7 Ways My OCD Makes Me The Most Annoying Person Ever

7 Ways My OCD Makes Me The Most Annoying Person Ever

I look at myself in the mirror and say, "Why are you like this?!"
August
August
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I'm open about my mental illnesses. I talk about my symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder like it's no big deal because it isn't to me. It's just my life. But there is one thing that I rarely talk about. There is one thing that I am ashamed of, so I usually hide it. That is my obsessive-compulsive disorder. Because my OCD makes me its slave. It makes me do things over and over again, puts thoughts in my head that disgust me and horrify me. The obsessive, intrusive thoughts make me perform compulsions to ease the pain and anxiety of my thoughts. These are seven ways my OCD controls me:

1. I need to stick to my routine or I start to fall apart.

I make a list of things to do every day. I have two planners and a calendar. I look at the days and mentally prepare myself for my appointment tomorrow or something I have due Friday. I even plan out my meals a little, just so I don't get anxious about it. I don't have to stick to what I write down, though. I can put "spaghetti for dinner," and then decide to go out or cook something else. It just offers the illusion of control, of knowing what to expect. If I'm on vacations, things can get tricky. Sometimes I need a Coke when I wake up and it has to be in a can, not a bottle. Usually this isn't a problem, but occasionally, the person I'm staying with sighs and drives me to several different places to find a soda machine because the grocery store is too far away. And I'm sitting in the passenger seat thinking, "There are never going to ask me to visit again..."

2. I go through very particular obsessions, usually with food.

Sometimes I eat chicken wings for every meal for several weeks, and then my palate latches onto a new array of flavors. Right now, I am obsessed with ice cream. But it has to have chocolate syrup. And it has to be in a cup. And it HAS to be from Chick-fil-A or I don't want it at all. It makes me seem whiny or annoying, but I have to have things a certain way or I feel like I'm losing control. Expecting my ice cream to taste a certain way is just one of the ways I feel like I can exert some sort of control over the chaos of life. If I go to McDonald's and I can't get the sauce I want with my nuggets, then I don't want to eat at all. And I know this gets really annoying for people, so I usually don't tell them WHY I'm suddenly not hungry anymore or why I changed my mind about wanting ice cream (because they are out of chocolate syrup). Because I know it's irrational and annoying, so I just hide it. I don't like that I am this way, but that's the way it is.

3. If something is bothering me, I can't stop thinking about it.

This is another obsessive part of my OCD. An intrusive thought appears in my mind, and I can't let it go. Is my boyfriend cheating on me? Did my mom get in a car crash? I text or call them obsessively until they answer, so I know they're okay. If they don't answer because they're busy with work and well, their lives in general, then I usually have a panic attack and break down in tears. I get frustrated with myself because of this. I feel like I'm an adult who still throws temper tantrums, so I hide it. I usually say I'm taking a nap when I am quietly crying under my pillow over something I know that probably didn't happen, but I'm not sure, and the pain of the thought is just too overwhelming... So I fall apart. That's the part of OCD that people forget about: how painful the intrusive thoughts are. I start crying over things that didn't happen. I chew my nails because I can't stop picturing my little sister break her leg over and over. I get irritable because I can't get the image of a gigantic spider out of my head. My thoughts scare me. I resent this.

4. I check things.

This is the compulsion aspect of my OCD. As the day goes on and the sun gets lower in the sky, my anxiety and paranoia increase. Therefore, the number of times I check to make sure the front door is locked increases. I also check under the bed and in the closets more than I'd like to admit. And I have to leave the shower curtain open. Who knows what kind of monster could be lurking in there, right? Haha... Yes, I thought I would grow out of it, too, but here I am at 21 years old, still afraid of the monsters under the bed. By monsters, I mean murderers with two black holes where their eyes should be, but let's keep this article light-hearted, shall we?

