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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Three (to) Two (to) One!

One of the things I couldn't do on my trip was my nightly routine of door, window, and closet checking. My own family is accustomed to hearing me wander around before bed, shaking doorknobs and peeking into closets to make sure there are no intruders hiding among the brooms. But to do this in a house where I was a guest seemed a little . . . forward.
Somewhat to my surprise however, I found that I was able to sleep okay, despite the fact that I had not triple-checked every possible place of entry or concealment, and so had not been able to ascertain that the house was really as safe as it could be. I had to trust that it had been properly taken care of by the people whose home I was in. Not always easy, especially with rioters creating havoc in all the major cities. Necessity is the mother of a can-do attitude however, and I managed to refrain from getting up in the middle of the night and tiptoeing through the house to make sure all was well.
I hadn't really thought about the implications of this while I was on my trip. At first, checking was something I just couldn't, or shouldn't do, but after several days, it became something that I didn't think about a whole lot. Brilliant! I'm cured, right?
Wrong. Environment has a lot more to do with OCD than I ever gave it credit for. As soon as I got back home, all of the old compulsions that had been temporarily swept under the bed resurfaced. The difference was that I realized that was what they were doing. Stealth is one of the many tools OCD uses to get me to go along with whatever it says. Some of the time I simply don't realize that it's happening. I don't see an action as a compulsion until I think about stopping it, and then it becomes apparent that what I perceived as a harmless habit has turned into something much more serious without my being consciously aware of it.
Not this time. This time, having been forced to live for a while without giving in to all of my compulsions, I recognized them when they greeted me on my arrival home. And I decided that if I'd been able to live without checking doors and windows for seven weeks, it shouldn't be too hard to just keep on living without checking doors and windows. Of course, it's not quite that easy. OCD is not just an idea or a collection of habits. It's a disorder, and it exerts a very strong grip on the mind. Being back in a familiar environment where I could start back up with my checking routine made it well nigh impossible not to do so.
So, I have to admit, I did.
I could feel bad about that, but I refuse to do so, because I have improved. I do go around at night and make sure the house is locked up, but I only do it once. That's a vast improvement over the three-plus times I used to do it before I went on my trip. And I know I'm making progress because I still want to do the rounds again after I've done it once, just to make sure. But I don't do it. I won't do it. Checking once is surely enough for any sane person (and I am sane, no matter how nuts I act sometimes!) Despite wanting to double-check, the anxiety of not doing it only lasts for a little while. Maybe someday the anxiety won't be there at all, and I'll be able to lock up and then not give it another thought. Maybe. Even if I never get to that point though, I can still be proud of myself for getting to this point. Any step forward is just that: a step forward, and it is something to be proud of.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Breakthrough in Britain

I feel that I should apologize profusely for not keeping up with my blog for the last couple of months. In my defense, I have been awfully busy. Guess where I've been? ENGLAND!
That's right! I had the opportunity to go visit family in England for several weeks this summer, and I've only recently gotten back. I had a great time seeing the sites and getting to know my family better, but another interesting aspect of my trip was the effect it had on my OCD.
I found that some of my symptoms were very much suppressed, probably because I was in someone else's home all the time. It simply isn't possible to maintain the same level of contamination control in another person's house that I can in my own. Even if I could, it would be insufferably rude. And while that was sometimes difficult for me to handle (okay, actually it was always difficult for me to handle), I think it was also very good for me.
There were plenty of germ-related things I had to do on my trip, such as sleeping on other people's bedding; using public toilets; taking buses, trains, and tubes to get where I wanted to go; eating off of other people's dishes; doing laundry in someone else's washing machine; need I say more?
Aside from germs, there was the problem of organization. Living out of a suitcase is simply not conducive to sanity. If anyone has managed to keep the contents of their suitcase in any semblance of acceptable order for two months, I want to know how you did it!
And then there was the anxiety aspect of it. In my own home, I make the rounds every night, checking to make sure we're shipshape. But in a house where I was staying as a guest I couldn't bring myself to prowl around every evening, wiggling doorknobs to make sure they were locked, washing and drying any stray knives that may have been overlooked and placing them in a drawer, checking closets for intruders, and drawing blinds and curtains.
The longer I was over there though, the easier it became to deal with all of it. Despite the challenges and initial homesickness that accompanied them, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. To me, that seemed to indicate that at least some of my symptoms, evidently going into shock at some of the things I was doing, were temporarily incapacitated. Either that or they realized that I wasn't as much in their control as usual, simply because I didn't have the option of carrying out their demands to the same extent that I usually did.
So, aside from a great vacation, I think my trip also gave me a little more insight into my OCD and how I can control it more than it controls me. Now that I'm home I've been trying to apply some of those things so that it's not just a temporary change, but something that can continue and help me to keep figuring out ways to keep my compulsions in the background no matter where I am.
I'm really excited about this little breakthrough, and I'm looking forward to posting about my successes. And my failures, of course. :) After all, the failures are what make the eventual success so sweet, right?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Germs on the Bus Go Round and Round

