OCD and Jury Duty

Are people with OCD exempt from jury duty?

‘Cause it’s pretty hard for me to be satisfied that anything is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

I feel for those people who are the one person who can’t decide when everyone else agrees on something. Man, I totally know how that feels — and it sucks. ‘Cause not only are you stressed out by your own doubt, but everyone else often hates you for it and thinks you’re just being a jerk.

I Don’t Have To

I don’t have to think about anything I don’t want to.

That may seem like a stupidly obvious statement for normal people, but for us with OCD, it’s a powerful realization. Our brains constantly try to make us think about things we’d rather not, not only that but often even things there’s no practical purpose in thinking about. Then of course, there’s the second powerful realization: not only don’t I have to think about things I don’t want to, but it’s OK if I do. So even though a thought may feel very strong and intrusive, I don’t necessarily have to take it at face value, and I’m free to have those thoughts and let them pass without feeling guilty about the thought. It’s normal for everyone to have bad or weird thoughts sometimes, but the average person does not dwell on them. Every single thought or feeling I have does not define me, and I need not attach a lot of importance to thoughts or feelings that were really meant to occur and then pass away rather quickly.

One thing I still struggle with is when I feel that my OCD or lack of social skills/experience are used against me. For example, if I’m told something like: “This is just your OCD” rather dismissively about something I doubt is actually my OCD, or “If you weren’t so sheltered you would understand/wouldn’t feel this or that way” or “You just can’t deal with people.” These are over-simplifying, inaccurate blanket statements which do not paint a clear picture of the issues at hand or of me. I am more than my problems, and if I have strong convictions about something, a lot of times that’s actually for a good reason and I deserve not to be dismissed just because I do have weaknesses which I openly admit. Admitting weaknesses is often equivalent to hanging a big target over your head that says “Blame everything on this” but it doesn’t have to be that way. We have to stand up for ourselves when we know we are right, even if others don’t understand. We also have to believe in ourselves even in the face of disorders because unfortunately, others will take advantage of us when we are weak.

Awareness Months

I have mixed feelings about awareness months. On one hand, I feel that it’s always good to spread awareness for those with disabilities and disorders. On the other hand, I feel that it’s always good to spread awareness for those with disabilities and disorders. Limiting it to one month means that there’s a time when some get singled out while others get excluded, and months which are back-to-back may end up competing with one another for attention. Also, setting aside specific months means that a lot of people just pretend to care and do a lot of superficial stuff for that one month but then don’t care the rest of the year, and didn’t really even care for that one month as it turns out but only wanted their “friends” to think so. So it’s all very complicated and confusing — but not as confusing as OCD, so it’s OK.

Made-Up Problems

Pinocchio

Find yourself thinking about problems that didn’t happen, might happen, or could happen if something else happens?

Don’t underestimate made-up problems. If you think about them enough, they become real. They become real if you let them. They’re like Pinocchio. At first it’s just this made-up wooden toy problem in your head that you just play with now and then, but then all of a sudden one day, you have a real boy human problem on your hands. Oh yes. This is what OCD does.

It’s OK to think about made-up problems, but don’t let them become a real boy.

TSA Month

Tourette's Syndrome Awareness: May 15 - June 15

What makes you tic?

For those of you who don’t know, it’s Tourette’s syndrome awareness month. For some reason it starts in the middle of May (I think it started yesterday) instead of at the beginning.

Normally I don’t get into things like this, but since teal is my favorite color, was my mom’s favorite color, and also happens to be “the” color for TSA, I thought I might get teal ribbons on my nails for TSA month. However:

1) Getting your nails done is expensive.

and

2) Doing your own nails is time-consuming and not easy with two toddlers running circles around you.

I’m thinking I might do it myself, but I wanted something that looks like a French manicure first, and I have no idea how to get started doing that. I’m scared to death I’ll be halfway in the middle of gluing the nails on the first hand when one of the kids knocks over a cup of water or falls face-first into a plate of spaghetti (a plate of spaghetti will no doubt spontaneously appear in situations like this). Also my experience is that doing my nails myself the paint chips away a LOT more quickly than it used to before I had kids (because I’m changing diapers and washing my hands many times a day). There’s also:

3) This will probably accomplish very little in spreading Tourette’s awareness, unless people ASK about the teal ribbons on my nails or I walk around TELLING everyone.

But you know. Excuses to wear teal, and all that!

OCD Chicken or Egg

Is the person with OCD more aware of uncertainty than others — meaning that if everyone had the realization that people with OCD have that uncertainty is everywhere in life, even where we least want it, that everyone would also have OCD?

Or is the person with OCD simply more bothered by uncertainty than others — meaning that everyone is pretty much aware of uncertainty abounding, but doesn’t let it bother them?

I ask because a lot of times people try to reassure me with “Oh, I’m sure that bad thing won’t happen” as if they really are sure, when I know they’re not. Obviously, I want this reassurance, but it never works because I know the person doesn’t know. So do people without OCD simply not know about uncertainty? Or do we have no way of knowing whether a person has OCD until they first definitely achieve awareness of uncertainty in even the worst cases?

Please smack me with a being-obsessive-about-my-OCD-blog sticker, right on my forehead.

Also, my tags are horribly disorganized. I know this. I totally know this.