Hi guys! Welcome back!
Last post, I introduced OCPD through my personal experience. I talked about being an anxious baby, and probably inheriting trans-generational anxiety. Anxiety is perfect ground for OCPD, which I developed partly because of my genetic code and partly as a reaction to an authoritarian parenting style.
I then talked about being a sister to three younger siblings, and a little pushed away. It’s not that I didn’t like to share; it’s that it felt invasive and shook me deep, somewhere in my need for security and self-expression.
Photo by Maarten Deckers on Unsplash
Learning journey: discovering OCPD
When I was in boarding school, I realized that I couldn’t really do anything if my room wasn’t perfectly in place. No homework, no studying. When I was in college, working in groups was hard. I lacked flexibility, showing an unreasonable degree of perfectionism that would eventually interfere with others completing their tasks. I’d often end up doing the work myself alone; or letting go of the project altogether.
Preparing for adult life presented a few big challenges. So I started seeing a psychologist, and discovered myself to suffer from anxiety.
I remember realizing I had an issue when my psychologist asked if I’d sometimes go back to my closet to fix up the alignment of my clothes even if it’d make me late. I did actually like to check things one last time before going out. I’ve always valued punctuality so I’d make that a priority but I did sometimes delay my departure to check again that things were in their place, aligned and straight.
Don’t confuse OCPD with OCD. I never felt that I was putting my life or others’ lives in danger by not checking. My anxiety was about losing control, and not being able to have my space of expression and freedom. It still is today, sometimes.
Learning journey: working a job with OCPD
After graduating college, I moved into a small one-bedroom apartment — yay for my OCPDing! Or so I thought… But working at an international firm with very strict objectives, I was overworked and exhausted, I didn’t have much time to OCPD around.
I started feeling very down, lacking motivation to do anything. I couldn’t function properly. I eventually started taking sick leaves to resolve to excessive cleaning and tidying up; very much like a party-addict would take a sick leave after a week night out (some in the office did that too). I was happy because I could function again, and work to the best of my abilities. However, I grew up quite a bit and realized that I was who I was, and I had to accept that.
I realized there is a life to live for every type of person, for every ambition. I quit my job and worked on a few short-term missions, until I found my place.
It was just when I started settling down that I was faced with a new very big challenge — moving in with my other half.
Can you identify? Do you want to talk about it? Write to me!
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