Okay, let's talk public transportation. Germs and contamination are an enormous part of my OCD, and public transportation seems to me to be a breeding ground for bacterial nastiness.
One of the hardest things I've ever done, OCD-wise, was taking a class at my local community college and having to take the bus to and from school twice a week. I called it the 'Torture Chamber on Wheels.' Not the catchiest nickname in the world perhaps, but it accurately described my feelings about the dreaded bus. I hated every millisecond of those bi-weekly trips.
I always used my coat sleeve to grab onto the bars, and inwardly cursed the bus driver whenever he started the bus up again before I had gotten into my seat, causing me to lose my balance and find myself grabbing onto something to steady myself . . . without having time to pull my sleeve over my hand. Gross!
If possible, I would find a set of empty seats, sit in the aisle seat, and place my backpack on the window seat. There was a double discouragement that way to anyone who might consider sitting next to me. My backpack made the seat next to me look semi-reserved-ish, and the fact that I was in the aisle seat would make it so that anyone wanting to sit next to me would have to scoot past my legs (most unpleasant on the one or two occasions it happened, but it was rare enough that the potential risk was outweighed by the benefits of sitting alone). This strategy usually worked on the first leg of the bus ride. On the second leg it was impossible to get a seat by myself. I just had to locate the cleanest looking individual with an empty seat next to them.
The smell, the warmth, the people, and the general dirtiness were unbearable. I had to take a shower and throw my clothes in the washer as soon as I got off the bus, and I always took my shoes off before I came inside. I wore the same shoes on the bus every time, and at the end of the term I threw them away.
Everything I took on the bus was thereafter contaminated. My notebook and textbook were things I couldn't bring myself to touch at home. I read my assignments and notes on the bus, and I must have written my papers from my memories of the lectures and text, since I can't imagine referring to them at home. My backpack was a thing of indescribable filthiness that had to be put in one precise place so that the contamination was somewhat contained. I remember one time a member of my family set my backpack on a chair for some reason. I begged them to take it off, with such panicky insistence that I was very nearly yelling. Alarmed, they took it off immediately, but even so I almost burst into tears on the spot, and I wouldn't sit in that chair for weeks.
I survived that term somehow, but I think that's a prime example of making sure you don't bite off more than you can chew when tackling your OCD. It's been a few years since I took that class. Since then I have discovered the miracle of online classes, and I've only been on a bus once since that time, when I had no other choice. Most people would probably laugh if I called my bus experience traumatizing, but it was for me. The other day as I was walking with my family through the bus station to get to another destination, all my feelings of revulsion resurfaced. It was outdoors, nobody was near me, and I knew I didn't have to get on the bus, but I couldn't wait to get out of there.
I guess the point is: If you're going to tackle your OCD, yeah, you have to make yourself do hard things, but take it easy. As the old saying goes, if you set out to eat an elephant (which I always found kind of disgusting), do it one bite at a time. Don't try to swallow the elephant whole. As I can testify, you're more likely to choke yourself than get rid of the elephant, and you won't want to try it again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

You Talkin' To Me?

