OCD is distressing. It’s not a personality quirk. It’s 24 hours a day and it’s distressing.
I have dealt with it for as far back as I can remember, and have come to terms with the fact that I will deal with it until I die.
It’s like that analogy of the duck swimming in water- looking peaceful on top of the water, while underneath its legs are kicking like crazy. That’s how I imagine my brain. 100 miles per hour, all day every day.
I could fill up months’ worth of columns devoted to how it affects me and rituals I do throughout any given day, but that’s no fun.
I thought instead I would tell a story about how it has affected my wife. As if she didn’t have to put up with enough already by just being married to me.
Once when our son was just a wee lad, my parents were coming down to pick him up to take him to church. It was not uncommon for them to do so.
On this particular day, they had arrived and we were all sitting in the living room. My wife was putting his shoes on so they could leave when she put his left shoe on first.
To 99.9% of the population, that’s not a big deal. To me, it was terrifying.
You’re supposed to put your right shoe on first. I just assumed everyone knew this, but I was wrong. There is no way on earth you can leave the house having put your left shoe on first. How could she be so reckless with our child’s safety?
That’s what was running through my mind. I don’t remember what I said to relay all my internal strife to her.
I vividly remember the look on my parent’s, and my wife’s, faces when they realized how genuinely horrified I was about this shoe predicament.
Thankfully for me, and my son’s well-being, she took his left shoe off and put his right shoe on first. You know, the way God intended.
It’s one of the many times she has humored me. I know things like that are illogical. I am thankful she looks past the ridiculousness of it all and goes with the flow for me.
I know me surviving my day is not contingent on whether or not I put my right shoe on first.
With that being said, I would never in a million years dream of putting my left shoe on first. No way, no how.
Toby Nix is a local writer, guitarist and deputy sheriff. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org