I don't wash my hands all the time or need to check the stove, but I need certain things "just so." If they aren't, I feel off-kilter and get thrown off. Here are some examples:
- I stand in the same spot to catch the train. I can be "off" by a few inches but more than that and I'll glare at whomever is in MY space. Don't they know! I get priority, I'm there every day! I think it is normal to have a general habit of getting on in a given area, but I think I take that farther.
- I must leave the apartment for work at a specific time. This is WAY before I really need to leave in order to catch my shuttle. I tell myself that. I remind myself I'll be waiting and often cold. But I still go. And then get annoyed waiting.
- I check my alarm's time every night...even though I never change the time on the "alarm 1" setting. I also check the volume. And that it is on a station, not in between. Which is especially odd since I generally have it on "buzzer" not "radio."
- I need the Windows bar with my open items to be in the right order. Most importantly, Outlook MUST be first. If I accidentally close it, I need to close everything else and then reopen them in the proper order. The other day, it got messed up ten minutes before I was going to leave. I still "had" to fix it.
- I review my morning websites in a specific order. I've accidentally pulled up a site that's later in the series. I close it and go back to it later. At its proper time.
- When I can (i.e. at home/work vs. movies), I line up my M&Ms (usually PB flavor) by color. I eat them to "even them out" and get to the same amount of each colors. Then I eat "across" so it stays even. This is more fair to the M&Ms. I'll also put the bigger ones at the "top" of their rows. They get saved for last b/c they are the yummiest.
I know I don't have real OCD. And that it isn't even comparable. But I think a lot about my need for routine. I think it is about control. Maybe because I lacked a lot of control over my world as a kid (more than normal). Or because I feel like there are so many elements in my life that are out of my hands so I want to take power of those that are.
It would be nice though if it manifested in more useful ways. My apartment would look neater at least!