I don't know if this is common to people with OCD, but I have a really hard time with verbal communication. I've gotten better, but it used to be that even basic greetings and conversation starters caused difficulties. For example, I could handle “Hi,” and “How are you doing?” separately, but if someone stuck them together and greeted me with, “Hi, how are you doing?” I was stymied. Should I respond to the first part of the greeting, or the second? Was I supposed to respond to both? In what order? By the time my tangled tongue and baffled brain had recovered enough to form a semi-coherent response, the greeter was generally fifty feet away from me already, and my sentence usually stumbled into empty air.
To combat this challenge, I made a sort of mental list of common greetings in every conceivable variation, then devised and memorized an appropriate response for each one. That has definitely helped and I am now somewhat more comfortable speaking to people, but I still find that when anyone throws anything unusual or unexpected into the mix it throws me for a total loop.
Verbal humor, sarcasm, and innuendos are hard for me to pick up on too, unless I'm pretty familiar with the person speaking, in which case I rely on mannerisms and visual cues to tell me what kind of response is expected.
Probably the thing that's helped me the most with my communication block is writing. It sounds kind of counterintuitive, that working on nonverbal communication could help with verbal communication, but it has been beneficial to me. I think the key to it though, was that I had to be communicating with another person in writing.
It started as a brainchild of my mom's. There was some tension in our relationship because of my inability to communicate. She would sit down and try to talk with me, wanting to know how I was doing, if there was anything she could help me with, what I thought of this or that. Understandably, when her attempts were met with shrugs and mumbles, she got frustrated. It wasn't that I didn't want to talk to my mom: I did. I just couldn't figure out how, and it was a strain on both of us.
I had had a penchant for writing ever since I was a little girl, so one day, in a flash of inspiration, my mom suggested that we try to communicate through the written word rather than the spoken. So we bought a blank notebook and began writing to each other. It may seem strange, two people living in the same house writing letters to each other instead of talking, but it helped enormously. It's been several years since we started doing it, and recently we've found that we really don't need it anymore. We can talk to each other now. It's still harder for me than writing, but I am able to do it now, so I do. I guess that's what progress is all about, right?
Again, I don't know if verbal communication is a challenge for people with OCD in general, but if it's something you struggle with I would suggest trying to communicate with people in whatever way is easiest for you.
Another thing I've tried, which is very hard but it pays off, is to really make an effort to communicate with people verbally. You don't have to talk with them for hours (unless you want to go nuts), but introducing yourself to someone doesn't take much time, and can go a long way in convincing you that most people are not going to start laughing in your face as soon as you open your mouth.
When I know I'll be in a situation where I'll probably be expected to say something (a date, a meeting, a get-together, any kind of social function) I like to take some time to think about topics or questions that might come up and figure out some responses. I tend to rehearse mine in bed or in the shower. I might forget them otherwise. Though no one else may particularly notice or care that I was able to comment on the weather at the appropriate time, or that I could answer a question about my work in a complete and coherent sentence, it has been a confidence booster for me. And who knows? Maybe it can be for you, too.
Well, it's been nice talking to you!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Laugh It Off

The truth is, OCD is painful, heart-wrenching, even tragic at times. But let's face it. It's also kind of funny.
I mean, seriously. Going into spasms of panic every time someone goes to shake your hand? Breaking into a cold sweat as you realize that the number of words in that essay you just turned in isn't actually divisible by three? Dashing home during your lunch break to make sure that the doors really are locked and the stove really is off and the toaster really did get unplugged?
As hard as it is, try to think of it from a detached viewpoint. You'll find that the antics you go through every day are actually somewhat amusing.
One of the things that helps me cope with my OCD is just to laugh at it sometimes. Like almost anything else, OCD is multifaceted, and you can learn a lot by looking at it from a different angle.
As an example, here's an excerpt from a letter I wrote to my brother describing an OCD experience (names have been changed to protect the contaminated.)

