Degrees of OCD

I’m kinda obsessed by people with OCD, you could say I am OCD about people with OCD.

I’m fascinated by the way their mind works, making them do illogical things.  You know when people are forthright and others say  “That person knows their own mind”  A person with OCD doesn’t know their own mind, they are a puppet to this other organism controlling them.   It’s like something straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they are that freaky.

I was thinking there are many levels to OCD, I would go as far to say that a hoarder is OCD to another extreme, and I love hoarders too.   We usually affiliate OCD with obsessive cleaning and tidiness, but the same traits manifest in a hoarder too, they have structure in their mess, everything still needs to be in its place, even if its place is at the bottom of what resembles landfill.

before

Where did I put that juice carton which I drank in 1991, I know it was not from concentrate, I remember it had a picture of oranges with a picture of groves behind it and a sun beaming down on it.

I once lived with someone who had OCD of the cleanliness variety, not a bad thing, the house was always spotless.

Everything had to perfectly lined up on shelves, on the mantelpiece, they would do circuits of the flat making sure that tea towel was hanging with precision.   Often when it was raining out and I was a bit bored I would mess things up a little just for the kicks.  The clock that was perfectly aligned to match the right angle of the mantel, it was precisely placed to the millimetre,  I would put it on a slant ever so slightly, when they returned to the room I would watch them squirm in discomfort as the clock would taunt them from a 50 degrees

I would then retreat to the kitchen only to return to find it back in its uniform position and a sense of calm settling over the room.

I work with someone with OCD now, they are in interesting study as they have the OCD elements of routine in that everything has to be done in a certain order, more of which I’ll get to later, coupled with hoarding sensibilities, it’s a fascinating mix.

Each morning when they arrive, they step out of their car and then proceed around the vehicle opening every door in turn, including the boot.  They look in each door, this takes about 10 minutes before they retrieve a bag containing their sandwich for lunch and it’s safe to enter the workplace.

I see a few possible reasons for this:

  1. They have someone deposit their lunch somewhere in the car every morning for a fun game of BLT hide and seek
  2. It’s akin to checking under the bed and in the closet for monsters – those Passat monsters are the scariest
  3. They’re fucking crazy

It’s actually quite a problem at work as something that should really take minutes is drawn out over most of the day as they have their process for getting something done, this includes asking me what they should do about something, even though they have been in the job 15 years and actually know the answer.  It’s seeking affirmation it’s ok so they are free to move on to the next step of the process.  A single part of their thought process cannot be skipped.

Everything needs elaborating; I noticed a car had been on our forecourt for a week, I said “Is that so and so’s car?”  he replied “No, it’s other so and so’s car, it’s broken down”

You’d think that would be the end of what was just a bit of small talk, I asked a question and got an answer that covered it, I was content with the resolution to my initial query.

But, they continued “It broke down on the Tuesday and they said they are getting a friend to look at it…..saying that I think it was a friend, he said he knew someone from………(10 minutes later)  so I guess that makes them friends.   He was supposed to be coming on Monday next week, but he said he had to go and do this instead……(by this time my hair has receded)….so that meant they couldn’t come Monday”.

There is no way in their mind that would allow them to not elaborate on something, it would be unfinished business in their heads which would cause it to explode if it isn’t uttered through speech.  I do sympathise, it must be awful having a voice in your head barking orders at you.

I wrote a post about hoarders a couple of years ago, I can’t link to it know as it would take forever, it’s probably post number 23 or something., it also gives me an opportunity to rehash some stuff I wrote about then.   (I actually just found it by a google search and unsurprisingly have rehashed half of this post already, if I was OCD I would have checked that meticulously before proceeding)

I wrote about the hoarder in my life and I came along at the right moment in order to throw out their clothes amassing in wardrobes, they were so old maybe they kept them in the hope of the next fashion revival in twenty years time.   I also opened years worth of mail stored in carrier bags, and helped myself to the plentiful gift vouchers that had accumulated in them over many years of birthdays.    Don’t worry, I earnt those vouchers, it took me weeks to filter through that unopened mail, and now I spend my days as their full-time post handler.

What degrees of OCD do you have?  Do you have to do a 360 degree spin before turning off a light switch?  Do you have to scrub your hands clean 15 times a day?

ocd_hands_260

Thinking of hands made me think about this Ren and Stimpy clip.

I digress, so tell me about your OCD tendencies or your hoarding tendencies, in the comments below so we can all gasp and snigger in equal measure at your lunacy.

