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OCD As Easy As 123….4567

Ok so I thought maybe I would write a little something about my ‘OCD’. For some, they may be able to relate, some may get a laugh from it and some might just think I’m weird, but either way I’m going to talk about it.

Firstly I have to mention I have recently been reading Jon Richardson’s book ‘Its Not Me It’s You’ (all be it only 60 pages in at this point) who is basically a self confessed perfectionist with a huge amount of OCD traits. He makes a very good point which I would like to adopt, that he has never had, nor sought a medical diagnosis for OCD and so would not label himself as someone who has it, despite the fact he clearly does. So I am going to put myself in the same category!!

I suppose I should explain a few of my traits and then perhaps go on to talk about how I am getting on with them while travelling and my attempts to alleviate myself of this cursed obsession. Imagine almost everything you do in your day to day life being done in an ordered fashion, take for a common example locking a door (which I will use as my prime example throughout this), easy you might think. Now imagine that once you have locked the door you then need to stand there and pull and push the door (and turn the handle if there is one) to make sure it is locked, now imagine that the number of times you push or turn has to be counted and further more you have selected allocated numbers you are allowed to count to in order to be satisfied, now imagine even when you reach this number you haven’t managed to do it to your satisfaction, now imagine doing it again to your satisfaction but you are still not convinced the door is locked and so you do it all again, now imagine once you finally walk away you find yourself 20 meters from the door wondering if you have locked it properly…………mental isn’t it!!!!! But it’s ooohhh so fun!

That, I have to admit, is probably one of my more annoying and intense imperfections, the rest are small, almost insignificant to anyone that is with me, such as lining my beer up perfectly in between two lines on a table (oh what a great game it is for my friends to constantly move my beer), or staring at a cash machine long after I have my card and money back, just in case something strange happens and I haven’t actually taken my card back. Hygiene is something that plays a part in this too, if you drink from my bottle I will probably stare at it for a while think of a course of action and then wipe the top when you aren’t looking, even though I always wipe it from the start of receiving it anyway….and this won’t matter as I will still be thinking about back wash, it doesn’t really matter to me as far as I’m concerned my bottle has been compromised and don’t even think of putting a coin in there because that beer is dead to me. Further to this, before (or after) rubbing my eye or handling anything which is about to go in my mouth I will wonder if I have touched anything which could cause me to get a deadly disease or virus and so will spend time thinking of whether this is possible and then begrudgingly go ahead and do it if I have too or go and wash my hand if I can get away with it.

To be honest as I am writing this I am starting to think I am being a little too honest about all this and surely no good can come from this. Even though I do all these things, I think no one ever really notices, as most of the stuff is going on in my head and it’s only my visible actions such as the locking of doors and checking everything is turned off that has any real effect on people as I hold them up in their day to day lives.

I could go on with lots more traits, but what is above is enough to give you an understanding (or an inclining to disregard me). There are things in my personality that would seem to be somewhat of a tangent from the obsessions, such as my lack of care for mess. I can quite happily just chuck my stuff on the floor and leave it there for weeks, I’m pretty sure I could have riffled through a mass of work papers on my floor and find something from months before buried at the bottom. There really is no exact science to why something needs to be ordered and checked and why others don’t. There are really only two things I am sure of when it comes to my habits 1) If I wasn’t the last to touch it e.g. a tap, then it was the responsibility of the last person to have turned it off, and any short coming from this would be their fault, 2) Alcohol completely wipes all of these traits out…….the more alcohol the more they disappear……but surely I can’t just spend my life drunk……can I??? If anything, this shows that all this is just some weird over thinking device in my head and in fact I am not really this person (not that i let it define me as a person, there is far more to me than this shitty little hang up), if alcohol can extinguish it then so I can I……I’ve managed to eradicate parts of it before, but then there is this fear that I will become one of those liabilities who’s friends have to run around sorting shit out after them!!!!

