Let me just start off with the following disclaimer:
OCD is a serious mental illness. It is not a joke and it can be extremely debilitating for those who have it. I am in no way making light of this and am only referencing my own experiences.
Ok! With that out of the way, let’s begin!
I have mild OCD which I chose to deal with the same way I deal with all of the problems in my life, through a mixture of sarcasm and self-deprecation.
My OCD tendencies have been around my entire life. They do not cause me to wash my hands until they bleed, I do not have to repeat all of my actions until I reach the magic number, and I don’t obsessively clean my house (much to my Mom’s disappointment, I’m sure. Whatever, dusting is overrated.). Still, these tendencies affect me every day and I have spent the last 20 years of my life learning how to adapt to situations that are outside my control. It isn’t always successful but I manage.
Because of this I have decided (or, more specifically, I have been told to by my Dad) to write a new category in my blog about Funny OCD Situations that occur in my life.
For my intro to this category I would like to tell you about something that I have done my entire life and have only recently learned is a “compulsion” and thus is part of my OCD. It’s amazing what a different light the label has shed on a habit that I always just considered mildly quirky.
I plan conversations.
I don’t mean I think of the occasional witty remark I would like to casually drop while having coffee with a friend. No. I literally plan out entire conversations in my head and then completely flat line when the conversations don’t go as I imagined them to. Often I even continue on with my script even though it has no relevance to the current conversation and I just keep going as if the person said their “line”. It’s a manipulative trait and I’m not exactly proud of it, but to be honest until about one week ago I didn’t realize that this was something unusual. I honestly thought everybody did this.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not do this for every conversation I have (though I do it more often than I should admit). I am typically the type of person who speaks before they think which can often land me in trouble. But for big conversations, or conversations with people I am not 100% comfortable with, or even conversations I think would be cool to have I will often (like, really often) plan everything down to the last detail, knowing ahead of time exactly what inflection to use and memorizing the perfect moment to raise my eyebrow.
Sometimes it works out brilliantly and I am able to predict people enough that they say what I have written for them in my head, or at least a suitable variation. These are wonderful moments and I am able to come across as witty and delightful (or serious and pensive depending on what I was going for).
Most of the time it fails miserably and I end up being a giant weirdo who spouts nonsense and wiggles her brow expectantly.
Alas, it is something I have always done, and it is something I imagine I will continue to do. Still, knowing now that it is not “normal” I will make an effort to do it less.
Or, if all else fails, I will learn to hand out the script prior to having the conversation so at least my friends can follow along.