Today I have a fun excursion planned with my very best friend whom I’ve known since we were in third grade. We’re both 26 now and despite how we’ve both changed, we’ve miraculously managed to stay dear to one another for all of these years. I am constantly humbled by her friendship. I am filled with gratitude knowing that I have such a wonderful, loving person in my life who I share so many poignant memories with.
Given this background, you’d think I would be quite happy and calm this morning, looking forward to our day together. However, I have been on edge since she asked me to hangout today. This flare up of anxiety at the idea of spending time with someone has become a real worry for me. What am I worried about? Well I’m worried because now my rigidly structured day won’t be the same as usual. Ridiculous right?
I woke up extra early today so I could make sure I had enough time to check off all the little boxes that I normally do. Workout, draw, write, read, study Spanish, yoga, meditation, etc. All wonderfully productive and positive things. However, my obsession over making sure that each and every one is accomplished every day no matter what is unhealthy.
I don’t know why it’s always got to be all or nothing with me. It doesn’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things if I skip a day of doing yoga or drawing something. I recognize that this anxiety over not performing these tasks is a symptom of OCD. I don’t know if I’d be diagnosable, but I certainly feel confident saying that I have a lot of obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
I’ve only come to really accept this recently. It is a scary realization. As a psychology student I learned a lot about OCD, and I know if ignored it only continues to escalate. The best way to combat this is to intentionally do (or in my case, not do) the things that your brain is telling you will be negative. This inevitable results in pretty much nothing significant happening and the brain can be reassured that its fears were unfounded.
The problem with OCD is, even though I know all of this, I’m too afraid to implement this plan of action. It seems far easier to just continue on the way I have been, avoiding my anxiety while simultaneously being enslaved by it. Once again, a great reason for me to seek out a therapist that can help me. I hope something comes of me coming back to that idea again and again. Maybe if I think about it enough I’ll eventually build up the courage to make an appointment with someone. For now thinking about it seems like all I’m able to do.