At this point it may be useful to mention mine and Ian’s relationship. He is literally someone like me’s worst nightmare, we should be like fire and water or chalk and cheese, and with regards to these matters we are, but somehow it works. He is an overly laid back, carefree person who seems to live to the ethos that ‘if it happens it happens’, where as I work more on the side of preventing unnecessary bad things happening. Maybe it works because I am there to safe guard us both and in a way look after him and in return he teaches me to be more laid back and less anxious. Despite this massive difference the rest of our personalities are so in tune that our pre mentioned differences pail an insignificant compared to our mutual passions, our drive for humour, having fun and taking the piss out of everything is probably our greatest attribute and with that everything else is swept under the rug…..until he pisses me off with some stupid laxidazy approach to something!!!!

As I have a limited amount of possessions to worry about whilst travelling I was hoping that perhaps I could alleviate some of these, perhaps I wouldn’t care so much if the door wasn’t locked as there could be no repercussions, wrong. It just means what I do have has just become even more precious, I lose my bank card and passport I’m screwed, so my options are carry them with me and worry about them all day or leave them in the room and worry about the door being locked and do my ‘routine’ for the first 20 mins……the choice is easy. Cleanliness was actually something I was doing pretty well at in the start as I was in Bangkok, it’s dirty to say the least, and our first hostel had rats!!! Somehow over time it has slowly crept in and I find myself constantly applying hand santisers and spraying cuts with antiseptic ALL the time. But perhaps this is just good practice!?

Beers are still being lined up neatly on the table, money is still being put in sequential order and rolled up neatly in my pocket, lights are still being checked, most actions are still being counted to numbers that are of my approval (trust me you do not want me to go into detail as to what numbers they are or why they have been chosen, only a few people know this), food on my plate is still being neatly cut into corresponding segments allowing for the perfect final mouthful consisting of a little bit of everything on the plate and things taken off the shelf in a shop are never from the front in case someone has touched them!!!!! Progress needs to be made!

One gripe I must point out, which I don’t think is really related, is I have a little thing about personal space. If you are invited in, that’s fine, if I know you and you’re not invited in, it’s probably ok, if I don’t know you and you touch my arm…….I don’t like it…….so stop touching my arm tuk tuk driver, it’s weird! Ok so that one is still fresh as it only happened an hour ago, but seriously, who goes around touching peoples arms!!!! Well to be honest….probably me when I’ve had a drink……but that’s ok then!

I could rant all day, have a moan and continue to list things I do which annoy me far more than they annoy those around me (trust me) but I’ll leave it there for now. What I am going to do however is make a very conscious effort to remedy these to the point where I feel a positive step forward has been made and a more relaxed, less neurotic lifestyle can be achieved. If I haven’t scared you off the website by now I’ll be sure to give an update on any progression.


Love Scotty

Any questions or feedback can be directed to the comments section below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.  :-D

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About Scotty

Neurotically moaning my way around the world I aim to experience as much as I can and escape traditional British living. Travelling with my best friend Thomo (I hate him really), I hope to share my experiences with you, while constantly ripping on Ian and belittling myself. Should make for some fun times. (Circa 2012)Now older, fatter & somewhat wiser, I find myself sucked back into the 9-5 grind. With new responsibilities, but a never dwindling love for travel, I strive to regain the life I wanted, with my son and partner in toe...........is it possible to get the prefect mix? We shall see. (April 2017)

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  1. # TV volume has to be an even number, can’t just leave the TV volume on 11… but 15 25, 35 etc if allowed!! Don’t ask me how it works it just has to be!!

    # food can’t be touching on my plate, if i have a curry the rice has to be on the side so i can mix a bit at a time and bean juice can NOT leak on to the jacket spud!

    # I can’t stop a song half way through, I HAVE to listen to the end and get almost annoyed if for any reason I do have to stop it and i do go to extreme measures to avoid this happening, like waiting around outside work until the song finishes and end up late!!!

