I have a couple holes within me; some big, others bigger.
These holes – perhaps they were stolen pieces from my wholesomeness, or perhaps ingrown chambers to store capability enchantments – make me up as a being. These holes, I call them as they are as they are seen as weaknesses or flaws one should be shameful of. They are a hindrance from someone becoming whole, perfect. And as much as I try to preach so others with similar holes don’t feel disgraced, I find me ashamed of them myself.
Disorders. Mental disorders.
There is a particular branch of this matter I wish to touch: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
This is something you need to know.
I can’t recall when I first adopted it but it must’ve been from a very young age. A memory living without it ceases to surface.
In contrary to a typical narrow-minded man’s perception of OCD where slight neatness or particularity with coordination suddenly defines it entirely, it is not simply about being obsessed with immaculateness. In reality, it’s way more than that.
People often use physical details to spot the OCD person. For instance, a play where one of the characters is a sufferer. He has to be obsessed with hand-washing and material orderliness to make the disorder obvious. I don’t blame them for doing so though because, let’s be real, who has time to listen to someone portraying multiplying disheveled obsessive thoughts that may be disturbing and absurd to them?
It’s hectic up there; the mind. It’s constantly worrying about things: family safety, spirituality, imp of the perverse, contamination. Oh, especially contamination.
OCD is not just about seeing something slightly stray from its horizontal-ness and growing irritated. It’s kind of like a hijab is being lifted from your eyes to see maggot-like germs wriggling in the air travelling onto your fingertips when you come near let alone touch something dirty. You wash your hands to get rid of them but of course, they don’t really go away so have to go on with your life and pretend like you don’t have the urge to scrape off the skins of your hands at all. The process of attempting to cleanse yourself is fairly long so I’ll save it for whoever that wishes to know.
One time when my friends and I were at Koh Nang Kam, one of the bowls had a crawling ant in it. I didn’t want to kill it so I eased its escape out. Whether I kill it or not, I was going to ask for a new bowl afterwards. I don’t know why I didn’t. Instead, I took a wet tissue and wiped the ‘stained’ bowl. While I was wiping it, one of my friends commented somewhere along the lines of “omg kalau orang OCD die dah mintak mangkuk baru.”
If I had asked for a new bowl, what would they have said?
This hole, one of the biggest ones within me, unconsciously grew even bigger.
One of the OCD characteristics is that we care more than most about what others think of us. An excerpt from The Woman Who Thought Too Much by Joanne Limburg:
We are known to be ‘reward-dependent’ (where the reward is someone else’s approval) and to have ‘tender consciences’. As a group, we are law-abiding, conscientious, exquisitely self-conscious and excruciatingly eager to please.
We set ourselves the highest standards, and are disgusted with ourselves when we don’t live up to them. We are forever scanning our own faces for flaws and other people’s faces for signs of disapproval. We cannot forgive ourselves for ever having acted stupidly, we cannot bear to make a mistake. We can be destroyed with the merest hint of criticism but we criticize ourselves all the time.”
Writer’s note: I poured too much of myself into this post. I’ll continue it when I’ve constructed a convincing and motivational enough conclusion to why I did what I did in shaa Allah.