Here’s another example of checking OCD and the harm obsessions that drive it:
It couldn’t have gone far. I had heard it lightly thump the carpet when it hit the floor. Yet, I couldn’t find it.
I was looking for my ring. On my way to the bedroom to put it in the jewelry box before I washed dishes, I was pulling it off my finger as I walked through the living room. That’s when I dropped it and it hit the floor.
That’s why I was crawling around on all fours, running my hands over the carpet, searching for my ring by sight and touch.
I finally found my ring.
I also found two small pieces of dried grass or a part of a weed. And a few pieces of lint.
I couldn’t help but laugh at myself as I sat there on the floor. Just that day I had vowed to “stop looking down so much.”
It seems like whenever I look down at the carpet or floor, I see such things: pieces of grass or a pine needle from outside, dragged in on a shoe, or pieces of lint from blankets or clothes.
Sometimes I’m able to overlook such finds. But lately it’s harder for me not to pick up every piece of foreign matter I see—or think I see. Sometimes I pull up only carpet fibers when I reach for what I think is a piece of lint.
|Is the white spot in the middle a piece of lint or a part of the carpet? Turned out it was part of the carpet.|
Last year I wrote a post called OCD: Picking up sticks, where I described my old rituals of checking for harmful objects outdoors.
What I’m doing now is only at home and only inside.
But the obsession is the same: I’m afraid that harm is going to come to another. I’m afraid, in this case, that I’m going to leave something on the floor that one of the cats will eat and be harmed by it.
Vacuuming cuts down on the amount of lint and other debris on the floor, of course, but something is always left behind. And it might be harmful. Or so goes my thinking.
I never seem to be “all done” with checking OCD. I get rid of one ritual, only to have another take its place.
It’s frustrating, but it’s part of having OCD. I have to continue taking on the rituals as they come. I can’t give up because one ritual is particularly difficult to deal with.
I could pick up stuff all day long. But I have other things to do with my time and energy, as we all do.
And I no longer want to be captive to this checking ritual.
So I am trying to stop looking down so much. I’m trying to keep my feet moving and my eyes facing forward as much as possible (I don’t want to fall on my face!).
And if I do see something that I want to pick up, I’m trying to avoid reaching down and checking it.
I’m not always successful. But with practice, I hope to get rid of this checking ritual.
Do you ever want to be “all done” with self-improvement? How do you keep up your motivation to become a better person?