    No one other than me really knows this! The few that do find it highly amusing tormenting me with TV volumes!!!! Bastard friends!!! That’s just a few that spring to mind that id thought I’d share so u know you’re not alone…. Although the lock thing…well that’s just weird, surprised you have any friends!!!

    Anyways I digress…. How u finding phi phi! Seen any turtles yet? Question for you… Rabies jab, do I bother or not? How likely is it that I’ll get mauled by a rabid Thailand cat?!?

    Thanks in advance for your well researched and comprehensive response to my queries.

    Many thanks

    She who shall remain nameless

  2. Don’t worry your identity is safe with me Batman.

    Good to hear you are just a mental as me. I like the volume thing and the plate thing are so good! You will love it out here as the rice and other food are brought out on separate plates so you can mix it to your hearts content 🙂 I have an awesome one i do with magpies……but i’ll save that for when we catch up in Oz, it’s far to crazy for the website!!! Good thing is there are no Magpies out here…..such a relief.

    Loving Phi Phi, you will have a great time here. I’ve done some research on all your previous questions with regards to diving, so i will do a response to that post when i get the chance.

    with regards to Rabies, it’s totally your call. I got them but Ian didn’t and if i’m totally honest i’m not sure it is really worth it. It doesn’t stop you getting Rabies it just means you need less treatment should you contract it (aka stroke a monkey when you know you shouldn’t……although that actually sounds a bit weird!!!). In hindsight i probably wouldn’t have got them due to the price…..but i have heard a few tails of people being bitten (but not actually getting Rabies though) so if you want a bit of extra piece of mind (especially given our OCD minds)then go for it and get them x

    • Hehehe i may have a thing with magpies to! I’m always seeing the little gits on the way to work so often look like one those crazies that hang out on the bus!!

      Huuummmm you sure you’re not just’ pretending’ to keep my identity secret and in fact u don’t remember my name!! I mean who kisses random girls shoes on the orders of a girl with no name!!! Haha in fact considering your OCD with cleanliness I’m quite surprised I managed to get you to do that!! You must have really wanted that free shot!!! lol

      Thanks for the info on the jabs! Like u, I will probably be over cautious and just get them!!

      Loving the pics of PP, it looks amazing! Ive pretty much decided that once I’ve finished my divemaster course I’m going to travel round a bit rather than stay in PP so your blog has given me some great ideas on where to start! If you’re still kicking about that way in Oct/Nov time will try and meet up if not then will def in Oz!! I’m relying on you getting me a job 😉 hehe

      Speak soon Scotty boy!!! xx

      p.s what you and your monkey get up to is non of my business! 🙂

  3. I have the number/volume thing, has to be on an even or a 5, or 0. I hate looking at the time and finding that at like 15:47 as well, 15:48 would have been so much better. I even dislike that I was born in 1987….1988 or 86 would have been alot nicer….

    This, of course, makes it easier for the Ian’s of this world to put the volume to 29 just to irritate me, and not change it back (I’ve taken to turning away from the TV or radio if someone else has the remote – if I don’t see it, I don’t know)

    Hangers, in a shop, all have to be facing the same way. (correction. if all the hangers on a rail are in complete disorder, all over the place, I couldn’t give a rats’ ass, but if all are one way, and 1 or 2 are out of place, I literally can think of nothing else until I’ve put it right – I have been dragged out of a shop before by friends to walk half way down the street, escape, run back in, turn the hangers back round and join my friends again…)

    Fluff. If someone has fluff on their coat, jeans, face…I don’t feel right until I’ve flicked it off, or I’ve told them to do it – I can look at nothing else until this offending piece of fluff, thread, whatever it is, is gone.

    NOBODY can touch my nose. I have a stupid hamster/rabbit type reaction of rubbing my nose for a few seconds immediately after someone has done this (makes for some amusing kissing at times – for the other person…) I’ve been held down by 4 people while another, so called ‘friend’ repeatedly tapped my nose, I freaked out…they thought it was hilarious….*sigh*

    If I itch my right thumb, I have to itch my left, and then every other finger after that as well.

