Friday, March 30, 2012

A Decent OCD Day, But I Really Need to Get it Together

I am an intensely disorganized person. I cringe to think about all the time I have wasted in my life looking for items I've misplaced. But I've generally been pretty good about bus passes. For close to 15 years now, I've been fortunate enough to work at jobs that provide free annual bus passes. But boy, you sure don't want to lose that pass. And with the exception of the time that my backpack was stolen and I was the victim of ID theft, I never have lost a bus pass. Until now. It was destined to happen. I rarely take the bus these days, as I've been riding my bike a lot more. Without the need to find the pass everyday, sure enough, it's gone.

I can remember the last time I saw it, and I just KNOW I set it somewhere off to the side, but I have torn apart the room it should be in, and it's just not there. For two weeks I didn't worry about it, figured I'd find it soon enough. Last night, it became clear I wasn't going to find it, and OCD took over. Because unfortunately, my bus pass is also my work ID, with 24/7 access to our building. And the ID says what that building is.

So of course last night I became convinced that I'd actually dropped it somewhere, and the person who found it was plotting to break into the building this very weekend. And it would be ALL MY FAULT for not reporting it missing sooner. So of course last night I also became convinced that the security guy who replaces cards would be out today, or not respond to my email.

BUT, the good news: instead of staying up looking into the wee hours, or worrying, I made myself go to bed, and surprisingly, I slept fine. Then by the time I woke up, my worry had dropped from about an 8 to a 3. The security guy doesn't get in until 1:00 every day. I sent an email at 11:00 and then let it go. And by 1:29, my new badge was in my hand. Of course then I worried that if someone had found the badge, I would somehow get ID thefted or stalked. The badge only has my name on it, though, so there's not much to be done with it, especially now that it doesn't open anything. They can ride the bus until August, though.

In any case, even that fear only lasted about 15 minutes, and didn't distract me from my work. All in all, I was pretty happy with my approach and how it worked. BUT, I was also really really clearly reminded that I need to get more organized and focused. My house is a mess, my brain is scattered, and my willpower regarding all kinds of things is just rotten these days. I just read an article that stated that willpower can be improved by practice, like building up a muscle. I need to try that. Things need to improve around here.


  1. You wrote a great walk-through of an OCD panic and how you guided yourself through it! I am currently taking an online organization class for artists because of feeling overwhelmed by all the piles of stuff in my house.

  2. Oh, my, this post hit home for me. I am so disorganized. If I had a nickel for every minute I've spent looking for things, I'd be richer than the lottery winners. Ugh!

    I'm glad you found you ID/pass. And good for you for not giving into the anxiety so much you couldn't function. You handled it very well!

    I'm working on improving my focus too. If you learn anything else about improving it, please let me know! :-)

  3. Oh, that is exactly the kind of thing I worry about. While reading this my heart just ached for you and the anxiety you surely must have been experiencing. I'm so glad you got through it though. It's funny, we always think things are going to end up so terribly, and lots of times they turn out just fine. Go figure.