Thursday, March 15, 2007

DAY 43: OCD?

I have known for some time that I may have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) tendencies, but it seems like it is really coming to a head while here in the hospital. I'm not sure if it is actually OCD though. Some might say, I am just "particular", some might say, "I am anal", and then some might whole heartedly agree that it is in fact "OCD".

I am very in tune to my immediate surroundings and the environment in general. I am the girl that will walk into a room and immediately notice a picture that is askew. I am the girl who will notice if a pile of mail has been shifted from one end of the table to the other, and I am the girl who drives down the road and notices an new bill board before we are even upon it. I love to organize. My CDs, DVDs, and spices are alphabetized. I have all the extraneous contents of my hall closet and bedroom closet on shelves in matching baskets. I love drawer dividers. My towels are all folded and faced the same way. The books on my shelf have to be lined up according to their height. My clothes hang in my closet by color and we have all wooden hangers.

It's all about symmetry. Visual aesthetics. Straight lines. Balance. Systems.

You get the idea. As I look around my hospital room each day, I cringe. It is impossible to uphold my standards in this environment. I think it is probably good for me to have no choice but to relinquish these control issues or whatever kind of issues they are, but I must admit it is painful. And I haven't gone without trying. I have asked Jonathan to do some pretty wacky things all in an attempt to gain some of the symmetry, visual aesthetics, and balance that I long for.

I thought you might get a kick out of some of the things I have requested of him, and of course, he hasn't ever questioned any of them! He just goes along with it. I wonder if he has known all along I am a freak or if he is discovering just how much of a freak I am! Well, nonetheless I'm gonna take this blog post one step further and put myself even further out there than I already have! Here goes:

1. There was an orange sitting on the counter with a little dark scratch mark on it, and I asked him to turn it around so I wouldn't have to look at the dark mark.
2. The phone book was up on a high shelf and it was turned towards me with all of the pages ruffling up so I asked him to turn it around so I could see the binding instead.
3. I have cards hanging on the wall and there were a few that were asymmetrical so I asked him to straighten them up so that they would be more visually appealing.
4. The books were on the shelf in a disarray so I needed him to organize them and straighten them by their height and then categorize by children's or adult's books.
5. The pop tart box wasn't closed and I couldn't stand looking at the messy tabs sticking out of the top of the box. I wanted it closed nice and neatly!
6. I had him help me categorize my drawers. One drawer for personal grooming items, one drawer for electronic gadgets, one drawer for magazines/catalogs, and one drawer for scrapbooking paper. And then there's the whole scrapbooking rolling cart with five of it's own drawers!

Well, I think I'm gonna stop with those. Enough revealed!

So what is your assessment? Am I particular? Do I have OCD? Is it a bad case of Anal Retentiveness? Or am I just a girl who has been uprooted from her cozy home and trying to make sense of her new surroundings putting her systems into play?

A little balance, a little symmetry, a little visual continuity.

Those aren't all bad are they?


The Mommy said...

Hee hee! I'll just say that may explain the hubby's secret stash! :)

Nancy said...

I think some of the things you describe make a lot of sense, such as organizing your drawers - it makes it easier to find stuff that way! Some of the things are more arbitrary, like the phone book or the pop tarts. But I think you can't judge by your behavior on bed rest, b/c the biggest factor is that YOU CAN'T DO IT YOURSELF. I know that drives me the most crazy, especially when I know exactly what I'm talking about finding and Jason can't figure it out. So just do whatever you have to in order to make your room livable for you.

But you left out the most important thing - where do you keep your chocolate?

Unknown said...

So...I would have said OCD or anal retentive until I was on bedrest.

I about melted down the other day when I walked into our pantry. NOTHING was where it belonged. It was all on shelves...but the pasta was next to the coffee...the soup was next to the mac and cheese. :) I wanted to sit down and cry.

My husband (rightfully so) asked what was wrong with me. I said I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER ANYTHING IN MY LIFE. When I was first on bedrest I could say "it's on the third shelf in this closet". Now...I have no idea where anything is. Between my husband and parents putting things away for's a mess. I'm going to have to spend my 8 weeks of maternity leave straightening out my house.


Anonymous said...

You got Jonathan, the LIBRARIAN, to put books in order by size, not subject? Wow! Sounds OCD to me, ... but I'm an anal cataloger who puts books in order by subject!!! Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress woo hoo!

Actually, I am obsessive about my organization of things, too. They may look like messy piles to others, but it is a system to me and I know exactly where everything is (unless someone makes me clean/move it). My spare bedroom/office/library would NOT be aesthetically pleasing to you, Ashley, but I LOVE it!

So, I don't really think you have OCD, you just want your things where you know where to find them. I think the orange and phone book are just symptoms of being cooped up ...

Hang in there!!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen the TV show, Monk? He is obsessed with everything! In one episode he took in a 2 or 3 year old for a week. By the end of the week the kid was poking things with his shirt sleeve and walking crooked just like Monk. So funny! Now if Holland asks Dad to giver her the phone book so she can flatten out every crease ...???

Anonymous said...

Hi Ashley,
Sometimes when life is "out of control" it is comforting to manage what you "do" have control over....doesn't sound pathological to me. Just a way to feel like your world has some order

Anonymous said...

Oh no!! Holland and Hershey could get "it" from both sides. Luckily,
(or unluckily) Teedo and Jono don't have these tendencies (most of the time).

Unknown said...

I think it is a bit of "control what you can". Wait till you have two kids underfoot and try to keep everything nice and tidy. Even the most anal person in the world has to live with some mess, or have really messed up kids.

I too think it is funny that you got a Librarian to organize books by height. Can you imagine that internal dialogue.