I went through my daily life fighting serious impulse control issues and borderline-diagnosable OCD. Here’s what a normal day included for me back in my early twenties:
- On the way out of the house in the morning, pick up the level that I left in the exact perpendicularly-aligned spot on the counter and go through the whole house making sure everything hanging on every wall was perfectly level.
- Drive the same route to work every day, counting the dashed white lines in the pavement along the route. If I got the number wrong on a block, I would circle back around and drive that block again to correct my count.
- Perform the same work tasks in the same order and for the same duration every day, organizing tasks by seasonal necessity
- Keep my desk meticulously clean with items lined up parallel and perpendicular at all times.
- Everything must be organized alphabetically, numerically, and even my closet was organized by color and season
- Everything I bought must be of the correct brand, package size and quantity. This never deviated.
- Falling asleep by repetitively counting the folds in my bedroom curtains until I couldn’t keep my eyes open from sheer exhaustion and I’d finally pass out.
This list could be much longer… seriously. This is just the regular stuff. I’m not listing the cray-cray stuff for fear of sharing with the world how bad I really was. As ca, be learned via this awesome article about OCD, OCD is really nasty to experience. I’m about to quote here so read this:
“OCD is “ego dystonic,” which means “out of sync with your ideal self” or “making you look and feel like an asshole.” People with personality disorders usually think they’re always in the right, and people with psychosis often don’t realize that their delusions are coming from their heads. But one of the defining aspects of OCD is knowing that your thoughts are bizarre and your rituals are senseless.
Additionally, OCDers don’t even get any joy out of their compulsions. Relief, sure, but it’s temporary, like scratching a mosquito bite or responding to a YouTube comment. You don’t want to count all the leaves on every tree you pass, you have to.
Panic attacks, Tourette syndrome, hypochondria, body dysmorphic disorder, and eating disorders are all so-called OCD spectrum disorders. They’re diagnoses in their own right that exist on their own but also hang around in the background while OCD fucks your mind. They’re like its creepy cousins.”
So at that time, for me, if something was out of place or happened to come out of order in my day, I could quite literally feel my heart rate increase, my anxiety increase, and I was for the most part a nervous, neurotic, anxious mess of a semi-depressed person who couldn’t control my impulses most of the time.
This created problems in all areas of my life, including dating and relationships.
Because I had such poor impulse control as a young adult I was rather voracious sexually (I joked this morning to a friend that it’s amazing to me that I’ve been friends with this guy for a while now and I still haven’t eaten him.) Yeah. I used to hunt men. Simply because I had such poor impulse control that I couldn’t help myself doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and now I look back and I’m just so thankful that I never got into drugs or alcohol because with my habitual tendencies and lack of impulse control I would have been on a one-way trip to Amy Winehouse town. Continue reading