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OCPD & Living Together

Hello hello - yes, I know, I skipped twice... oh. my. God.

By the way, I noticed how easier it was to skip yesterday, just because it had happened once. James Clear's comment on skipping twice being a way bigger deal than skipping once is #truth y'all... It just gets easier and easier to skip here onwards... Beware!!

But look at me, I'm backK!

I had a little bit of a meltdown Saturday - actually concerning exactly what I'm writing about today. AND Sunday, I was just chillin' in the mountains and got back super late.

So here it is, about OCPD... Post 15 of 21 of the #newhabitchallenge!

Here's an update on what it's like living with someone when you suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. I wrote a post about this in June 2019 and I thought it'd be interesting to see the progress a year later. I actually counted wrong last time, it had only been 2 years living together. Now, 3.

By the way, any kind of personality disorder is no black or white, on or off, you have it or you don't kind of thing. It's more like you sit on a spectrum, and it goes from super severe to super light. I don't consider myself (neither did my psychiatrist at the time) a severe case. I just know OCPD contributes to my anxiety.

What it is like after 3 years living together

Crying out loud, saying how you feel, not why

I still voice - or sometimes cry out - my concerns with tidiness but I've made it to the point that I bluntly say "I'm feeling overwhelmed because I cannot put order in the house and I'm freaking out." It helps to say it (or cry it). My partner doesn't really do anything different but he knows that it's causing me anxiety right here and now so he can better understand any hyper-sensitive reaction I may have. I do that when I'm hungry too but you know, no biggie. We've all been #hangry at some point in our lives, right?

I've also noticed that I am much more aware of when and where it comes from (not why) so I can sort of anticipate and calm myself, actually tell myself to wait it out. It happens in periods in my cycle - maybe some women will identify here - when I overthink a lot, and feel like I've lost my way. Then, I turn to the things I have control over, and spend my restless energy on them - so just to be clear, objects and items I own - checking, organizing, rethinking, reorganizing, making lists. It quiets my mind, gives me focus.

I guess you could say tidying up is beneficial in this case (and it is!!) but OCPD takes it another level, an obsessive level; when all you can think about is putting order and you cannot do anything else. When you cannot leave your home without the books on the shelves being aligned with the edge of the shelf, or when you cannot fall asleep because your boyfriend was the one who put the groceries away this time (that never happened, *wink*).

Anyways, being so aware of when I'm in a "wave of OCPD" helps with my relationship with my partner and with myself. I actually wrote a letter to myself for when I'm down, which I will gladly share in a next post!

Thinking together about how to make it better

Eh... We're still working on it. I think my other half has truly contributed to my OCPD becoming way more manageable, but just this Saturday, we had a discussion about this being in the way of our relationship dynamics.

It started off with him forgetting Saturday is our laundry day. I was sleeping and after I woke up late, I had to rush downstairs to the laundry room before our neighbor's turn. I was angry that I always had to think about these things and take responsibility for not only myself but him too. So we sat down and had a proper discussion. And what started as a pretty rough time for him turned out to be a wake-up call for me when he said: "I don't do things or put things away because I know that however I do it, you're going to change things around after to fit your standards, your own "little rulebook" on tidiness", which is code for "to fit your OCPD needs". I wasn't very happy to realize that behavior was putting up walls around him and preventing him from taking initiatives and responsibility around the house.

Putting some fun exercises in place and testing it out

A whole bit of anxiety is fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, fear of failing, etc. And what helps sometimes is to test your fear (not talking about jumping in front of driving cars, eh) like testing out the actual worst case scenario in our heads.

So, this week, I will not be doing anything around the house and see what happens! Who knows, maybe everything will still run properly! After all, we're a team - or aspire to be at least.

To close off, there is one thought that helps me a lot still: thinking about nature and how everything in nature has a cycle and always knows what is best. Sometimes it's good to let go.

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