5. I've gotten better about this, but I still carry a couple bottles of hand sanitizer with me.

Sometimes I shake hands with someone and get a bad feeling about them, so I have to wash my hands a few times or I start having a panic attack. Or I just feel dirty and need to sanitize my hands. Mostly, though, I use hand sanitizer right before I eat like everyone else (okay, only some people). I used to wash my hands so much they cracked and bled, but I've gotten much better.

6. Don't you dare drink after me...

Okay, I've gotten a lot better about being a "germ freak," but this is one thing that I would not budge on for about 20 years. Even when I was three years old, I would burst into tears if you took a bite out of my cake or licked my icecream cone. My family was always shocked. How can a three year old understand the concept of germs? I really don't know. Maybe I just didn't want your smelly mouth near my birthday cake... My family just thought I didn't like to share, that I was a brat. And honestly, who wouldn't? Maybe I am. I even annoy myself. Leftovers in the fridge from last night? Ugh... I don't know about it this time. Those mashed potatoes look like they were touched by someone looking for a midnight snack. Mold could have grown overnight on the hamburger bun... It's illogical and hard to explain, so sometimes I just shove the food in my mouth, grin, and bear it. But other times, I slyly dump my leftovers in the trash because I'm afraid they're infected, and I really don't want E. coli or one other of the MILLION INFECTIONS that people can get from food. Okay, I'm not a doctor or a scientist. That is probably inaccurate, but my OCD isn't based on logic, sadly.

7. Have you guessed this one yet? I'm dramatic.

My OCD makes me the most dramatic, annoying person ever. I look at myself in the mirror and say, "Why are you like this?!" I've gotten a lot better though, especially about the hand washing, but...mostly, I've just gotten better at managing and hiding my symptoms, so I don't annoy others or have to explain my irrational brain. I'm sure you want to be friends with me now. I sound like loads of fun! But...that's the truth. And I have gotten a lot better with therapy, medication and exposure. There's been a fly in my drink, and I didn't die. Someone has actually shot a spitball into my mouth and here I am, alive and well, telling the tale. On some level, I realized that germs COULD kill me, but that they probably wouldn't. So now, I just tell myself to calm down and act like a normal person or I'll find myself with plastic bags over my shoes in a few years or living in a big plastic bubble. And what would my quality of life be then? I have to accept the inevitable germs and pain that come with life if I really want to live. So, I put my hand sanitizer back in my pocket. I touch the elevator button that a million people have touched. I shake hands with a stranger. I take a risk to feel alive. Some people have to skydive to get that high. Me? I have it easy.

Cover Image Credit: Gratisography.com

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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I Started My First Full-Time Job Today — Here's What I've Learned So Far

The first day of a 9-5 can bring many surprises and good memories.

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So, I started my first full-time job this week. It is an editorial internship with a local paper in the downtown area of my city. It's a regular 9-5, and I am seen as part of the newsroom, not just an intern. This past week has been exhilarating, exhausting and a phenomenal learning experience.

Firstly, the people are amazing. I was super lucky to join a team of people who are not only kind and encouraging, but great at what they do and willing to help. It can make such a difference when adjusting to a new job to be surrounded by people that help you to grow instead of making it more difficult.

Secondly, working all day long is tiring, but there is nothing better than putting your feet up at the end of a long day. Having never worked a full-time job before this summer, you can bet I could barely open my eyes after my first day. You will be tired on a level you never thought possible, and you will need to remember that there is an adjustment period. The good thing is, you adapt pretty fast to your new schedule. Just allow yourself plenty of time to sleep at night, and the adjustment will follow.

Thirdly, it's OK to be a beginner. I think so many interns feel insecurity about the fact that they are not entering their fields as experts, but it's important to remember that you are a beginner and that is fine. You are there to learn and grow in your field, not to be a perfect example of success. You will have lots of questions, and that is OK. You will make mistakes, and that is OK. And every day will be a new chance to grow.

Overall, I'm excited to continue on with my internship. I am excited to finish adjusting and push myself to see what I can achieve this summer. As long as you keep a positive attitude and remember to relax, you will be in for a very rewarding experience.

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