You guys are in for a treat. In this post, I will go over My Things in greater detail. I’ll also include some things I used to check but do not currently check, as well as some things that make me uncomfortable for no logical reason (this part is to keep it light and fun and make sure we can all have a good laugh/prevent us all from spiraling into a deep, dark depression). *Please note that I use the term logical here very loosely seeing as how my checking is driven by flawed logic (at best) that only I experience.
My Things, expanded:
- The front door is locked. I will check it, check it again, recheck the recheck, etc.
- The stove is off. I check each knob 3+ times, depending on how anxious I am. I have a gas stove now but I still did this when I had an electric one.
- Dryer is off. I will open and close the dryer door a few times until I feel comfortable knowing it is off. I never leave the dryer running if I’m not home. It drives Taylor, my husband, insane.
- Unplug the hair dryer. I don’t know why. I just really hate leaving things plugged in in general. Another one that annoys Taylor.
- Turn off/unplug curling iron. Even though unplugging it guarantees it is off, I still check to make sure it is turned off JUST IN CASE, GOD FORBID I forget to unplug it (there’s a 99.999999999% chance I will not forget to unplug it). I have to make sure I unplug it and usually go back upstairs to check before I leave the house. I can’t remember the last time I straightened my hair but in the past, I did the same for a straightener. My OCD doesn’t discriminate on the type of styling tool I need to check.
- Taking the same route to and from work, down to being in the same exact lane. I loathe using Waze (see below for my non-OCD reasoning, if you’re interested) because I need to know the route I am taking before I leave. Randomly having the Waze generated Boy Band harmonize the turn I need to take in 5 feet puts me in a panic. I take the interstate to work and back roads home. Every day I take the same route unless I am going on some exciting, post-work adventure (which never happens).
- Following the same morning routine when getting ready for work. Brush teeth, plug in curling iron, do makeup, curl hair, get dressed. If I don’t follow this order then I face imminent doom.
- I have to get in and out of the same side of the bed. Taylor travels for work so there are times when I have the entire bed to myself and could jump out on either side. But I don’t.
- I love to make lists at work. It is how I am able to actually function. But if I start making a list and misspell something or don’t use consistent bullet points I have to start over completely. The list has to be perfect. Sometimes I’ll redo the list even if I technically didn’t mess anything up.
- Cleaning in a particular order. This one is interesting to me because my OCD isn’t focused on cleanliness or organization (trust me). When I do clean the house it has to be in a particular order or else I will need to repeat steps/start over completely. If I vacuum before I dust then I will need to vacuum again because dust will fall onto the clean carpet. Luckily for me, I rarely get the motivation to clean this much! *sarcasm*
- Making sure the animals (cats in particular) didn’t get out. I do not know why this is such a huge thing for me. It always has been. Long before I had adopted my own cats, I would risk being late to school just to run home and make sure the family cats hadn’t gotten out. Do I know that cats are usually well equipped to survive some time outside? Yes. Am I still going to run home and check to make sure they didn’t get out? Absolutely. I’m not ashamed to be a crazy cat lady (emphasis on the crazy…and the lady).
My Old Things:
- Not changing out of the outfit, changing the channel, etc. of what I was wearing the last time I spoke to my mom/dad on the phone when I was at the other’s house on the weekends. Fun story: when I was in 1st grade or so I got this pillow in the shape of a cat and, when asked, one of my parents suggested I name it Lemon and the other suggested Orange. So, I named her Lemon Orange to avoid hurting any feelings. Lemon Orange went to college with me. I actually still have Lemon Orange but she is bedding in my dog’s crate because for some reason Taylor wasn’t 100% sold on the idea of me still sleeping with a 20+-year-old pillow named Lemon Orange. Also, my sister, Lauren, used to call Lemon Orange Lauren Orange and it made me so mad for some reason. But I digress…
- Checking to make sure my mom or dad was still inside the house before I went to sleep.
…not gonna to lie, I thought this list would be a bit longer. Turns out the things I used to check/do, I still check/do. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
100% Normal Things That Make Me Anxiety:
- Flat face trucks. They look mean and they make me uncomfortable. I’m also terrified of heights and 9 times out of 10 these trucks are the ones driving on the side of a mountain during monsoon season, or something equally scary and random. Its ok to laugh at this, I do it all the time.
- My food can’t touch (My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, making this a real, modern-day tragedy.)
- REVOLVING DOORS. I loathe them. This one is probably because a few months ago a complete stranger used the same compartment of a revolving door as me. I’m still struggling to get over it, tbh.
- Public restrooms. Not because of germs, but because I get stage fright and can’t go if anyone else is in there.
- Sharing an elevator/forced small talk. This one is especially bad right now because of the air cast on my fractured foot.
- Getting stuck in traffic on the interstate. I get claustrophobic and slightly panicky if I feel stuck.
I’m sure there are more. Honestly, the flat truck is probably the one I was most eager to share. I am equal parts curious and terrified of what exposure and response prevention therapy would look like for this one…
(For anyone who doesn’t know what New Boot Goofin is…)
A Non-OCD Explanation of Why I Do Not Use Waze
For starters, I have a degree in geography (super useful if you enjoy going to school with folks to wear the shoes with individual spaces for one’s toes) so I spent many, many hours and many, many dollars making maps, followed by spending the last 7 years at a Real Job making maps. I like to think that I have a pretty good understanding of cities in and around metro Atlanta. The final straw with Waze was when it had me get off of the interstate, travel west (my final destination was east!), then get back on the interstate at the next exit WHEN THERE WAS NO ACCIDENT OR ANYTHING. The only reason I used it that day was to try and avoid traffic. I deleted the app once the Boy Band told me I had arrived at my destination with a beautiful melody.