I am not minimizing OCD as a serious and real illness. People do suffer from extreme OCD that goes beyond superstition or habit and routine. That is a tough way to live and I hope those people get help and the tools they need to live life.
I, however, am a creature habits gone bad. I like a routine and my poor children have also fallen prey to the need for a habit or routine. They were probably the most organized and disciplined kids in Nursery School.
I think my OCD comes out the strongest at the gym, especially Spin class. I like to get there at 5am for the 5:30 class. I usually take the same bike and make the bike adjustments in order: seat, seat height then handlebar height. I place my spin shoes next to the bike and eat my clementine. Then I put my shoes on, take a puff of my inhaler and pop a piece of gum. Ready.
This morning, OMG, I forgot my clementine. Bad sign. “It’s OK” I say to myself, and I continue on with my routine. The class is about to start and the little flood lights that shine on the instructor are out…no replacement bulbs are available. That means we have to take the class with the lights on. What? We were all out of sorts, even the mellow people made a comment. That kink in my routine may just set the pace for a day of bad juju.
At the end of class we all laughed about being out of sorts. I turned to my friend Terri and said, “it’s like having sex with the lights on. This ole body is not built for that!” I was sorry she had to see me struggle thru that class. Usually it’s dark and you can be in pain or distress in private. Oh well.
I made it to Zumba tonight clementine and all. Had my piece of gum, found my perfect spot in row 2 and ahhh, my routine is back I keep my warm up on thru the first song, as usual….check. That pre-workout clementine put my chi back in the groove. I-AM-BACK. whew.
I thought about other instances in my life where they compulsiveness for routine occurred. I commuted into Manhattan for years. For almost three years I sat with the same man, Lenny. He worked for Metro North and we sat together every morning. We would talk until the next stop and then sleep the last 45 minutes in. We slept through a woman dying of a heart attack in the bathroom, a card game busted and the guys arrested and hitting a homeless man on the tracks, thankfully NOT killing him. I commuted on Amtrak years later with a lovely group of people: Rita, Larry, Melanie and a “Gang”. Melanie gave us all matching blankets one year for Christmas with our names on them. Every time I use it, I think of that group.
So, am I crazy or OCD. I guess you decide. If you ask my Zumba-ladies they may tell you I am. Deep down, I try and break those old habits but I can’t. Just haven’t decided what to do when clementine season is over.