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73 Comments

  1. Is having to have a vodka martini straight up, ice cold and with three olives (not two, never four) every day at precisely 6:01 pm compulsive? Maybe it’s just dipsomaniacal. Please advise.

    Reply
    • This is a severe case of OCD, there is no treatment I can prescibe, you have no option but to follow this routine for the rest of your life.

      Reply
  2. Is there a laziness equivalent of ocd?
    I’d check, but really, i’m that lazy.

    Reply
  3. My boyfriend accuses me of being a hoarder. However, this is only because he’s the exact opposite of a hoarder. There should be a name for that disorder!! One who feels almost claustrophobic if there’s more than two pieces of furniture in a room and is incapable of feeling sentiment toward personal belongings!

    Reply
    • Haha! I was always like that but have been decorating a bit and making my house a bit more interesting, nothing over the top.

      Is your boyfriend referring to your Disney pins? oooh, that’s risky

      Reply
      • My pins, all my Disney collectibles, my shoes, my jewelry, the books in my bookcase, the dishes in cupboards, ANYTHING. If he had his way, all of his earthly possessions would fit in one box. Talk about a freak, huh?!?! Yeah! I’m NORMAL!

        Reply
        • They sound like normal things to have, the books are housed properly, is he OCD?

          Reply
          • It’s quite possible. He does want me to sort utensils when I put them in the dishwasher. I simply laughed at him and threw my knife and fork in the same slot.

            I blame his upbringing. Once, he forgot to make his bed in the morning, so when he got home from school, he found his entire bed dismantled on the front lawn.

            Reply
            • No way!! That’s a mean but hilarious trick his folks played.

              One strike and you’re out!

              There is an art to loadign a dishwasher I’ll give him that. I’ve had flatmates who pile stuff in with food all over it as if it’s a washing machine that tumbles everything around inside. It has to be placed correctly for optimum performance

              Reply
  4. Oh man… I am a mix of OCD and slob. I can do both at the same time.

    Reply
  5. I always see the top half of mannequins in thrift stores (Used for sewing models I guess) so I would think those legs would be worth something!

    Now to your deliciously wonderful post which I thoroughly enjoye! “by this time my hair had receded” God that made me laugh!

    As far as having any OCD tendencies, yes. I don’t like the number 13. One Friday the 13th, my Christmas tree stand fell off the top shelf in the garage and dented my new car. (I didn’t know whether to blame it on Jesus or Satan). Ever since then, I’ve been kind of afraid of the number 13. Like I won’t ride my horse on the 13th and I’m kind of freaked out by 2013 if I let myself think about it. I also don’t like 666. The other day I noticed my number of posts was 666 so I took some posts offline to change the number. Okay there you have it, Joe. Do I you think I need a reality show?

    Reply
    • That’s not OCD. That’s a perfectly reasonable attempt to avoid the title, The Devil’s Blog.

      Reply
      • Ah!! I should have just changed the name of my blog and never posted again. *slapping forehead ( area between horns)* !!

        Reply
    • It’s good I came blame my hereditary hair loss on someone other than my father.

      Onto the number 13, quite typically people are freaked out by it, but that’s mainly superstition, you have genuine reasons. I’m not sure it’s quite OCD behaviour, but at least you have something to aim for, you can be a lot weirder about the number 13.

      Now I just wonder if you really have a horse or not?? Does he look like Dobbin, my horse on my other blog, does yours give cooking advice aswell?

      So you are never going to make it past 666 posts, forever doomed to be on post 665. There are some OCD elements there, you have an OCD with numbers. You just need to click your fingers and spin around every time you see those numbers and all will be well.

      Maybe it wasn’t Jesus or Satan but Santa? Or the fairy who was tired of having to sit on it every year

      Reply
      • Ahaha! Thank you so much. I need to work a little harder to achieve actual OCD status with the number 13, you’re right! It’s always nice to be distinguished among one’s peers as special. Having OCD sets one fashionably apart from the unwashed masses and throws one smack dab in the middle of obsessively washed masses. Which is where I aspire to be (I think)!

        Yes I really do have a horse. He’s a retired race horse named Sedintariat. But I call him Joey for short. I never thought of having him make an appearance on the blog but now . . . . *rubbing hands together* Well, I love your ideas almost as much as China should!!

        You know what? I bet it was Santa that dented my car! That fat little . . .well I’ve never trusted him. I always thought he seems like a liar.

        I need to go over to your other site and check out Dobbin now! 😀

        Reply
  6. i arrange my skittles in groups by colours. i have to eat them in a certain order and in twos. so: orange, purple, yellow, green, then red. if there’s an uneven number of skittles in the group, i throw the odd one away. and that’s just one thing. there are many which we do not have time nor a care to discuss.

