How OCD are you?

While riding the train back from the city yesterday, I started sinking into OCD mode thinking, “how many of these people have sat in these seats have had some kind of cooties? By the way, that kind of thinking will get you in a fix real quick.

Somehow, back in the early 90’s I found myself heading toward a pit of OCD craziness. How did I know? When my daughter would say to me, “Mom, do you have to straighten all the magazines and the pictures on the wall in the Doctor’s office?” I started getting a clue. I think one of the final straws was when I went to the Doctor wearing plastic gloves so I wouldn’t have to touch the door knobs of all the sick people only to take those I was wearing off once inside the patient room and found myself ecstatic to see a whole box of new gloves on the counter.  If I could have gotten away with a mask (like Michael Jackson) I would have so done it.

People love to jack with me and purposefully rearrange the kitchen cabinets (namely, my husband) and I have to just let it go.

Riding on public transportation (airplanes, cabs, and trains) is excruciatingly painful at times if I choose to dwell on it. However, I’m learning to change my “train” of thought to something more productive.

I don’t know how I ended up with this weirdness. It wasn’t something that my parents thought about nor was it learned behavior. Although sometimes I think these idiosyncracies are passed down to our children at times. Especially our eating weird eating habits.

I do have a sibling that is worse than me and refuses to shake hands with anyone. I tried that at one point when I was in security sales. I was constantly meeting people in the trades who were mainly men who shook hands when greeting you. The first time I tried telling one of them, “I’m sorry, I don’t shake hands”….I quickly lost the sale. It came off as rude and snobbish. Lesson learned.

So what is it that causes us to become Germophobes? They say we need healthy germs to sustain a healthy life. I’m not sure what “healthy germs” are but I’ll accept that. Somehow, that helps me cope.  It’s a crazy thing, this mind of ours.

What’s your weird OCD? I can’t wait to hear them. Maybe I’m the only one. Somehow, I think not.

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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2 Responses to How OCD are you?

  1. Katie says:

    Love this post! We have dealt with several residents with OCD, which is why you will find orderly surroundings in our buildings. I personally can commiserate with those who face these problems. You can find my closet arranged by color and size any given day!


    • Susan Avello says:

      Orderly is always good. I think my husband actually has it worse than me. Compared to him, I’m a slacker! 🙂 – I always wondered what dealing with OCD folks as they age is like. Love to hear some stories from you on that.


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