Holiday Cheer - Holiday Stress and OCPD

The Holidays are a flurry of activity. It can be amazing to be around friend and family, and fill up our time with lots of special seasonal activities.

But, my perfectionist mind often wonders- is this the best of the best? Its my wrapping beautiful? My holiday treats prepared perfectly? My Christmas and New Years plans the best for celebrating? The second guessing  and doubtcan go on and on. I see all the negative outcomes of choices made. Why I did this or that, why certain events play out at they did.

I ponder all the choices leading up to this momment - and its hard for someone with OCPD to truly be accept how things are. Because, after all, it is easy to count a million ways things could be better

I found myself second guessing all my presents in this way. It's not that they are bad- its that they could be better. And feeling like you "could do better" can take the fun out of anything.

So it takes a little shift, maybe in expectations, for someone who hold themseles and others to high standards. Not every gift is great, not every holiday dish is delicious, not every momment of the season is filled with magic.

But thats ok. Because if greatness was a constant, if perfection was the norm, then nothing would feel special!


Watching the Flow - Self Awareness and OCPD

I found this article with a personal story about being diagnosed with OCD. He says he realized this:

"I saw beyond the myth that The Victim Is Unaware of His or Her Own Condition. A childhood flooded with media depictions of the mentally ill had lead me to believe that the afflicted had somehow been robbed of their objectivity, thrown into a dark hall-of-mirrors beyond the realm of rational perspective.

Nonsense. My rational mind remained intact, albeit uncomfortably so. From the lighter corner of my mind, I watched darkness flow in..."

Powerful writing! And also something I have felt. Now, I haven't always been self aware of my own mental state. But now, looking back and realizing how anixious I was so much of the time can be painful.

But you know? At least I can watch the "darkness flow in" now. I know when I start getting obessive, or over-anxious. There is a specific feeling when I can't put down a work task, or step away from the mirrow, or stop fussing with something.

That means, as I watch that darkness flow all around my mind, and I can try get out of the way! Or even put up a dam to stop it.


Seeing the Dust - Cleaning and OCPD

Dust Bunnies. They sound so cute. But as anyone with even a hint of obsessive tendencies knows that cleaning these little suckers can take up a lot of time and mental space. What bothers me the most is how I notice them

Everything looks fine as I walk around my  hard wood floor apartment. But then I get onto the floor for some purpose- most likely to play with my dog and there they are. Armies of dust bunnies, hair, string, and other nastiness are swarming.

Then, one I see it, I can’t UN-SEE them all! My eye inadvertently focuses on all those near-invisible specs. Why is it that I was perfectly happy walking on them before, but once they are noticed, they become an obsession. I have to clean them, fast and furiously, until they are wiped out.

But how I saw the dust bunnies, or did not see them, made me think about how a little change in perspective can change so much. It can show you dirt that otherwise goes unnoticed. Picking up on any flaw often comes after a shift. You notice something, about yourself or another, and, now aware, you have a choice on how to deal with it. Clean up or not, now you know it’s there.

 And remember, once you see those dust balls all over, it’s hard to stop seeing them. That is, until they are all clean.