Ideas and Musings

Mirror, Mirror (Or how I trigger my OCD)

I don’t like to label myself so instead of saying that “I HAVE OCD”, I’m going to say that I exhibit OCD-like behaviors. Upon occasion. Under certain circumstances. Sometimes without even thinking about it.

My OCD-like behavior is fairly mild. I watch the same movies or TV shows or I read the same books or listen to the same songs, over and over and over again. Hey, it’s not drugs. I’m not washing my hands every 5 minutes. My house isn’t nauseating spic and span. I’m not picking my pimples. It’s not that bad! But it is annoying. It takes up too much time to, yet again, watch the hyena episode of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Yesterday, I finally figured out what triggers this behavior. There I was, with Jessica and Emily, letting them take headshot pictures of me. They needed a model and I like to have my picture taken, go figure. It shouldn’t be that big a deal, heck I’d had other pictures taken in L.A. a week before!

There is this philosophy that says that self-esteem is the difference between who with think we are and who we actually are. If you think you are a good person and you actually are a good person, then your self-esteem involving the goodness of you as a person is high. But if you like to think you’re a good person but you tend to behave in selfish ways that hurt other people, then deep down, you know you’re not a good person. That difference pulls your self-esteem down.

So, you end up with a lot of parts of yourself that may or may not correspond to how you think about yourself. Add, subtract, use calculus, and other statistical formulas that I know nothing about, and you get your self-esteem. Most people have some areas that are high and others that are low and it all averages out to a reasonable level of self-esteem.

I figured out that my OCD-like behavior is triggered by events that question my assumptions about myself. Even though deep down, I think I’m finally being realistic about who I am, I still have a sense of questioning about the truth.

My motto used to be “I can do anything if I have enough provocation.” Oh, yes, I was going to do my own stunts! Charlise Theron does her own stunts! I show up at a kung fu audition, without being warmed up enough, and kick and chop my way through. I end up hurting myself but hey, I HELD MY OWN. Jeez…. I’m a lot more realistic now. Honest….

There are a couple of things that have been triggering me lately.

I believe that I’m a good person. I don’t try to hurt other people and I try to help, when I can and when I don’t think I’m just contributing to someone else’s psychosis. I end up getting triggered when my roommate starts yelling and blaming me for things that she’s done. Like somehow it’s my fault that she did them. It’s a damn pattern, but does my OCD monster understand that? No, I have to play Sudoku till I’m blind and listen to “I wouldn’t want to be like you” by the Alan Parson’s Project over and over.

I think I’m a slightly above average looking for a woman my age. I think, despite my feet and knee problems, that I’m aging fairly well. But when I get compliments, like Jessica and Emily gave me when they were taking my pictures, I get all triggered. Next thing you know, I’m at the Meridian 16, watching Star Trek for the 20th time. I really can’t wait for the DVD to come out. I love Star Trek, but I don’t need to watch it every other day!

It was after I’d bought my ticket yesterday that I realized what my trigger was. I’d looked at my watch and thought it was later than it was and I ended up having to wait an hour before it started. Had I known that I probably wouldn’t have gone, but once I had the ticket…. I bought my ticket, realized that I’d completely discounted the time, and that I’d done it all on auto-pilot. When I am confronted by ideas that go against how I think about myself I’m triggered. And this tells me that my thoughts of myself may still not be realistic. Or that I have some energy issue and don’t believe them.

So what questions do I have of myself?

* Am I a good person? What is a good person?
* Am I physically appealing?
* How intelligent am I?
* Am I a talented actor?
* Do I think like other people?
* Am I lovable?
* Am I healthy?

How do I answer these questions? Do I listen to what is said to me? Do I go by what my ego or my brain tells me? The answers change from day to day, sometimes from hour to hour.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what is the truth?

And how the hell does re-reading the Twilight series help?