Wednesday, July 11, 2012

how Honesty scrupulosity can impact how I put a puzzle togethr

You wouldn't think that OCD could do anything at all to putting a puzzle together (the picture kind with 100 or 500 pieces or whatever). I mean, what is there involved in putting a puzzle together? You just do it, right? Some of us faster, some of us slower (practice does make a difference, I once found out), maybe even "better" or slower strategies. But OCD and worrying about lying? Yeah, it is there, too. Have you ever opened a puzzle - even brand new ones - and found two pieces still together? Well, it might be a "lie" if I leave them together, because then I wouldn't have actually put the puzzle together by myself. Of course, there are actually two approaches to satisfying OCD. One would be to break apart all the pieces. Then, you might have to mix them up a bit, just so you don't cheat. The other way would be to word it very carefully whenever you spoke or possibly even thought about it. "Here is the puzzle I... put most of it together." But what if someone questioned me? That just sounds weird. Who put the rest of it together? Well, it came that way? How could I explain that without revealing that I have a strange, "incorrect" thought process? I might feel guilty then, too, because its also wrong to be so literally true? That's not making sense either. Okay, the simple solution is just to always break the pieces apart (and mix them up some afterward).

Then comes ERP. The bright idea, I could leave them together for an Exposure. And so I leave some of them together. But I leave them together as an exposure, because that tips the scales some and makes it easier to do. Against leaving them together; I might lie. In favor of leaving them together; it takes out that unnecessary hassle of an OCD step, it is an exposure, which should help me shrink the OCD in my life. Just lying versus convenience is a tough set up; scrupulosity can win pretty easy. After all, isn't it a sin to do something convenient instead of something "right?" But using it as an exposure, that little anxiety-provoking act (or rather non-action) has more value; it is helping me win - at least in a small way - over the OCD.

That is an example from today (and other days that I have puzzled). It isn't an issue I'd cry over. It doesn't jeopardize my job or prevent me from socializing with people. It's just a little pesky issue. I think I probably have lots of these. They almost make the diagnosis of OCD seem undeserved to me since they individually are so small. But OCD's cumulative effect is probably what hurts me most. Any one thing I could handle. Well, I also usually have one or two bigger issues that bother more (whether or not I'm depressed is the big one right now, and it makes it's victory like sandpaper - it just keeps going over and over and over), but I usually also have little pesky ones. And I often let the little pesky ones win. And the big ones. I guess I'm really not much for actually doing ERP. Or maybe I just don't do it perfectly, so I don't want to count it. I wouldn't want to lie to myself, now, would I? (Hmmm, is that what keeps the "do I have depression" issue going? Lying? Oh, what kind of ERP would my counselor come up with for that? I'm sure it would be unpleasant.)


  1. I go thru this same thing when I work puzzles. I feel like I'm cheating if I leave those already put together pieces together and I end up breaking them apart.

  2. I am so thankful to know that other people worry over things like this! Thanks for blogging about this!

  3. Yup, me too. Only i put them back together right away! Thus i can say i did it.