Thursday, February 23, 2012


It's no surprise to me that discomfort with uncertainty underlies a lot of my compulsions. While doing a compulsion doesn't actually increase the certainty that nothing bad will happen, my brain is trained to think that it helps in some way. At the end of my workday today, after the boss and coworkers were gone, I thought I discovered a tricky to fix error in one of our spreadsheets. Oh, how I stewed. I came home and basically wrote the evening off to my sense of dread.

I knew that tomorrow some sort of decision about what to do would be reached, but until that happened, I'd think and think and think. Then I went online (I know, bad!!!) but in this case, good news! I discovered that I'd misread the regulations, and we didn't have a problem after all. Disaster averted! Evening saved!

But it also made me realize that I remain terribly terrible at moving on when there's uncertainty in my life. I knew my boss could help me fix it (had it needed fixing) but I didn't know the HOW of how it would happen, and I felt like I couldn't STAND it.

This OCD stuff is hard.


  1. Oh! I definitely had those kinds of days working as a standardized test coordinator for a school of over 850 students. Everything had to be so precise, which I was good at, but throw one thing of and out came the OCD. It really is a tough thing!

  2. Uncertainty is my middle name, I think! It's soooo hard for me to tolerate it. I do the same kind of thing--I think and dread something even when I can't do anything about it right then.

  3. YES! YES! YES! I can completely relate. I can't stand uncertainty in any area of my life! I can totally relate to this scenario. So - funny how we can say that we have "HOCD" or "contamination OCD", but really what we have is a general, overall, complete in tolerance of uncertainty.

  4. I can relate to this post, even though I don't have OCD.....when I get stuck in that worry about uncertainty, I remind myself of how much time I've lost in the past worrying about things when I could have been doing something enjoyable, or at least not stressful. Again, I don't have OCD, and it's probably easier for me to refocus, but I still find it interesting how we all have these same feelings...