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Dealing with OCD

Heavy title, eh? This topic came to me, as most do, at a very random time — in my closet, retrieving hangers to hang up the freshly washed laundry.

Blind rage & freshly washed laundry, just read on my friend. I realized tonight as I retrieved those hangers from in-between my husband’s hung clothing, one-by-one searching for the next empty one between shirts, that I have completely forgotten about the blind rage I used to feel in my closet every single day.

I am talking about rage I could feel in the pit of my stomach, really that place between your stomach and your heart that lets you know it’s really serious business.

What did it come from? Hangers. Not just any hangers, hangers with no clothes on them just hanging out (pun intended) in between hangers WITH clothes on them. You read that right. Hangers.

The rage only increased if the aforementioned empty hangers were stuck half upward, as if to say “Look at me, I have no clothes on me and I am still here with the hangers that DO have clothes on them!”

Think I’m crazy yet? Fine, go talk to the people who get angry if they see a long-sleeved shirt getting cozy in the tank top section. Those are the real crazy ones. (I kid, we are all equally unbalanced.)

Ya see…I used to share a closet with one my sisters. We are less than 2 years apart in age and we have always worn the same size in everything except shoes. She has normal sized feet and I got the big ones. (I wish I had gotten the big ones in other areas, but that’s a topic for another day.)

This sister of mine has been my best friend my entire life yet…she didn’t care about the hangers.

I vividly remember walking into our shared closet and seeing those empty hangers and literally feeling like I had just been wronged in the worst way possible. And I would tell her. Annnnnddd she thought I was nuts. Every time. She didn’t care, because she wasn’t afflicted with the need to put all of the hangers into the empty hanger space — the one where the empty hangers live together peacefully on break, ready and willing to take on the next garment, easily found and accessed when needed, just as they should be.

Of course, as the years went on the care-free one went on to marry (I’m thinking he doesn’t care about hanger placement or they wouldn’t have been married for so long now.) And then I, too, found myself a soul mate.

It was then I realized — I, in fact, am the crazy hanger lady.

Okay, it wasn’t THEN…it was after several years of debating if I could spend the rest of my life living with another hanger-nazi before one day…I had to come to terms with the fact that in life, and in marriage, we must pick our battles.

I don’t know what changed in me, but I realized that this guy I had was pretty cool, and that wanting to kill him over a hanger here and there was probably not really cool. I realized that sometimes, the little things are just that…little things. BUT, I was a child raised by a woman who once stapled the rugs to the floor because her unrelenting children would walk on them (gasp, how dare we) and possibly move a corner on the hardwood floors. See, I come by it honest.

How was one young woman, predisposed to a life of rage over the smallest household details ever going to change her ways?

Well, I started leaving the hangers. And just staring at them. And you may or may not believe this, but I had to take very, very deep breaths and talk to myself, kinda like this: “Self, it does not matter where that hanger stays until you need it next. It does not change anything. You shouldn’t allow it to make you go into a fit of rage and stress-clean the entire house. Don’t let the hanger have that much power over you, you nut. Walk away, walk away now.”

The worst part, I am 100% not kidding about this – this is a true story ya’ll. I may lose friends over this (but I may gain some who have been hiding their hanger-phobia along with me).

So, as I put away those clothes tonight, and picked those empty hangers from between my husband’s clothes I just smiled…smiled at the fact that I still put all of my empty hangers in the special empty hanger area, and that he still doesn’t, and that I really don’t freakin’ care ’cause I have bigger battles to take on — like potty training, for one. Perspective.

And I smiled because there is a list of 50 other things around the house that enrage me on the daily, but really none of it truly matters, ’cause life is good, and fun, and kinda crazy sometimes but always, always a chance to change, do better, be better, and let go.

Tomorrow I’ll start working on not plotting the murders of those who leave cabinet doors open. Kidding, kind of.

peace, love and keepin’ it real,

Dealing with OCD


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