Friday, June 3, 2022

On Not-So-Good Days…

I wake up at 0713. I rinse my mouth 3 times. I oil pull for 13 minutes and 31 seconds. I clean my teeth (brush, rinse, toothpick, rinse, brush, rinse, floss, rinse, brush, water floss). I shower. I make my bed. I make my breakfast (13 grams pecans *crushed and roasted*, 31 grams blueberries *sliced into thirds*, 39 grams grapes *sliced into ninths*, 69 grams yogurt). I brew my coffee ( cup water, 1 teaspoon decaf coffee, 1 teaspoon raw sugar). I eat. I wait 31 minutes and 13 seconds before cleaning my teeth (brush, rinse, toothpick, rinse, brush, rinse, floss, rinse, brush, water floss). I write for 3 hours and 13 seconds (justify text, wordcount must be an odd number *preferably ending on 13 or 31 or 39 or 69*).

the OCD beast
turning sweet rituals to trap,
counterfeiting calm

a wee note

- this was my response to a Mental Health Awareness exercise, which asked people living with obsessive compulsive disorder to “explain OCD in a way a non-sufferer can easily understand”. We only had 15 minutes to write a response, so this is not exactly complete--for instance, I didn’t note that on not-so-good days, I must wash my hands (the knife and cutting board, too) after handling each fruit, or that the corners of the bedsheet must form 45-degree angles (I use a ruler), or that I can’t step in the shower if the drain isn’t perfectly clean, (if I can’t avoid a not perfectly clean drain, then I must shower with my eyes closed, shaking so violently that I’m always afraid I might fall).

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #29: Little Rituals.

33 comments:

  1. I have known two folks in my life with OCD .... I realized they struggled ... I had no idea how difficult the struggle was. One is my nephew's wife, from this day forward I will appreciate Joni even more than I did before (which was greatly.) Whew. {a great write, Magaly.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet she appreciates the appreciation. The term OCD is so "popular" that too many people fail to realize just how debilitating the illness is. It's so good to have people who take the time to understand.

      Delete
    2. I appreciate you, too, by the way. ;-)

      Delete
  2. What does "I oil pull" mean, Magaly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's swishing oil in one's mouth to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene. I use coconut oil. It does wonders for the gums (well, it does for my gums). :-)

      Delete
    2. I' ve learned something new today, thanks!

      Delete
    3. I do some swishing too ....... love how it makes my gums feel. I also put coconut oil in coffee!

      Delete
    4. @Helen, I started oil pulling after a Crohn's flare up made the entire of my mouth extra tender (checks, gum, tongue...). I was so pleased by the results.

      Delete
  3. The thing that strikes me is how action focused this is. No softening adjectives, just constant movement. There's no candy coating of the repetition or exhaustion. I know it irks me when OCD and other types of neurodiversity are depicted as a sort of adorably quirky thing in media. This piece keeps it real and more people should read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like your insight. You feel it exactly as I wrote it, as it is. There is little fun or quirky about OCD, and yes... it can be so exhausting.

      Delete
  4. Shit girl - your teeth are incredibly clean. You must be a joy to kiss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all fun a games (and clean kisses) until gums start to bleed. You'd think that one couldn't brush (or floss) too much. But... it seems like one actually can, brush to much that is. I'm always joking about how my dentist might be the only one who has to tell his patient to stop brushing so damn much.

      Delete
  5. Magaly my dear friend. I am not OCD at all but my partner Mr. M. is. Not quite to the point you are but he gets so upset if he can't do his "riturals". Leaving the house is a 20 minute ordeal. Your description for us that don't suffer OCD is excellent. Thanks for stopping by Friday Face Off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those pesky rituals can be a real trial, when it comes to leaving the house. More than once, I've gone all the way to the bus station... just to come back to "check" things.

      Delete
  6. I do like the term counterfeiting calm. I had a bad reaction to oil pulling the one time I did it. I thought it was a super special diet until I read OCD. Good descriptive description of that, one that stirs empathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What kind of bad reaction? What oil did you use? I'm just nosy.

      Delete
  7. I learnt something new today.., a hug thing actually.. and yes I see what you mean by it can be exhausting, definitely not fun and games. More power to you for writing this. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How something can be both reassuring and debilitating. You've made me a little anxious just reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My thoughts exactly! I always wonder how the time-sucking rituals can be so deceptively calming. It made me anxious to write, too. 😅

      Delete
  9. Nothing romantic or quirky about OCD. You opened my eyes to it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, Maga! This is an eye-opening description. Kudos to you for responding to the Mental Health Awareness exercise. Because sometimes terms/disorders like OCD are often referred to in conversations without a full understanding. (HUGS)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that the fact mental health terms like "OCD" and "bipolar" and "ADHD" are used as adjectives by so many create a lot of hurt.

      Delete
  11. Thank you for this post, I found that your description for those of us who do not suffer OCD is excellent, and eye-opening.
    Sending my good wishes.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well all i know is you write nice little poems have some lovely plants make people smile so I don't care if you do the bed corners with a measuring.tape If having ocd means not liking crooked pics on the wall or always straightening floor rugs then count me in....except I like it and don't see it as a problem....I am always accused of being a perfectionist....Not a bad thing I say...Neat freaks are my favourite people

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being neat and a perfectionist (in some ways) is a really good thing, but OCD isn't that.

      Delete
  13. I was surprised by this, Magaly. Thinking of your art and writing, I wouldn't have guessed. It must be difficult to live this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OCD is a terrible affliction. But I was luckier than most, and grew up around an individual who recognized the symptoms fairly early in my life. So, I've been fighting back for quite some time and have gotten good at living with it. Still, there are some really bad days. But they don't last forever. That thought is what keeps me going.

      Delete

I love your insightful remarks. So, go ahead, let them fly…

friends and such...