OCD is a double-edged sword...
Something I wrote a while back after another obsessive-compulsive friend and I compared traits and realized they aren't all bad.  Sometimes a disorder actually creates order in a limited fashion.

OCD is a double-edged sword... that gets polished every day because cleanliness is next to godliness (or at least it's a fair drive from ickiness).  The sword gets sharpened pretty damned often as well since obsessive-compulsives love repetitive-motions that keep them from other repetitive motions like twisting their hair, cracking their knuckles, and playing imaginary pianos.

Whereas most of the world is "take it or leave it" with most mundane things, having OCD means you don't get to leave it alone.  Whatever it is that happens to be bothering the obsessive-compulsive is going to nag at them until they address it.  What most people don't realize is that it's like a shot of pure heroine when they actually get something perfect.  Not that perfect comes along very often.  It's arguably the one disorder that produces the most order in some people's lives.

We're great at proofreading.  I wish I got paid for it on a regular basis, because I never take any time off from it.  I mean, every piece of writing I even glance at is scrutinized thoroughly for its adherence to form before I have begun to absorb and evaluate its substance.

You ever pick off a scab?  You know how it hurts and you know you're not supposed to mess with it, but you can't stop anyway?  That's a taste of what it's like.  Now imagine you have other things you need to get to instead.  You would rather be doing anything other than messing around with a SCAB.  But you can't get away from it.

I don't like things "sticking out."  Scabs are an example of that, but I feel the same way about jewelry.  I don't wear rings or anything around my neck.  I quit wearing my wedding ring because I was always picking at it, especially during the summer when my finger would get sweaty beneath it.  Whenever my hair got more than half an inch long, I would find myself twisting it.  I finally started cutting it so short that I didn't know I was losing it for probably years.  My nails are trimmed so consistently, you'd swear I'm a lesbian from the wrist down.

I am never finished shaving.  There are always a few hairs I missed.  Granted, many of these are invisible to the naked eye, but I'm going to keep going back to the mirror with my razor until I get them all... which can sometimes go on well into the night, so technically I'm shaving for the next day already.

I have more obsessions than I could list.  In fact, I made lists of my obsessions already, but the list was never complete, and that always bothered me.  Which brings me to the other side of the story...

As much as OCD is an irritant, it does turn the mundane into simple but intense pleasures.  You find moments where, albeit temporarily, things are a sort of "perfect," at least in a small way.  For example, putting your garbage/recycling out on the curb is probably just another chore for most people.  Not for me.  I love getting the trash out of the house and having clean, empty bins.  No, really, they're clean.  I wash them out periodically, and the recyclables are clean before they ever touch the bin, of course.

Sometimes my compulsions are in competition.  I used to have about 3,000 comic books, loads of sheet music books, hundreds of GI Joe and Star Wars figures and other toys, and loads more things.  I had a compulsion to collect things and a compulsion to hoard these things.  But they did me no good.  And that invoked another compulsion: The one to be rid of clutter.  So I sold just about everything I owned on eBay.

Like I alluded to earlier, sometimes it can get you pretty close to perfection.  A few years ago, I went through six vcrs before I settled on one I was satisfied with.  My old one had broken, so I bought a new one.  I didn't like its performance, so I brought it back, got another, and repeated the cycle until I ended up with one I was happy with.  Most people would stop at the first one and probably never be happy with it.  Me?  I couldn't live with it.

Yes, I have more guitars than the average pawn shop.  That's another example of obsession run amok.  None of those instruments started out perfect (though a few were close).  Every one of them has been modified in some way.  I sharpen each obsessively like that metaphorical sword I'm always cutting myself on.

Copyright Alexplorer.
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