Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

An electrician, or something like him

Photo by cashjocky

Being obsessive-compulsive without realizing it is like going to sleep at night and having an electrician sneak into your house and rearrange the electrical panel. You wake up in the morning, turn on your bedroom light and instead of the light coming on, the TV on the second floor comes on. So you turn the switch off, and the TV goes off. You turn the switch on, and the TV goes on. And then you turn the switch on and off, on and off, on and off, without even realizing what you're doing until you do realize what you're doing, and then stopping takes a willful effort that just seems wrong somehow, and then you're obsessed by trying to find, in another room or on another floor, the switch to turn the bedroom light on, even though it's daylight and you don't need the light anyway.

I recall incidents in grade school that in retrospect were clearly symptoms of my OCD. Whenever I was doing homework and made a mistake, I couldn't be satisfied by just drawing a line through the mistake. I could only be satisfied by erasing it and writing the correct answer, but if the erasing left even a little ghost of the mistake's image, I was compelled (a word I do not use lightly) to erase again, often to the point of erasing a hole in the paper, which meant I had to do the entire assignment over. And things got really serious when we graduated from pencil to pen along about fifth grade. There was no erasing of mistakes then.

OCD grows inside your brain like an African violet's roots grow inside a pot. Pretty soon, the pot is full of white roots the thickness of human hair. Pretty soon, your head is full of habits and beliefs you don't realize are related to OCD. Today, for instance, I was walking into my cellar with my arms full of empty beverage bottles and cans. We keep the empties in the cellar until a local youth group, any group, goes door to door for a fund-raising can drive.

Anyway, I always try to make it down the cellar steps without dropping anything, but today, I dropped not one can but two, and they tink-tink-tinked down the stairs with a final tinkrattle when they hit the concrete floor. I immediately scored the errand as a failure because of the deficit in my sleight of hand, but then I realized:

It's OK to drop a can once in a while.

Even if it's not a can.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
That's a noteworthy realization - thanks for sharing it.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2017

Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow