Because I Have To
My morning routine:
- Make Bed
- Brush & Floss
- Walk Dogs
Doesn’t everyone have a morning routine? I assume so. The difference between myself & others, however, is that I can never allow mine to deviate. Why?
Because I have to.
I’ve always had a routine but it never bothered me to change it up a bit depending on time constraints or the forever existent problem of ‘I have nothing to wear’. Until recently, that is. A few years ago, I began to notice that it would bother me if I missed a step. If I did my hair before my makeup, I would stare at myself in confusion as if I didn’t know what to do next. Later on, before flossing was included in my daily morning ritual, my dentist got on to me about adding it in to my routine. The idea horrified me and not because I hate flossing. The idea of changing my routine to include one simple task made me anxious. It took over a year to finally incorporate it. Nothing felt right. I hated the change. The feeling seemed ludicrous and irrational to me but I couldn’t seem to help it.
I’ve always joked that I have OCD. No, I don’t have the obsessive side where I have to switch the lights on and off 67 times nor do I feel the need to open and close a door 12 times before I can leave or enter a room. However, I do require cabinets and doors to be closed at all times if I think they should be. Everything has a place in my house and office and I will take the time to fix anything out of place no matter what I have going on at the time. If a door or cabinet is left ajar, I feel required to get up and close it. If a trinket is not at the correct angle at which I had originally placed it, I am compelled to fix it. Why?
Because I have to.
I don’t why I have to do these things and it doesn’t bother me to do them as it isn’t disruptive to my life. My friends and family joke about it, leaving cabinets ajar when they leave a room, knowing I’ll have to get up to close them. I am no Nicholas Cage in Matchstick Men but it is worrisome to me that the compulsions seem to become more pronounced as I get older. Will there become a time when I crumble into the throes of a panic attack if I suddenly skip a step in my routine? Will I suddenly have to close doors multiple times just because they are left ajar in my home? Will I be able to recognize the condition if it worsens? I guess only time will tell.
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Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry; by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety; or by a combination of such obsessions and compulsions. Some people with OCD perform compulsive rituals because they inexplicably feel they have to, others act compulsively so as to mitigate the anxiety that stems from particular obsessive thoughts.
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