Thursday, December 04, 2008

Six (OCD) Things About Me

I was tagged awhile back by Emmie of Emma's Dilemmas and Great Expectations, a blogger that I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know over the last few months. It's meant to be six random things about me, but I decided to theme my answers in the shape of my OCDish behaviour. Reading this list makes me a little uncomfortable because they're all things that go on in my head or things about my family and childhood and I feel a little vulnerable about throwing these things out there. Making them just that little bit less private. Maybe one of the things on this list should be that I'm overly sensitive and paranoid about the things I write on my blog. I'm constantly worried about what others think of me even when so many have you have been really great about the things I write and everyday, with every new comment I feel that much better. You guys are great and so supportive. Here's my list:

1. I like to count things. It started when I was little and was on the swim team. I'd count how many strokes I needed to take to get from one side to the other, I counted the number of laps I was swimming, when the coach told me I needed to focus on my breathing, I counted the number of breaths I was taking. It just carried on from there. I like to count the number of steps up the stairs, the number of pages until the next chapter in my book, I like to count the number of postcards in my collection, the number of donkeys on display, the number of books I've taken out of the library. I don't remember the numbers at the end, I just like counting.

2. I like things to be equal. This is mostly to do with food. When I was growing up, it was all about who ever is fastest or pushiest gets the most food. I liked to sleep in on the weekends and sometimes I'd wake up and someone had made pancakes and the whole family had eaten them all without waiting for me or keeping some aside for me. Now, in my own family, it's all about no more and no less for everyone. Everyone gets equal amounts. When I'm pouring Coke for N and myself, I spend a lot of time making sure there is exactly the same amount in each glass. It makes me feel better.

3. I've mentioned before that I carry on a lot of conversations in my head, my inner voice is always active. This isn't the whole story, really. I also 'type' words and sentences in my head, especially when I'm writing emails or blog entries in my head. Not as much as I used to, but it still happens. I like knowing where the keys are on the keyboard. This is very comforting.

4. I also 'write' some words in the air when someone's speaking to me, but not so anyone can see me or anything. I'm discreet. N knows about it, and sometimes he asks me which words I'm writing. It's not every word and it doesn't happen during every conversation so I guess it is sort of interesting to keep track of which words are written and which aren't. Maybe those are only things that I find interesting?

5. When I was younger, I had an eating disorder. It wasn't exactly anorexia or bulimia but a combination of the two. From that time, I picked up a lot of food habits that have stuck with me. The biggest one is I feel uncomfortable sometimes when different foods are touching. I like clear separation between the meat and the veg and the mash (for instance). I also don't like combining foods. I'll usually eat one (the veg first) and finish it and then the next thing and then the next thing. It happens in other ways as well, we sometimes get the Muller corner yoghurts, and I HATE it when the yoghurt gets into whatever the corner thing is. My rule is that the corner bit goes into the yoghurt but never at any point must the yoghurt get into the corner bit.

6. I like writing lists. I have notebooks full of lists. Writing lists calms me down and relaxes me in some way. It's very anal and N teases me about the number of lists I write, but something about the order of it, the organisation of things into lists is something I can't stop doing. So N brings me home as many notebooks as he can. And I am grateful for every one of them.


  1. my inner voice is always active too!!!

    and i love your family of elves! Too cute!

  2. Hmmmmmmm . . . you've got me wondering if bilblomania and OCD tendencies go hand in hand, because I share 4 of your 6 things. I don't type in my head or write words, but every other one is spot on. Lists? My need to make and follow book lists is what my blog is all about. And my other books of lists control my life.

  3. My inner voice is very active as well. I don't type, I write. In my head my hand writting is always so much more pretty then in real life. I also have a thing for repeating every word thats said to me during a connversation in my head. A lot of times people think I'm not listening, but really I am, it just takes a bit for me to catch up.. My inner voice has been way active as of late and not letting me sleep..

    I also do the food thing.. nothing touching, one food item at a time. And some of the others as well..

  4. I sometimes type in my head as well--it is also comforting that I know where all the keys are.

  5. you are very brave for writing this meme, thank you for being so open with us, It is grate to learn more about someone. It shows you are becoming even braver out here in the blogoshere :)

    I just wanted to say I do the same thing with eating food off my plate in a particular order, i finish one section off before I eat the next I don't tend to mix it up either :o) x

  6. Thanks for stopping my blog always great to meet another Philip Pullman fan :)
    I'd probably start with Case histories by Kate Atkinson I think it's one of the more accessible of her books and it's the start of three linked books featuring Jackson Brodie. She is a beautiful writer and excellent at description of people and places.

    I liked your list, my inner voice is always active too!

    Oh and I love your header.

  7. Well for what it is worth, I do the counting thing, the no-food-touching thing, the list thing (big time on the lists), and the conversation to myself thing.

    And my OCD-ishness is really bad when it comes to books. I cannot start reading a book that is part of a series unless I own the whole series first. And you don't even want to hear about my books and their shelves.

    Trust me, you're not alone on this one. I think these tendencies are very common! Normal only happens in books or on tv. :)

  8. I'm crazy about making lists as well, and I'm paranoid that someone will find my list notebook and think I'm nuts!

  9. I love to read about ocd-ness! Great list!

  10. It's always great to hear that I'm not alone in my little quirks! Thanks guys!

  11. I count things too. Sometimes I find that I'm counting steps and I'm well past 50 or 70 when I realize it.

    I also have this weird thing where I can remember the size and the look of a word, even if I can't remember the actual word. So I'll know your name has 8 letters, but won't know your name. It's not always accurate now, but in college I used it a lot in test taking when I had no clue.


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