An anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and/or actions (compulsions).
My roommate and I are hosting a party tomorrow. I have been busy this whole week, and so I haven't had time to clean our apartment. I was finally able to get to it around 11:00 tonight. For the sake of time, a lot of people would probably just do a quick cleanup -- nothing major. That's what I intended. Almost three hours later, however, I am fighting the urge to keep cleaning. To tell the truth, I'll most likely give in to that urge just a bit. I am throwing a party tomorrow night, afterall.
Not that big of a deal, right? Well, considering that I just spent about an hour and a half vacuuming 1200 square feet . . . I'd say that's abnormal. Of course I couldn't just empty out the vacuum bag; I had to clean
the vacuum. Of course I couldn't just vacuum the floor; I had to pre-clean
it -- that is, I had to thoroughly sweep the utility room floor and comb all the carpet with my hands to get any excess hair or loose debris.
The thing is, is that I'm simultaneously disgusted with and proud of myself when I let my OCD kick in. I revel in my detailed cleaning and exactness. In fact, I think that's one reason I'm such a good copyeditor -- checking and re-checking a document for proper formatting is not a big deal to me.
But when it becomes exhausting, I know I have a problem. Tonight is one of those nights. I'm tired, but repetitive thoughts keep going through my head:
I'll just clean my toilet, my sink, and fold my clothes. I'll clean my toilet, my sink, and fold my clothes. Toilet, sink, and fold my clothes. Toilet, sink, clothes. Toilet, sink, clothes. Look at that dust on my desk. Look at it. Just sitting there. But if I dust that, then I have to move my papers, which means I'll have to file them.
Aghhhhh! ENOUGH! Writing it down reminds me of when I was younger, and I used to spend hours upon hours deep-cleaning my bathroom every
Saturday. Somehow, I was able to train myself to get better. I gradually let myself become messy. No, not dirty -- just messy. Since about the age of 17 or 18, in fact, I've been quite well. I haven't had to struggle with obsessive thoughts and compulsions that much. But there are times when it comes out. Like right now. It's probably when I'm extremely busy or stressed, which is when most personality ticks are exacerbated.
What am I trying to say here . . . ? I don't know really, except that I thought I'd share something about my life with you. Can you relate? Do you have a story about anxiety? What did you do to remedy the problem?
I'll tell you this much: reading my scriptures helps me deal with OCD -- more than anything else. I might never be able to explain it, but it does. Truly.
Thing I'm thankful for: Journaling. It helps, too.