    I also have the equal food portions thing.

    Can’t step on a crack in a pavement.

    HAVE to peel off bottle labels (irritating if no condensation on the bottle and it comes of in teeny tiny shitty pieces)

    I have a shit load more I can’t remember right now, but they are just a few. Don’t feel like so much of an odd one now, do ya Scotty eh? 😛

    Love love to you both. Missing you quite a bit, just not the same in the boro without you, but really glad you are having an awesome time 😀 xx

  4. Soooo I replied to your post yet it’s saying ‘pending moderation’ I’m not impressed.. Your site believes I need modifying…. Huuuuffff lol :oP

    • Apologies ‘Benny’ (don’t make me break your alias), but we have an anti dick’ed filter on the comments….it clearly works! Surprised your other comments go through 😉

      Like i said alcohol eradicates the OCD leaving me free to get on my knees and kiss random girls shoes, i mean, when a girl offers you a free shot, whats a boy to do……your a bad influence!!!! x

      • Oh you think your soooo funny Scottish!! Well the presence of my comments prove my awesomeness!!

        Ha bad influence indeed!! I seem recall you were easily corrupted 🙂

  5. Oh Scotty, how I love thee……Jo told me I needed to read this and I’m so glad I did!!! You have made me feel so completely normal, for once in my life!! This is AMAZING!!

    It’s made me think about my habits, I have to have my TV volume on 24, I know not why (really sorry Jo if you ever come to my house again!!) Then when I thought about it I realised that my car radio is always on 24 too…..this was not a conscious decision!!! Hmmmm, maybe I am a freak!

    I like ONE ice cube in my white wine spritzer, any more and I get a bit upset, it reeeeeeeally bugs me and the extra cubes must be removed before I can drink my drink!

    I hate mixing food up, you like having a little bit of everything on your fork, i eat my food in sections! I know it “all goes down the same way” and all that, but no! no No NO!! Things like stew or casserole are fine, they are pre mixed and that is the way they are presented to me, but don’t ask me to mix up food which is separate…eeeeeesh!!

    Then there’s the candles and random pretty girly stuff around my house, has to be symmetrical! I will crouch in front of my fire place to ensure the focal glass vase filled with pot pouri or candle holder is directly in line with the middle of the decoration on the fire surround then place everything evenly either side, working methodically from the middle. I was seeing a guy once who i made aware of this trait, he found it hilarious to move my tea light holders when i was out the room. Things reached breaking point once after i returned from the toilet and not only were things no longer in their allocated space, but he had moved them out of height order. I politely and calmly as possible explained that he really “wasn’t as fucking funny” as he thought then asked him to leave…….I would like to add that this was in no way an overreaction, he had been warned!!

    Ah well, you can but laugh at these things! Good luck on your travel OCD Ryan, and good luck with looking after Ian……

    muchos loves and kisses

  6. Hey Scotty,

    This entry is brilliant. I’m fascinated by people with OCD. My step dad has it and is a complete slave to his routines. I used to wind him up on purpose but after a while it just seemed a bit rude so I let him get on with it now.

    Stairs and parking are his most visible traits. The parking is all about a particular number of manoeuvres from actually parking the car to walking away. After a good 10 minutes of moving back and forth in the space he will feel happy and continue his routine of tapping the steering wheel, locking/unlocking and checking car doors, walking away, returning to the car, kick the tyre gently and leave.

    He says to me now that he wishes he tried a bit harder when he was younger to kick some of the habits as they have only got worse over time.

    You guys sound like you’re having an absolute ball! I hope we can meet up at some point. Miss a bit of Scotty love. Xx

  7. I found this quote and after reading thought that it would be perfect to cure your door OCD. When installed no more worries as to whether the door is unlocked or not.

    ““I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.”” — Elayne Boosler