Sunday, April 22, 2012

Everything Must Go According to Plan

I've long known that I deal terribly with changes to routine, or times when the process in doing something isn't what I expect it to be. Today I had an incident that brought that into focus.

I bought my dad an online gift subscription to a sports league's radio broadcasts. I tried it out on my end and it all worked fine. But my dad is both really really bad with technology and he has an older computer. So it didn't work the same on his end. He called and I tried to walk him through it by phone. I THINK in the end it worked. But I'm not sure. And it took maybe 45 minutes. And involved trying to download new browsers, and both of us feeling frustrated. Great gift, Ann!

In the end, it will be a great gift. But today, I sat on my couch and cried. I'm not even sure why. Because I wanted to have done a "slam dunk" good thing for my dad (no pun there- not basketball this time)? Because I'm afraid we broke his computer? I don't even know. I guess it was just the unexpected aspect. That it didn't all go according to plan. I even found myself walking again through how easy it was on my computer. That's a compulsion for sure. So now I guess I will sit and accept the thought that I've done wrong, that my dad is bummed, that his computer will somehow get a virus because of all this.

Plus I can't get my bathtub to unclog. Grrrr.


  1. Ugh, bad day. Sorry. I'd like to say that you still gave a great gift, etc., but I know that will just be reassurance, so I won't go there.

    You're definitely doing the right stuff. Sitting with the bad thoughts and doing nothing about them. And THAT is the hardest thing to do out of anything, in my humble opinion. You always, always inspire me to fight compulsions. In fact, you were the first OCD blog that I read about a year ago. I read from your first post all the way to the current one (from last year). You inspire and you motivate, simply because you are not afraid of tackling the tough stuff. Hang in there. You are doing good things, both for yourself and for the rest of us.

  2. I had a day similar to that!!! Just feeling like I want to cry because I have so much to do, but really - there's nothing wrong, but I still want to cry!!! Probably a control thing. I also know I feel similarly when things don't go according to plan...but the irony is that I HATE to be bored so I hate when everything is predictable too.

  3. Ann, I have to say it, even though it may be reassurance--you did the best you could to pick out a great gift for your dad, and you said it will be a great gift in the end. We can't control what happens once we give a gift.

    Maybe some of your anxiety comes from the frustration of trying to walk someone else through a computer process over the phone. That's not easy for anyone! You're sitting with the thoughts now, and you will get through this!

  4. ...and when it rains it pours, right? - I am thinking of the bathtub drain. Sometimes I can take one crisis and it is the 2nd one that just pushes me over the edge. I hope by the time you read this, you will be feeling better.

  5. I so so so so totally know what you mean!!! Because this is not a contamination or clean issue for me, I've decided to tackle this one big time recently. Imperfections, things not going as I plan them in my mind, can be an epic, tear-filled disaster for me. So I did something insane and started deliberately doing things "wrong". Specific order I need to clean in? Do something out of order. Specific place I need to do my nails? Go somewhere else. What shocked me was how quickly my mind accepted it...but also how easily I can fall right back into that trap! It takes only ONE thing for me to "need" to do it or have it a certain way all over again, and a couple to a few times of doing things out of sequence or accepting something not done as-planned. Wishing you luck on this!

    And just so you know, if my daughter did for me what you did for your dad, I would appreciate her efforts and kindness very much more than the gift itself - as I am sure your dad does of you. Ocd holds us to much higher standards of perfection than can be expected of any human being. It beats you up enough, don't be an echo. You're an awesome daughter!

  6. Hang in there Ann, you're doing well just sitting with those thoughts. *hugs*