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Twitchy Etes and Chapped Lips

How I look when I think about the things I talk about in this post.

Alright guys, here’s the deal… my lips are chapped, I’m exhausted for no good reason, I’m annoyed about difficult people, and my eyes keep twitching.

They literally won’t stop twitching. When did it start? you ask… It started when I was reading the blog of one of my favorite authors and one of the things she innocently said in humor sent my nerves into overdrive.

She said that she was OCD about a particular task and like lighting striking me from the heavens, waves crashing over me, and the earth splitting wide open beneath my feet all at once, it hit me that I have yet another pet peeve.

My newest pet peeve is when people say that they are OCD about something without actuallyhavingOCD.

Le sigh… at least this might mean my rekindled disdain for those who ‘prepare’ for the ‘zombie apocalypse’ can be put to bed. Disclaimer: I don’t have a personal beef with those who are into zombies. In fact, I really enjoy Hollowland and Hollowmen by Amanda Hocking, which are indisputably about a zombie apocalypse. My irritation is ignited during discussions about this for two reasons. One, the people who are defending the idea the hardest that Earth is doomed and that there is an impending zombie apocalypse around the corner almost always make their argument in a way that can only be described by the translation I hear in my head…”Derp, derp, derp…”  Two, it blows my mind that people will spend money, REAL money, on things that they will need to survive this purported zombie apocalypse, but remain completely unprepared for assaults and catastrophes that are much more likely to occur!

Wooooo Sahhhh.

(Rubbing my temples…)

Wooooo Sahhhh.

Alright, I’m cool now. I learned that from Bad Boys 2, by the way. And some people say you can’t learn anything from fiction…

Back onto the subject of my newest pet peeve related to the misuse of the term OCD, I just want clarify something. You either have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or you don’t. It is a disorder characterized by irrational repetition. And what’s more, I don’t know why you would go around thinking that it’s cute to “be OCD about blah blah blah.”  I’ll use myself as an example…

I don’t use a lot of condiments on my food. When I eat french fries — which, mind you, with the wedding coming up I don’t these days! — I probably use less ketchup than anyone you know. What’s more, I get upset when someone else reaches over and swipes their fries through my ketchup because they ran out. It’s not that I don’t want to share, but rather that it messes up the nice little round glob of ketchup I had on the plate. My family will tease me and do it, knowing I will get genuinely upset, and knowing it will be amusing because I am funny when I am upset sometimes and especially when it is over something as stupid as ketchup.

We joke about how I am OCD about the whole thing…but I’m not really OCD. And that quirk itself isn’t OCD because it has nothing to do with the concept of repetition. Mainly, the problem is me being a control freak.

Yesterday at premarital preparation, Matt and I went over the results of a personality assessment that we completed recently. Predictably, I scored highest in having both a dominate and influencing personality. Matt scored highest in being what the test called steady, and we both scored similarly in conscientiousness. My personality is such that I have an innate need of being in control of my environment, whether through thwarting change or spurring it.

Fact? Yes.  Attractive? No.Does this apply to everything? Not at all. I am capable of being reasonable and of accepting the rightful authority of others. I am no tyrant! 🙂

BUT, I am also not OCD, despite how I once joked about it in order to feel justified in some of my less rational quirks. It seems as if it’s increasingly popular to stick clinical, psychological labels on ourselves to explain away that which we can’t or don’t want to change. You might say, “Hey, what’s the problem with that? It doesn’t hurt anyone!”

Are you sure? Let’s use OCD as an example. By joking around about it, doesn’t it become increasingly acceptable to treat lightly and not like a serious emotional and mental issue had by others? Does it not dilute the issue? I think it does.

A friend of mine once went to a party at an apartment belonging to a guy that has legitimate Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Because she had been drinking and was feeling mischievous, along with another girl, she decided to sneak into his bedroom and tear all of his shirts (which had been color coordinated and spaced precisely apart on the rack) off of their hangers, leaving them in a heap on the floor. According to my friend, he completely freaked out later over it and somehow this was supposed to be funny.

If we didn’t joke around about OCD (or bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, multiple personalities disorder,  dissociative disorders, depression, or tourretts syndrome, etc..), anyone hearing that story would have been instantly repulsed by the actions of these inebriated young women (who, in fact, are not cruel but sometimes just dumb when they drink…like all of us, I suppose.)

But many people weren’t.

After all, we’re all “OCD” about something, right? Ugh.

-C.F. Boehlke





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