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Thread: A little OCD

  1. #1
    Senior Member Greg44's Avatar
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    A little OCD

    I am a bit OCD, I know exactly how many small binder clips fit into its space in my desk drawer. Everything in my office has it's place - I take pride in telling someone exactly where to go to get a file, supplies, etc. I enjoy that part of my mild OCD. I won't even begin to try and explain the process it takes for me to leave my office.

    There are two tasks that I have great difficulty doing. One is painting. I am not good at painting. The need for perfection with the job paralyzes me. I would rather live with the need to paint then attempt the job and have my failures stare at me.

    The second task is washing windows. No matter how much I try - there always seem to be some streaks. We have the old style storm windows - that has one pane that has to come out. One window has like 8 panes to wash. Today I gave myself permission to accept the fact that there may be some streaks, but the end result will be so much better than where I started. The pressure was off. There were many trips back and forth inside and outside to check it out, but once it was done, I sealed it up and accepted the jobs as is. phew.

    Not sure why I put myself though the anxiety of such stupid tasks. *sigh*, nevertheless I was able to cross that one off my list.

  2. #2
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    I have the same problem with windows getting completely clean.

    Does your OCD mainly impact you? I ask because I have two people in my life whose OCD spills out onto those around them. One is my de facto supervisor. My manager had her write my annual review and she marked me down for neatness. The other day she spent two hours removing staples and restapling documents that looked to me like they were stapled fine. This is the level of detail she focuses on.

    The other is my son. Currently he is mad and not speaking to me because he is obsessed with neighbors whose dogs might poop in our yard and they don't pick it up. For a year now I agreed we could leave certain blinds open at night so he could look outside quickly if he hears someone coming by. He was supposed to pick out a security camera but that hasn't happened. It takes him literally years to do things since he feels the need to explore every option on the internet before making a decision. Neither of us like lights on at night with the blinds open as anyone walking by can see you so I was stumbling about in the dusk the other day and sprained my ankle and said Enough, the blinds are being closed from now on (except he can do what he wants in his room). Now I don't care about him and his illness. This is a pattern with him, we get along great or not at all, there is no middle ground.

    So if you can keep your OCD from affecting other people in a negative way good for you.

    ETA also good if you can keep it from impacting yourself to the degree you need to seek hospitalization, etc.
    Last edited by Yppej; 10-6-20 at 7:28am.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Depending on the severity medication and/or cognitive behavioral therapy works great with this disorder. If not severe CBT alone has changed people’s lives.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Greg, I am not OCD, but I AM in the "paralysis by analysis" camp which yields the same outcome you described with the painting at least. I have a whole drawer full of color swatches. I know the LRV of dozens of shades across Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, Behr, and Valspar paints. I have 3 Pinterest boards devoted to color schemes. And yet, for three years I have been unable to put a paint brush to any walls, ceilings or trims.

    As for the window streaking, yes, I do relate to that. Again, it's not an OCD thought process, but it's a perfectionist tendency for sure. To get me over the hump, sometimes I have mantras I use: like "Progress--not perfection." And then there is one I use all the time that I learned from a project manager who was a real do-er and VERY valuable to me. She would always say, "Push it forward. Push it forward." In other words, do one small thing that will advance the project, rather than sit and ruminate about the best way to do it and worrying about failing.

    But LOL on the binder clips!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I can relate to the analysis by paralysis to some extent so will wait until I have researched in depth before making a decision. Too much choice often means that I don't choose as it may not be the right choice..
    I had a list of 15 major priorities before I looked for a house with a realtor. Streaks when cleaning windows drive me nuts. I have to get them taken care of. Is it OCD or efficiency or perfection?

    I have a schedule planned for the year - change tires from warm season to snow and back, clean the air exchanger, change water filter, softener salt delivery, service the gas furnace, etc. I call this my team playbook. Anything involving another is scheduled for the year in my plan. I have a struggle when another attempts to make plans for me.

    After that is taken care of, I am free to follow the schedule that I create for myself. I am finding it quite interesting to discover that the covid 'reset', as I call it, has forced or enabled me to ease up the self-scheduling and increased spontaneity. I think that is why I am enjoying life despite the changes that have resulted

    I read an interesting article that the Japanese have a very strict approach to any activity to remove the possibility of error. There is an extensive check list that must be reviewed for any shift change, they can assume nothing. It has increased their efficiency in so many ways. This is one article that sort of explains it. https://www.rediff.com/money/2007/jan/16japan.htm
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post

    ...

    I read an interesting article that the Japanese have a very strict approach to any activity to remove the possibility of error. There is an extensive check list that must be reviewed for any shift change, they can assume nothing. It has increased their efficiency in so many ways. This is one article that sort of explains it. https://www.rediff.com/money/2007/jan/16japan.htm
    Interesting article. I like imagining that well ordered world.

    as far as paint colors – one of the downsides of living in an unfinished house as I did for 20 years is that there’s really no impetus to make a color selection for the entire house. In the early days I chose a light gray with white trim and it was pretty and it was of course only in a few of the rooms that were finished. By the time we got around to finishing the living room /dining area, my tastes changed and I went for greens, warm greens.


    But now that light gray is back in style, any gray is in. But I wouldn’t do gray because it’s too common, yet I am attracted to the crispness of it.

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    We all have quirks, and it annoys me that now they all have to be labeled and scrutinized. If they're crippling, one can seek help, of course.

    As far as the paint and windows--or any similar task that vexes you--there are professionals you can hire.

    Me, I'm subject to "impossible task" syndrome where I build up some (often mildly) unpleasant job until it looms like the Blob. I keep putting it off and putting it off until the last possible minute. A more together person would just do it and get it over with. I've found that completing a step at a time is helpful in such situations.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    OCD is only a problem when it’s interfering with daily life. Milder versions are merely something to work around.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Greg44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I have the same problem with windows getting completely clean.

    The other day she spent two hours removing staples and restapling documents that looked to me like they were stapled fine. This is the level of detail she focuses on.
    Oh, man - I do re-staple things that come across my desk where people have willy nilly stapled them together.

  10. #10
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    Use Norwex cloths and water to wash windows. no streaks. Pricey, but they work. https://shopus.norwex.biz/en_US/cust...ct-detail/1505
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

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