    Reply
    • We have a winner!

      That’s completely OCD, well done. I don’t approve of skittle wastage though, unless you are taunting a child with them and still throwing them out, that would be acceptable.

      Reply
  7. I laughed out loud at the line about your hairline receding. Mr. Weebles and I both have the same OCD issues. Certain things have to be level, at right angles/parallel to each other (depending on the objects), arranged in a certain way. And I need to have my books and my desk arranged a certain way. But on the other hand, we’re complete slobs about most other stuff. Our apartment looks like a factory exploded, with random perfectly aligned bits.

    Reply
    • It’s great you have struck a balance between uniformity and chaos, and more importantly found someone equally bonkers to share the burden with 🙂

      Reply
  8. I have weird little rituals as well, but I don’t think any of them rise to the level of OCD. I mean, I can get through the day if I don’t eat my Skittles one of each other at a time – I just feel kind of strange.

    What’s fascinating to me was watching my 2 kids and their little rituals; one always starts up the stairs on the right foot, the other used to hold her breath between light poles. This tendency seems to be something we’re born with. Really interesting.

    Reply
    • Good point, I had loads of weird stuff like that as a kid but grew out of, I can relate to the starting stairs on the right foot, I would do the same. If I used to blink I had to do it another time so it is an even number

      Reply
  9. No OCD here, but you would think they could have gotten the letters in the order of the alphabet – COD.

    Reply
  10. OCD runs in my family and my husband’s. So I guess my own kids are screwed?

    I have OCD about responding to comments on my blog. I have to. Reply. To. Each. One.

    As a kid, I used to count things. I suppose that’s OCD. I never developed the need to clean nonstop though (too bad as my house could use a deep cleaning)

    Reply
    • That’s a good OCD, just don;t get caught in a comment loop with someone else with the same OCD or else the comment thread will last forever!

      Reply
  11. Hi Joe – Quite relieved to find (following our recent exchange) that you are a slightly off range Pommy person. I was a bit worried about suggesting your cat might have psychological damage if she is puking on your bed if (for example) you were from another English speaking place. You have to be careful. Still here we are and it’s clear from this post that any comment about psychological type won’t upset you a bit.

    Reply
    • No worries, you’re in the right place. I’m harbouring many likewise types here, and I lodge over at their blogs too.

      I’ll just tell my cat to snap out of it, that’s the usual advice for drama queens isn’t it

      Reply
  12. Joan of Arc is my favourite song of theirs Joe! Ho Ho! – Why are people admitting to the fact that they are “Fucking nutters?”

    Reply
  13. I have to put on my right sock and shoe first. Mamma taught me my right from left. She said, “put on your right sock and shoe, then dress the foot that’s “left”. It’s stuck with me all these years, though I still have trouble knowing my left from right (except for my feet).

    Reply
  14. AMooreOn

     /  August 24, 2013

    To name a few: I count my steps, especially on stairs. All of my DVD’s are kept alphabetized in CD cases to for space saving reasons. Whenever a new movie is purchased, I will sit and rearrange each one so the new one is in it’s correct space. All books must be alphabetized as well. Nothing can stick out over the edge of something. EX: The book is longer than the shelf – it has to be moved or all books have to be moved. My pantry has certain shelves for certain food items. Canned goods are lined up by “good” type. All boxes/totes are only for specific items and every one is labeled. Anything requiring to be lined up, must be in perfect formation. My “junk drawer” has tiny containers to house each misc. item. (paperclips, rubberbands)
    I could go on, but I think that explains a bit.

    Reply
  15. No OCD here. I can get a tad obsessed with things like vacuum cleaners. 😉 I miss you SU.

    Reply
    • There you are! Good to hear from you, hope all is well.

      You’ve been gone ages, people have come and gone too but mostly the nucleus is still about blogging. I’ve not posted for two weeks, that’s my longest break but I’ve been doing up furniture in my spare time. off to Luxembourg tomorrow so hopefully will have some tales to tell on here after that.

      Reply
      • Yeah, I noticed you hadn’t been posting much. I saw you started another blog with recipes. I’ll have to check it out a little more soon.

        So, fixing up furniture? Sounds fun. We got the kids these beds that are loft beds with shelves and drawers, etc. i would have killed for one of those when i was a kid, but my dad would put my bed up on dressers and stuff.

        Can I email you Joe?

        Reply
  16. You win the most comments award, also! Great stuff, here. Very funny! Thanks!

    Eve

    Reply

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