean everything lately. If I prep food, cook and eat then I must tidy as I go along; rinsing each dish and pan. I’ll then eat and wash up. This is just one example of how ritualistic I’ve become in the last few months here in France. Maybe it’s because I have nothing else better to do or maybe it’s just another coping mechanism and isn’t permanent. Either way, I thought I’d give you a run down of the average day in the life of an obsessive compulsive….
MY AVERAGE DAY
6.30– Get up and make my bed.
7.00– Have breakfast and wash up bowl.
7.30– Tidy round the house.
8.00– Go for a run and shower.
9.00– Get dressed and ready for uni
I go to class and then I will do the homework set in those classes.
AT HOME IN THE EVENING…
So I usually get home by around 3pm.
3.00– Finish any left over work for class
4.00– Work out DVD
5.00– Prep and cook dinner.
5.30– Wash up, dry and put away all the dishes.
6.00– Tidy the house.
7.00– Shower and relax.
I will spend the rest of the evening trying to unwind and relax. I will often spend my evenings reading other blogs, planning this blog and reading a book. If for some reason I get back late, I cannot skip any of the things on my list… Ahh yes, I have daily to do lists too! 😛 If my classes start early then I get up early to fit it all in. I also stress and won’t sleep if I don’t get it all done before bed.
I also have a high IQ (not to sound like a cocky idiot but it’s a fact) and it’s well-known that highly intelligent and high functioning people tend to have rituals and obsessions to help them cope with the massive amounts of pressure we place on ourselves. My life may not seem very stressful to many but for me, it is. I want to get good grades, I want to make friends and I want to reassure people at home that I am okay. It is a facade that I struggle to maintain and to help me cope with the fact that I cannot keep up this image, I have developed these rituals. If I leave it, then I start going through all the worst case scenarios that could happen as a direct result of me not completing those tasks.
So what makes someone OCD?
I actually have no real idea but common sense tells me that stress, depression and anxiety play a major factor and I often use my rituals to prevent panic attacks. Hopefully when I go home to England, I can function with less rigidity to my days but for now this is what helps me get through each day; moment by moment, checking off each item on my to do list!
Have you got any OCD tendencies? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.