Over the years, my anxiety has manifested in a variety of ways – one of them is obsessive behaviour.
I’m not sure when my obsessive behaviours began, but I know there was a stage in my life when they were quite severe.
I had numerous obsessive behaviours and the one that I think back to, and find to be the most ridiculous, was having to match the colour of my pegs to the colour of the clothes I was hanging out to dry. Yep! How ridiculous!!!!
If you’ve never experienced an obsessive behaviour, you may not understand why it’s so important to complete certain tasks. In regards to my peg obsession, I think it coincided with my need to have order in my life. For some reason, my brain decided that in order for my life to run smoothly, colours of things had to match; in this case, pegs to clothes.
And if I didn’t have pegs that matched the colour of my clothes, (and I needed multiple pegs to hang the clothes), ALL the pegs needed to be the same colour as each other. In hindsight, I should have just bought bags of pegs in one colour!!
Even as I hung out my clothes, I knew it was unnecessary to colour match – clearly, as long as there was a peg attached to the clothes, they would stay fixed to the line! Colour was irrelevant. But there was something in my brain telling me that if they didn’t match, it wasn’t right.
It’s so hard to explain… It was almost like a voice saying ‘bad things will happen if the pegs don’t match’. But it was my own voice – my own thoughts conjured up by my brain, telling me something bad was going to happen. I have no idea what my brain thought was going to happen though if the pegs didn’t match. This is why mental illness can cause a complete disconnect to reality.
Thankfully, we no longer need to use pegs to hang our clothes, so my obsessive peg behaviour is no longer existent. Or so I thought!!!
The other day I helped my Nonna hang out a couple of clothes, and as I opened up the peg box, guess what I did???!!! Without a second thought, I reached for a handful of pegs ALL IN THE SAME COLOUR!! At least I didn’t need to match the colour of the pegs to the colours of the clothes.
I call that progress 😉
Do you have any strange obsessive behaviour?
I have many others to list – stay tuned!
(PS: If you’re wondering why I no longer use pegs, it’s because we dry our clothes on a drying rack inside. We have dogs who love dragging clothes around the backyard!).