Okay, first of all, I feel pretty stupid blogging about this, but then again, I don't think you guys come here expecting to find a Rhodes scholar pontificating, so here we go.
Hello. My name is Rocky, and I have OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
At least, I think I do. I've never actually been diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure that if you think you have to tap the toaster - with all five fingers of your right hand simultaneously - sixteen times exactly to prevent something awful from happening, you've got OCD.
Sometimes it gets worse, and sometimes it's better. When I'm under a lot of stress, it can get pretty bad. But I cope.
But it can get tiring, thinking that you have to open and close the shampoo bottle a certain number of times or else something bad will happen.
And the "something bad" in the OCD scenario was almost always something involving The Runt and Little Girl. As much as I tried to tell myself that it was ridiculous, that it was just some short-circuit in my brain wiring, that there was NO WAY that something bad would happen to the cats if I didn't open the fridge X number of times, I still kept doing it. Better safe than sorry!
And then two things happened. One, I heard the phrase "magical thinking" used to describe this kind of behavior. And to me, the term "magical" evokes unicorns and fairies and other things that DO NOT EXIST. And whenever the OCD would kick in (pat the side of the couch eight times. Now eight more times. Now eight more times ... ) I would say to myself, "Cut out the magical thinking, already." and it helped.
And then the second thing happened. The Runt and Little Girl died. Yep, the worst thing happened. The thing that all that stupid, ridiculous OCD crap was supposed to prevent ... happened. And I was just as sure as I've ever been sure of anything in my life that it was not my failure to shut the front door five times on some random morning that caused their deaths. They died. Of heart disease. A congenital medical condition that was NOT CAUSED by my slipping up and forgetting the check the hall light twenty times one night before I went to bed.
And the OCD got better. Better than it's been in YEARS. The relief of finally, truly BELIEVING that I could not stop disaster by stepping on each porch step two times was incredible.
Am I cured? Naw. Every once in a while, I catch myself thinking, "If I just shut the bathroom medicine cabinet four times, I won't get into an accident on the slippery roads this morning", and then I tell myself, "This is ridiculous. STOP with the magical thinking, already", and I'm able to rein myself in.
Baby steps, peeps. I've been doing this behavior since I was in junior high, and it's not going to go away overnight. But I am taking baby steps.
There. I fessed up. I feel better now.