Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

But I Wouldn't Look Good In An Orange Jumpsuit!

A souvenir from our trip to D.C.
One of the more bizarre and troublesome obsessions I am plagued with is the thought that I will be falsely accused of a crime and be sent to jail. I have spoken with enough of my fellow OCD sufferers to know that I am not the only one to worry about this. The strange thing about this obsession is that there is absolutely no rational basis for it. I have not committed any crimes, nor have I been falsely accused of any crimes. There is literally no reason that I should be concerned about this. Perhaps I have watched too many television movies?

A few days ago, I visited a jewelry store. I have a hard time visiting jewelry stores by virtue of the fact that all of their products are extremely expensive. I feel like I need to walk around the store with an “innocent” look on my face, just so the staff doesn’t falsely suspect me of anything. I’m not really sure what an “innocent” look is, but I try to wear it! The day after my visit, I was mortified to read in the news that there was a robbery at that same store, roughly forty-five minutes after I had been there. My first thought was, “Oh, no, what if they think I did it?” My next thought was, “Oh no, maybe I did it and I don’t even remember doing it!” I had to take a minute to carefully think through my visit to the store to reassure myself that I did not accidentally rob them. (This “thinking things through” is, of course, a compulsion.) The crazy thing is that deep down, I knew I did not rob them. And yet . . .

Some time back, I was in the mall with a relative. I quickly popped into a store to check a price on an item. I was in and out of the store in literally 10 seconds. I then got the obsessive thought that the staff would think this was weird, and that they would assume I stole something. I was also worried that maybe I did accidentally take the product out of the store with me. I had to ask my relative (this too is a compulsion) if I had taken anything out of the store. Of course, their answer was, “No!” Again, I sort of knew that I hadn’t stolen from the store, but I just couldn’t trust my memory or my senses. The fact that I wasn’t holding the merchandise should have been confirmation that I didn’t take it, but . . .

On and on it goes. Sometimes, the local police will release a still picture of a criminal in the act of stealing something from a store. I always look at these pictures, just to make sure it is not me. I know there is no possible way it could be me, but something in my head always taunts, “You never know, it could be you. Maybe you were at that store. Maybe they think you took something.” So I give in to the compulsion to check. Sigh.

Ah, just another convoluted journey through the OCD mind maze.

8 comments:

  1. Sunny, I had to laugh as I read this. This is so me! I, too, try to act and look "innocent" in a store so I won't be suspected of shoplifting. It is so bizarre. I have never shoplifted and wouldn't think of doing it. But there's that fear . . .

    I think I've gotten a little worse at worrying about committing a crime since I started covering court for my newspaper job. I imagine how horrible it would be if anyone even thought I committed a crime.

    Even tonight, in the grocery store, I was walking all over the store and stopping and going back to relook at something--and I thought if I was being watched on the surveillance camera, they might think I was trying to steal something.

    You're right--we know we haven't committed the crime, but there's that doubt. And a lot of my problem is the fear that someone will even think I've done a crime. Crazy, crazy OCD . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you about the job, Tina! I worked as a legal secretary for many years and I have to say that job did not help my anxiety one bit. In fact, it really made me feel kind of paranoid about all kinds of stuff.

      Surveillance cameras make me feel funny too. I always worry that whoever is watching will misinterpret whatever I'm doing as I shop.

      It's really strange. As I think these irrational thoughts they seem real. When I put them down on paper (or blog as the case may be) they seem completely and utterly crazy. I still have a hard time accepting that I have a mental illness. However, when I re-read blog posts like this, it's difficult to deny that fact.

      Just like you said, crazy, crazy OCD. I guess they call it the Doubting Disease for a reason. It just really bugs me though when I even doubt whether I was somewhere or whether I did/didn't do something.

      Delete
  2. Let me reassure you Sunny (& Tina), a few years ago on a whim, I picked up a retail position to help out for a few months during Christmas. I knew shoplifting occurred of course, but I was SHOCKED at how much and how crafty these people are. They would CUT THE LEGS of jeans where the security sensors were so we had to start putting sensors by the waistband. I don't think these people are worrying whether they shop lifted or not, they just do it with no conscience what so ever. If they worry at all, it is about getting away with it. My personal observation is that people with OCD are usually overconscientious and super responsible so we would NEVER do that. I know that my saying that doesn't help your OCD in doing that any more than me knowing that if I touch my wash machine it really won't make me filthy dirty..but it was just funny cause I was thinking as I was reading this, that from what I know about you Sunny (& Tina too) you would be the last people I would expect to hear had robbed a jewelry store.
    So I trust you for what that is worth. lol
    I would not look good in orange either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Krystal Lynn. Thanks for the vote of confidence! ha ha ha

      I actually have no fear that I would purposely shoplift. I've never had any desire to do so, plus, of course, it's a sin, so it's not something I would ever do. What I worry about is that someone would THINK I've done it. I also worry that I might absentmindedly walk out of a store with something in my hand and then how would I explain that away? Sometimes I really get sick of OCD. I get tired of feeling like a bad person, even when I haven't actually done something wrong.

      Delete
  3. Sunny, I had to laugh at your "looking innocent" comment. That's the non-sensical notion of OCD - what in the HECK does "innocent" even look like?????? For me, I'm obsessed with not looking like a lesbian. But what does a lesbian look like exactly? Sure there are stereo types, but many lesbians don't fall into those categories. For me this was a double edged sword, because it would always be reassuring to me that I'm not someone who looks like a stereo typical lesbian. Now that I've started to let that compulsion (reassurance) go, it's scary. It amps up the anxiety - takes away the safety. It's just to illogical though! That somehow even dressing feminine would "prevent" me from being gay!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey POC! By the way, I've been meaning to tell you that I'm of French-Canadian heritage. In fact, my first language was French. Then I had to learn English when I went to school and I'm very, very sad to say that I forgot all my French!!! Bummer. I still have tons of relatives in the Montreal area. We love to visit Canada, though it's been several years. Last time we visited, we went to Vancouver. Wow. What a great city! Stunningly beautiful.

      Anyway, . . ."non-sensical." That is a GREAT description. You know, the funniest thing is that most people aren't even really looking at us. They're so busy and in their own little world that we probably don't register much on their radar. It IS so hard to let go of reassurance. Good for you for fighting that.

      I just thought of something else. I remember reading once that often times shoplifters tend to yawn a lot as a nervous habit, and that store security personnel are trained to recognize that. So of course, what do you think I feel like doing in a store a lot of the time? And what do you think I try really hard not to do? ha ha ha Yep, non-sensical!

      Delete
  4. Yes, yes, yes! A million times YES! This exactly the way my brain works for my obsessions. Strangely, this post has provided clarity that I have been searching for for a LONG time. Thanks Monique!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I'm so glad you found this helpful! There is just something about hearing that someone else thinks the same way. I remember the first time I read that someone else struggled with Hit & Run OCD. Until that point, I literally thought I was the only person in the world who had that. It was amazing to learn I was not alone. Glad you stopped by!

      Delete