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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Meditation and OCD

I have been reading today about blogging, trying to learn to how to make this blog all it can be. And the result? I don’t know much more than I did yesterday.
“Write what you know.”
“Write about what you love.”
“Keep the blogs rolling out on a regular basis.”
Okay, so write what I know, what I love, and on a regular basis. Got it. But I think I knew that when I started this endeavor.
But I know so many things. Not to sound conceited or egotistical, but I know a lot about a lot of things. But this isn’t the “how-to” type of blog. This is just my thoughts and my observations on the world around me. And while it may seem like it at times, this isn’t even a blog about music. In fact, today, I’m going to write very little about music. 
I heard something yesterday that made so much sense it hurt. It made sense on so many levels…
“Meditation is anything that allows you to lose track of time.”
Punch me in the gut. Seriously. That makes so much sense.
I now have a new observation and possibly a greater understanding concerning my obsession with music, as well as many other areas of my personality that run amuck.
I am OCD. No, I don’t spend five hours washing my hands (even though I get that, I’m just not that tolerant of time). I am randomly OCD.
I count. It keeps me centered, and keeps me moving forward in what I need to do. In the morning, I count backwards as I complete tasks to know how much more I have to do. I have four to six steps in the shower, and anywhere from seven to twelve steps of after-shower duties, depending on the amount of shirts, if I’m doing my hair or just running my fingers through it, etc. Plus two steps for socks and shoes. And one for the coat (if necessary) and one more for putting chapstick and cell phone in my pocket. So, in the morning, I count my tasks backwards anywhere from fifteen to twenty-two down to one and I’m ready to walk out the door.
I also count when I am nervous or bored. It keeps my mind moving and settles my restless stomach. I have done this as long as I can remember. Once, I sat in the backseat of my mom’s station wagon on a trip to the store and started counting. I remember feeling at complete ease until I couldn’t figure out what came after 750. So I started back at one.
One other thing about counting. I like things to be even. If I chew five times on the left side of my mouth, I must chew five times on the right. If I touch something with my left ring finger, I must touch it with my right ring finger. I crack my knuckles, and it is necessary to pop as many on the right side of my body as pops on the left.  But here's the really weird thing.  As much as things need to be even, I like odd numbers.  The radio (or television) volume has to be on an odd number.  And there is no reason why.
I don’t like germs. I really, really don’t like germs. I am obsessed with hand sanitizer. I don’t know that it really works, but it feels comforting. I always wash my hands after going to the bathroom. Always. And sometimes before. I do not touch door handles. That’s just gross. Oh, and I have to shower before I leave the house, even if I’m going to the gym.
While we’re on this, I might as well tell you I’m weird about eating. I like all my food to be separated. I don’t like any of it to touch. I don’t eat things together that don’t seem to go together. And we have already covered my chewing thing.
So, all these behaviors (and many more) soothe me. And most help me pass the time in a way that feels sane. Meditation is not always “om" with legs Indian style and palms up. My mind races and my thoughts are out of control. So I count, or listen to music or wash my hands.
This feels nice. This sentence has made me feel somewhat normal in between my ears. The trance set forth in chaos by a few simple behaviors is truly listening to the god of my understanding and ease my nervous anxiety.

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