During the third hour [of church] we were all crammed into one of the little rooms, which had only just been vacated by another group that had been crammed into it, so it was incredibly hot and stuffy. It was miserable. You know how with my OCD I freak out about germs and touching people and stuff? Well I ended up in the back row near the wall, squeezed between Mr. Hartman and a lady, both of whom kept coughing. Let's just say that there was some serious bubble invasion happening. :) After about half an hour of barely being able to breathe and being on the verge of hyperventilating, I saw a possible escape. On the row ahead of me, on the other side of the room, was an empty chair. It was at the end of the row, which meant I would only have people on one side of me, and there was a gap between it and the door, which meant that I would have a little bit of precious breathing space. The only problem was: how to get to the chair without anyone thinking that I had been mortally offended by Mr. Hartman and the lady sitting next to me, or that I had a major crush on Matt Elwood, who occupied the seat next to the one I was coveting.
Something had to be done.
Unable to stand it any longer I grabbed my things and made a mad dash for the door. Okay, so maybe it wasn't exactly a mad dash, but I went as quickly as I could while still waiting for everybody to get their legs out of the way for me. I went out into the hall on the pretense of getting a drink or something, and when I felt a sufficient amount of time had passed I went back into the room and snagged the chair by the door, trying to make it look like I just didn't want to go back to my old seat because I was afraid of disrupting the class. Mission Accomplished! That seat made the remaining half hour endurable, but I was so happy when the meeting was over. So you have a weird sister. Get used to it. :)

Okay, so it probably wouldn't win anything on America's Funniest Correspondence. The point is, in real life, as it was happening, this experience was rough. I was ready to jump out of my skin I was so tense. But instead of it remaining a terrible experience and leaving me scarred for life, I'm able to smile about it now. Why? Because in remembering and describing it I tried to recognize what was funny about the situation and my response to it.
You won't always be able to laugh about it, of course. It's serious stuff. But before all else fails and you're ready to dump your medication in the sink and throttle your therapist, try laughing a little at yourself. It's good medicine.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

ABC 123

I am a word nerd. I absolutely love words, which is kind of miraculous when I consider the trouble that words give me in day-to-day living.
For example, I have this compulsion where I have to count up the number of letters in a word and calculate what fraction of them are vowels. I have kind of a thing for the number three, so my favorite words, predictably, are those that contain nine letters (3 X 3) with 3 being vowels (3/9, 1/3, 0.333). Luckily I don't have to do this for every word or I would be in a mental institution, but my brain is constantly picking random words and performing these calculations on them, which can be a little intrusive when you're trying to listen to what people are saying while weighing the percentage of vowels and consonants in the words they're using. Let's just say I've been known to miss information because of that.
I didn't always have to calculate percentages. It used to be that I had to spell out the words in my mind (in white paint) and then erase them by pouring black paint over them. Thank goodness that stopped, because the black paint had a terrible tendency to miss parts of the words, so I had to mentally brush the black paint over those areas. Unfortunately they tended to either mix with the white paint and make patches of the paint gray, or the black paint would go on too thin and the words would show through. Try carrying on an intelligent conversation while cleaning up that many mental paint spills all the time.
Despite these inconveniences, there are words that give me great pleasure, perhaps even increased by my OCD. As I mentioned, I really like the number three. I like the fact that there is one part enclosed on both sides by two other parts. There's a beginning, a middle, and an end. It feels whole, complete, secure. I also like words that spell the same things forward and backward. (They're called palindromes, which really should be spelled the same forward and back, but whoever coined it obviously didn't have OCD). Words like racecar, kayak, eve, did, deified, and level bring joy to my soul.

Side note: As I'm typing this, my computer is telling me that racecar isn't a word. It's saying I should do race car or race-car. I don't think so.

I also like words such as bid, where the middle letter looks like it has the same view in both directions, like two b's or two d's are facing each other, rather than one b and one d. You know, they're like mirror images. It's not that I can't read words unless they're palindromes or mirror image words. It's just that words like that make me happy.
So, hey! Along with it's various pain-in-the-neck aspects, OCD actually increases my enjoyment of certain words. Who'd have thunk it?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I just discovered this site recently and I love it! It's basically a site of pictures of things that have been organized neatly. Some of them are a little busy for me, but I find a lot of them really relaxing. It's just so nice to see things laid out so nicely! If you want to check it out, here's the address:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Air: A Necessary Evil

