Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD. We all know it, have all joked that we’ve had it, and probably know people who actually do. Although it’s often the brunt of many off hand excuses and taken lightly, this is often with a negative disposition.
Children with OCD get bullied more than others, and I can attest to this as a child with OCD who got bullied significantly in my pre-teen years. I was convinced that this was always going to be something that brought me down and made my other endeavours more challenging. But that’s not the case. Combined with my natural creative and organizational abilities, I’ve created a highly-functioning and relevant system to help manage my OCD, which has in the process significantly improved my life.
I harness my OCD by focusing on the effectiveness of organization and efficiency.
Everything in my apartment has a place. I spend about 10% of the time putting things away properly that I would spend looking for a thing that didn’t have or wasn’t in it’s place.
I have a schedule for everything, from chores to work-outs to social activities. I’m able to balance my life and make the most of my days without forfeiting my productivity, sleep, or sanity.
Everything is always clean. Even my baseboards. There is no dust bunny that can escape me while I’m on the hunt. I never have to worry about weird smells, clutter, or how long it’s been since the garbage was taken out.
My closet looks like a store. Everything is folded the same way, organized by size and colour and style. I know when something is missing, where everything gets put away, and I have a full wardrobe itinerary in my mind. I read all the labels on how to clean and care for my clothing meaning that when I spend 100$ on a shirt, I don’t feel bad knowing I’ll have it for at least 5 years. There is an obvious colour and texture theme making almost my entire wardrobe correlate, looking as if it was made from sunrises, dusk, and textures from the clouds. OCD has made me more fashionable, as well as savvy.
I am more independant. I know how I need things to be done and don’t take chances relying on other people to do them my way. I will always fold my own laundry, pack my own bag, do my own grocery shopping, make my own bed. I’m faster at it, better at it, and prefer it.
I have legitimate goals that I work towards and keep track of. I balance my hobbies well, making enough time for reading, writing, art, music, running, and anything else. Even my relaxing moments are planned and have purpose.
To most people this sounds overwhelming. To most people it would be. But my OCD has allowed me to cope with the struggles of having OCD. It has bettered my life so that instead of having a voice in the back of my head panicking about things not being perfect, I have guidance and structure. It has developed into a coping mechanism that motivates me to work smarter and aim higher without losing sight of everything else – sanity included.
Written by Forest Greenwell