I’m trying to overcome my OCD…

by replacing my neurosis with three other letters…

(Thanks again, Jarod Kintz – a quote for every occasion and none).

For the record, I absolutely DON’T make light of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I know that, in some cases, “OCD is not a disease that bothers; it is a disease that tortures.” This from J.J. Keeler, I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD

In its own way OCD sometimes tortures me. Not badly. I can still function. It seems at odds with the scatty, disorganised side of me. You only have to observe my desk, my in-box, my invoicing processes, the inside of my head BUT there are certain things about which I’m obsessive and when they’re not right, it does my head in.


It seems to be to do with symmetry, in my case.

Look at this example – one of my most frequent meltdowns.


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Different coloured pegs used on one pillowcase. I simply CANNOT leave that be. I feel panic. Truly. I must put it right.


The relief is palpable.

This is from OCDUK‘s website, explaining some of the forms of OCD:

“Symmetry and Orderliness – the need to have everything lined up symmetrically just ‘right’ is the compulsion, the obsessive fear might be to ensure everything feels ‘just right’ to prevent discomfort or sometimes to prevent harm occurring.”

Yes, to preventing discomfort. No, to preventing harm from occurring.

And, YES, before anyone says it or even thinks it, what completely inconsequential, rubbishy, pathetic things to worry about and haven’t I something better to occupy my brain with than this? Of course I have but a compulsion doesn’t take any notice of anything else. It’s a compulsion.

Don’t even get me started on a missing piece in a jigsaw puzzle.


What would I do? I’d throw the whole puzzle in the bin rather than have to see it incomplete.

And yes, I spent a VERY long time, while staying with my beloved Whistler family, searching and searching and SEARCHING for number 2 and number 4, missing from Tilly’s counting biscuits, all the while chanting under my breath, ‘It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter.’



“We all have our routines,” he said softly.”But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.” ― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

But wait, there is some scientific explanation to account for the love of symmetry – this, particularly regarding the human face, but see point (ii).

“Two explanations have been proposed to account for symmetry preferences: (i) the evolutionary advantage view, which posits that symmetry advertises mate quality and (ii) the perceptual bias view, which posits that symmetry preferences are a consequence of greater ease of processing symmetrical images in the visual system.”

So perhaps I’m just lazy?

But beware…just in case…OCD me!




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