Okay, let's talk about air.
I know it's necessary for survival, but have you ever wished that oxygen was not a critical element of our existence?
I've always had trouble with places where people are (and have you noticed that people tend to be in an awful lot of places?), not only because of the risk of someone touching me, but because I have to breathe the same air as everybody else. It's somewhat easier when I'm outside, since there's actually somewhere for the air to go, but in enclosed places the thought of sharing air makes me very edgy; and the smaller the space, the worse my anxiety.
I was watching an episode of the Obsessive Compulsive Detective the other day (I love that show: it's so refreshing to see somebody else acting like me!) and there was this scene where Adrian Monk (the detective with OCD) is in a doctor's office and starts holding his breath, because he's afraid of catching some disease. I started cracking up, not because it's really that funny, but because I actually do that. It's not so much that I'm afraid of getting sick, as that the thought of breathing in that particular air is absolutely revolting. So I'll breathe in through my nose (I have this idea that inhaling through your nose will admit less germs, dust, dirt, and general grossness than inhaling through your mouth; no idea if that's true, but that's the principle I operate off of), hold my breath for as long as I can, and then exhale. The thing is, I have this other idea that if I move my lips too much, or open my mouth at all, the germs will get in my mouth and I have to blow them out. So then I'm inhaling through my nose, holding my breath, and blowing out through my mouth, while trying to keep my mouth mostly closed so that nothing gets in. I have gotten the weirdest looks for doing that.
I thought I was doing it inconspicuously, until I got a few of those 'and-what-planetary-system-are-you-from' looks. Then I did it by myself in front of a mirror. Yeah, not that inconspicuous. Not that it matters. I keep doing it anyway.
Apparently most of the air we breathe is produced by little algae things in the ocean, so I'm thinking of buying a houseboat and living life on the waves, so I can get the freshest air in existence. Only problem is, I'm scared of water, too. Hmmm. Scared of air, dirt, and water. What planetary system am I from?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hugs, Handshakes, and Other Horrors

If you're anything like me, the very idea of physical contact with people sends you into a panic attack. A smiling individual approaching with outstretched hand is a vision of horror that always makes me shrink back in dread. I will go out of my way to avoid a handshake, ducking into conveniently placed doorways, artfully arranging whatever I'm carrying so that it somehow takes both hands to hold it, acting preoccupied, blind in one eye, and/or partially deaf as occasion requires, or suddenly remembering that I've forgotten something and fleeing the scene until the threatening handshaker has moved on to another victim. When I'm cornered and there is no escape, I have tried chanting under my breath, “Don't touch me. Don't touch me. Don't touch me.” This method has proved remarkably ineffective.
Knuckle bumps are not quite so traumatic, but I still don't see what's wrong with a friendly nod.
As terrible as handshakes are, hugs are infinitely worse. Depending on the person who decides they dislike me enough to embrace me, hugs may require a shower and a load of laundry to get rid of. At the very least, a change of clothes is required. I don't know the precise number of times I have stood frozen with somebody's arms around me, as I try to return the hug with equal enthusiasm and not scream, “STOP TOUCHING ME!” but I'm sure each embrace has taken time off my life.
As for kisses . . . don't get me started. Let me just say that whoever decided that wiping their mouth on somebody else's face was a good way of showing affection should be shot. (Calm down, I'm just kidding. I think.)
Unfortunately, much as I may wish it, it doesn't look like these social customs are going anywhere soon. In the meantime I suppose I'll just have to hang a sign around my neck saying, “DO NOT TOUCH,” and invest in some antiseptic wipes such as Adrian Monk is so fond of. At least they'll save me a trip to the nearest sink to wash my hands.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Check It Out . . . and again . . . and again . . . and again

