I made a reference to “teenage OCD” in my last blog post. And it came up again this morning as I was backing up my computer files. I like to back them up a lot. I’m always working on something important—in my mind, anyway—and I don’t want my beautiful laptop to go on the fritz and lose my masterpieces.
So I back them up to the “cloud” and also to an external drive. And I do it a lot if I’m working on something important—my next book, or some important graphic work, etc.
And I thought about the OCD reference and asked myself if I truly thought I had real OCD.
So I looked it up and yes, there’s a few things on that list (from the site I found) that could pertain to me.
And yes, it did freak me out a little. I don’t want to be labeled. Or to be seen as having any form of “disorder.” I consider myself a fairly normal individual.
I just have a shitton of energy. And creative drives. And passion.
And I wonder how much of these “disorders” are a result of mis-directed passion, fire, energy, creative drive?
For when I’m truly working on my passions—writing, creating, thinking, producing, making videos, etc.—I don’t feel “compulsive” about anything but making some damn good art.
Would you call Picasso obsessive and compulsive for spending probably 10 or more hours a day painting and re-painting and re-arranging and creating voluminous works of art for almost a century?
Is it obsessive for a record producer to spend 24 hours in a recording studio “perfecting” a mix for a song?
Is it obsessive for Prince to have played music literally 24 hours a day for his entire career? From soundcheck, to concert, to afterparty, to recording all hours of the day and night?
And learning damn near every instrument alive and dancing and singing and acting and making movies, videos and costumes and shit, who knows what else?
I am just wondering, in this early a.m. whether or not my need to check the locks on my windows and doors “obsessively” (which I am known to do…full disclosure) doesn’t also arise because I’m not creating.
When I’m sitting at this computer spilling out words; or photographing things; or making videos; or singing or playing instruments; or reading—I could give a shit about cleaning counters obsessively; checking locks and windows and doors obsessively, and I don’t have obsessive thoughts either.
I have zero anxiety or worries when I’m engaged in the pleasures resulting from expressing my creative drives and passions and loves.
And no, I don’t need medication. And no, I don’t need to numb myself with substances.
And no, I’m not going to obsess about whether I am an obsessive. Or whether, yes, I like to check and re-check the locks on my windows and doors. And yes, I’ll work on it.
But I postulate there’s probably a lot of people not tapped into their true passions and finding proper outlets for the incredible amount of energy, passion, drive and fire found in every human being.
We’re taught to tame and harness and squash those things at a young age. Taught to sit at our desks while birds and animals are going mad right outside the classroom window. We’re forced to sit in classrooms at an age where all we really want to do is run and scream and be downright crazy—as a kid should be. Not crazy in a bad way. Crazy in a beautiful, “Ain’t it amazing being alive and 10 years’ old?” Or 5 years’ old. Or 3 years’ old?
And while it’s important to learn as kids, we’re forced to spend literally HOURS studying and doing homework—when all kids want to do is play and dance and sing and laugh and create.
(No, this is not a slam on education. It’s just a thought…I’m so glad I learned how to read and write and type in school. It’s served me well.)
Is it “obsessive” to play with building blocks? And to spend hours arranging, re-arranging, knocking down, re-building—like some weird obsessive childlike ritual?
Is it “obsessive” for a musician to practice 12 hours a day? The same scales, over and over again?
Haven’t they learned enough in 4 hours?
I’m just rolling around in thoughts and theories.
But maybe, when I do check and re-check the locks and windows, it’s just the same hard-wired pattern to repeat things. Like a musician playing the same scale, over and over again.
And yes, I do like a clean kitchen. And I have a ton of energy. So when I’m on fire and the kitchen’s dirty, I’m going to town.
I like a clean kitchen. I won’t lose sleep if it’s not. I also don’t want to wake up in the morning and have to deal with that shit. So I’ll bust a move and clean the hell out of it the night before.
I don’t know if that’s OCD or just “he’s a high-strung kid from New York who grew up with a semi-crazy mother and he likes a clean kitchen…”
(Yes, my mom was a handful. Beautiful and loving but also quite nuts sometimes. And kids have to find ways to deal with living with parents who are not quite fully developed themselves.)
I don’t know.
I just don’t want us all to be put into boxes and labeled and rolled down the pharmaceutical assembly line and have pills shoved in our mouths.
Or to obsess so much about our obsessions that we have to be in therapy forever. I don’t mean we shouldn’t talk to therapists. I did it. And I know it helped.
I just think we need to re-think how humans are hard-wired. And allow this incredible force of the universe we’re all conduits of to come forth.
And create more art and beauty and magic in the world.
So I’m going to keep obsessing about backing up my files.
I’m in love with my writing. And I don’t want to lose any of it.
And if, with the help of a cup of very strong coffee—black and delicious—I have some extra-obsessive energy rushing though my fingers, I’m going to have fun backing up files on different drives.
No one says it’s obsessive to do crossword puzzles or any of those other games over and over.
Is it obsessive to play video games for hours? Or a Rubik’s Cube?
I’ll stop now.
And read more about OCD. (Or not)
But I’m not going to obsess over my supposed obsessions which supposedly are creating a dis-order in my highly energetic life.
I’ll just go for a walk and obsessively check the steps on my step app.
Hey, I need to get in a certain number of steps so I can eat my ice cream at night…