Dear OCD…

Posted: February 21, 2011 in OCD
Tags: , , , , ,

Today, I took my hat off in public, walked around, and didn’t even think about it. I’m pretty sure nobody gets why this is a big deal. But you do.

And it pisses you off, doesn’t it? Oh yeah, I know it does. You’re all, “OOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!” Yosemite Sam styles, stomping your feet, gnashing your teeth, shooting your guns.

HA! How do you like THEM apples?

That’s right. I took my hat off my long, unkempt hair. Put that shit right out in the open. Just kept walking. And forgot about it. I went and did some work in a coffee shop and hardly noticed that I was still exposed. Got up, strolled down some busy streets. Jostled sidewalk crowds, all of us blissfully unaware of my hatless noggin. There were a couple points where it flashed back into my stream of consciousness, but I easily suppressed it.

Oh man, you really hate this shit, don’t you, OCD? You controlling jerkoff! Here’s one thing where I’m prying your fingers loose. You know as well as I do that it used to be so easy for you to control me when it comes to this stuff. I’d be absolutely fixated on my hair, with no rhyme or reason to it. Was it vanity? I doubt it. Sure, I like to look good, but there’s no rational explanation for standing in front of a mirror for half an hour to fix hair that’s barely two inches long. I mean, after a couple of minutes, you’re basically just creating a dozen versions of the same look. You’re barely moving hairs at that point.

But I’d do it. And I’d be so stuck that I’d sometimes even abandon going outside. I’d ditch on friends because I’d be so anxious about not being able to get my hair just right that my mood would be totally shot. Not that I could tell anyone what just right means. It’s never the same — each day the definition changes. That’s your doing, OCD. Making up rules as you go, then making me play by them, like I’m an ant and you’re a kid with one of those plastic terrariums. A douchey little kid with all kinds of stupid ideas and a magnifying glass to burn me with later.

And it’s not just ditching out on friends. It’s showing up late to work. It’s being so anxious that I’m irritable with strangers. It’s irrationally yelling at the ocean breeze for ruining an hour’s worth of work (read: should’ve been two minutes of work). That’s my hair: an obsession spiraled out of control to the point where it caused so much anxiety that I felt compelled to do something to get rid of the shitty feelings. And you know what works really well? Hats! Yeah, I’ve had some sweet ones. Had some stitched to my specifications. Been rocking that old-school TMNT hat lately. They’re cool. I’m not saying I don’t like them.

But there’s a difference between liking something and being compelled to need something. The first bit is all me. The second bit is all you. Fuck you, OCD. I don’t need you, and I don’t need your stupid compulsions. I don’t need these hats. I don’t need to avoid shit just because you tell me to.

There’s one final rule that we should probably share with anyone else reading this. You know the one, OCD. It’s Hair Rule #1: The way it leaves is the way it stays. In other words, whatever state my hair’s in when I walk out my front door, it needs to stay exactly like that until I walk back into the safety of my room.

Is it spiked up? Then it needs to stay spiked up, even if I walk through a tornado. Can’t even budge one spikelet. Is it parted? Well, that’s the goddamn part of eternity right there. Better not be slapping itself back together like when the Red Sea got all uppity with Moses. Or let’s say I screw “prepping” altogether. Am I wearing a hat? Well, that hat stays fixed right to my cranium until I can put it back down on my bed. Nobody touches it. It doesn’t leave my head. The cap’s allowed to move any number of degrees horizontally, but vertically? Hells fucking no.

You wrote that rule, OCD. For some reason, I keep playing along. My anxiety — hell, let’s call it fear — around breaking that rule is so bizarre, in the abstract it belongs somewhere between the Mad Hatter’s Unbirthday Party and Britney Spears’ self-esteem.

But today, I broke that rule. I looked up at the bridge of my cap, considered the ridiculousness of your demands, flipped you the bird, and flipped off the lid. That part wasn’t so hard. The really hard part was getting past the anxiety. The hard part was pushing the obsession out of my head. The hard part was not uncomfortably checking myself in mirrors and windows. And I did it. I just sauntered on, looking all suave and shit.

I took my hat off, bitches. Recognize.

Bow down, OCD. Bow down.

My rules now, not yours,

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by bezuidenthustra, bezuidenthustra. bezuidenthustra said: [blog] Dear OCD… How do you like THEM apples? #OCD #anxiety #therapy #CBT #hats #biteme […]

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