Harnessing my OCD

by maximusaurus

In my quest to conquer Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I’ve spent so much time researching diseases that I’m probably on ASIO’s bioterrorism watch list. One of the things I found fascinating is how viruses basically hijack the body’s own cells, and essentially reprogram the cell’s own molecular production line to churn out more viruses.

This got me thinking about my OCD, and about whether I could hijack some of the tendencies it bestows on me and turn them to positive ends.

For example, my OCD compels me (or tries to compel me, anyway) to perform certain rituals or patterns. I feel like I have to wash my hands after touching almost any surface, or only eat certain meals at specific times.

One of my early successes was that I was able to commandeer this habit and use the same thought process to get myself to exercise, save money, or limit myself to a certain number of hand washings per day.

Basically, I turn things I want to get done into a sort of game. When I was a kid, I’d do the same thing with stepping a certain number of times on each slab of pavement or swimming across the pool underwater every time I visited it. As an adult, I sort of manually reprogram these compulsive behaviours into doing x number of pushups a day or keeping my weekly budget under x number of dollars.

That way, the pressure to perform these rituals can be harnessed to help me motivate myself.

OCD may seem like a purely negative force on the surface, but sometimes there are positives to be gleaned from even our darkest demons.