One thing OCD makes me do is check, double-check, and recheck. And then do it again. I've heard that checking is a fairly common symptom of OCD. I don't know whether that's true or not, but I know it's certainly a part of mine.
I periodically check doors throughout the day to make sure they're locked . . . and dead-bolted. When I'm in the backyard I like to lock the front door (and vice versa) so that an intruder would have to come around to wherever I am to get in. (Why, I don't know. It's not like I actually want to meet a criminal.) Of course I also worry that the door will somehow get locked accidentally while I'm out there and I won't be able to get in. My family always teases me (good-naturedly) about one of my greatest fears being locked doors, and the other being unlocked doors. Welcome to the world of OCD!
I do the same type of thing at night, except that it's a little more extensive then. I have to make sure that the toaster is unplugged, the dishwasher is set, the doors are locked, the curtains are drawn, any knives, tools, or other potentially dangerous instruments are put away, and no one is hiding in the closet. When I get into bed I make sure I have a phone and flashlight on the shelf next to me, and I set and reset my alarm clock at least three times to make sure it really is set correctly. I used to open the window a crack too, to prevent suffocation, but my brother and bad weather managed to convince me that the amount of air in the house is more than sufficient to keep us alive through the night.
I think you get the idea, so I'll spare you any further details about my checking routines. Suffice it to say that I think the constant checking illustrates the fact that fear is a big part of OCD. I once read a children's book called The Liberation of Gabriel King by K. L. Going. Without going too much into the plot, it's about this boy who is scared of just about everything, and how he overcomes his fear. In the book, he and his best friend make a list of things they're scared of. Hers has ten things on it, his has thirty-eight. Some of the fears are serious, like death, and some not so much, like the rope swing, or falling into the toilet. The day after reading this book, I decided to make my own list of fears. Like Gabriel's, mine was quite lengthy. Also like Gabriel's, my fears ranged from things like losing one of my family members or getting in a car accident to things like—you got it—locked doors and unlocked doors.
It doesn't really matter how long your list of fears is, or what kinds of fears it contains, or whether you think the fears are legitimate or ridiculous. What does matter is that you do what Gabriel did, and try to overcome those fears.
Oh, a word of warning. It's great to try to overcome your fears, but go at your own pace. Start small. This is the voice of experience. I've tried the baby-steps method, where I try to overcome my fear of germs by deliberately touching a contaminated object and then waiting for progressively longer periods of time (like, two seconds, four seconds, six seconds) before washing my hands. I've also tried the crash-course method (literally) where I try to overcome my fear of getting in a car accident by getting in a wreck. (Note the omission of the word 'deliberately' in that last sentence). I'm not a therapist, but trust me when I tell you that you will get much better results with the baby-steps method. Not to mention that your insurance company will be eternally grateful.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


When I was about seventeen, I found out that I had OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
Okay, 'found out' is a little bit misleading. It makes it sound easy, like I just went to the doctor's one day and he checked my pulse and said, “Mmm, yes. It looks like you've got OCD.”
In fact, 'finding out' was anything but easy. It was a few years of struggling through bizarre behaviors, trying to figure out what made me do these weird things, wondering if there was something wrong with me, piecing together scraps of information about mental illnesses and disorders, etc. etc. etc.
But that's a story for another day. The point is, finding out was both a relief (“Whew, there is an explanation. I have a mental disorder”) and a blow (“Oh my gosh. I have a mental disorder! There really is something wrong with me”). Once I figured it out, or at least had a pretty good suspicion that that was what was going on, it became a lot easier to find information about it. But finding out about this disorder was very similar to finding out that I had it in the first place. The information was both relieving and depressing. On one hand, as I read the limited number of books on mental disorders that were available from our local library, I was comforted by the fact that there were other people out there with the same problem, and at first, that was where my focus was. “Yes! I'm not the only nutcase out there. I'm not even the worst nutcase out there!” But as I continued reading, I became increasingly alarmed by the ends of the OCD anecdotes. Because there really was no end. There were stories of marriages broken up, jobs lost, relationships ruined, and self-esteem destroyed, all by OCD. There was never a happy ending. Eventually, I stopped reading about it. As a matter of fact, I have not picked up a book about OCD since then.
It was a few years later that my family suggested I start a blog about OCD. I admit, I was hesitant at first. I'd written about it, but only in my journal. Putting personal feelings like that on the internet? I wasn't sure. But those books I'd read kept coming back to me. If there were other people out there with OCD, I didn't want them to have to learn about it from sad stories like that, all written by therapists who probably only saw those people when they came in crying. People with OCD ought to have a chance to learn about it from somebody who actually has it, and whoever tells them about it ought to tell them that, as tough as it is, it's not the end of the world.
So, while I'm not a therapist or a doctor, I do have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I can assure you that, OCD or no OCD, life goes on. And you know something else? Life is good. While the books I read portrayed this disorder (unintentionally, I'm sure) as a sad but true end to all things joyful, I live with it, and I know that OCD and a great time are not mutually exclusive. So if you have OCD, or if you know and love somebody with OCD, relax. It'll be okay. There will definitely be rough times, but I'm hoping that with this blog I can make it a little easier to deal with them. So whether you're able to learn from experiences I've had, or you just like to know that there's somebody else out there who's kind of like you, I'm glad you're along for the ride with me and my OCD.