Counting To Avoid Infinities

Is it a possible strategyβ€”
Prescribing a specific number of repetitions
β€”In order to combat Just Right OCD?

I’m not talking about things which only need to be done once,
But things like applying roll-on deodorant;
(Hygiene OCD!?)

It’s funny because this works,
Funny because at other times OCD prescribes exactly this counting in nonsensical scenarios,
Prescribes symmetry where it is not needed,
But in this case counting and symmetry avoid the worse fate of falling into infinity;

As it happens five’s a good number for me,
Because of this kind of spatial symmetry:


Long-term it’s not ideal and I’d like to get back to this not being an issue,
But as a mitigation measure in my current stressful/emergency scenario,
It’s something which works even though it sounds insane πŸ˜†.


18 thoughts on “Counting To Avoid Infinities

  1. I don’t think it sounds insane at all. You’re setting a limit. You’re telling the OCD, okay you can enjoy yourself this little bit and then you shut up. I think I mentioned once that I do that with my intrusive words. If I can’t shut them out, I mentally recite a list of all the worst words I can think of (not a very impressive list, though) and I get it out of my system. I swear OCD gets scared when you voluntarily play along with it.

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    1. Thanks Hetty! Yeah that makes sense :).

      You did mention that! That’s funny. And yes totally correct lol, it gets scared. My issue is if I start doing stuff like that in response, I get all Just Right OCD about it, which is ridiculous. But my thoughts aren’t so much intrusive so once I decide to drop it all and do something else I can. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

      Hmm but then again I do sometimes get intrusive thoughts like you describe and the prob for me is they ‘ruin’ whatever thing I’m trying to do perfectly at the time. So yes I should apply your technique in those times :).

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      1. Thanks. But I AM very clearly aware of progress or lack of progress, lol, just as I’m acutely aware of everything in general. The observation itself is just an observation :). My progress inspired more progress given the opportunity, because I could say “wow look at this progress I’ve made, it’s amazing” πŸ˜†.

        On the flipside, I’m acutely aware of things going backwards. Double-edged sword.

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      2. I can clearly remember what I was capable of a year ago, two years ago, 6 months ago, and compare to now. That’s not to say that I am judging it or beating myself up over it, just that it’s a frustrating reality to not be able to consistently apply what I know. The most important part is to remember that what I know to help DOES help and not to be discouraged from all the starting over again. That’s the most dangerous part of itβ€” the possibility of losing faith in everything by the time I have the conditions that I need.

        Anyway nm, all this is to say we have a similar perspective on recovery with all else equal xD.

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      3. I know it’s not the same thing, but I can sort of relate. You’ve read my stuff on having epilepsy and how it’s affected me. I remember how I used to commute to New York City by myself even when my fears were really bad, and now I don’t feel like I could do that, even knowing more about what’s going on with me than I did then. How could I not be capable of something now with more knowledge AND medication when I could do it then? But I try and remind myself, if I did it once, then it’s a fact that I can do it. It’s important to deal in facts.

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      4. Wow, commuting to New York City is something! I didn’t know you lived near there. You were one of those New York City people? :O

        Oh yeah there’s an endless list of things like that I can talk about too. The level of things I was doing in 2017 vs just a year later and especially 2 years later couldn’t have been more extreme. I really don’t dwell on that though, I’m just interested in moving forwards. This has served me well in so many periods and it’s amazing what can happen with that mindset. But never in all those periods before have I been so held back from even making progress by environmental factors, or been pushed backwards because of it. That’s what I was really getting at. And that’s a whole new level of challenge, and new skill I’ve been learning in dealing with it. One thing which helps is that my cactus plants are endlessly moving forwards regardless :D.

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      5. I lived about an hour and a half from NYC. I only commuted, I wasn’t an inhabitant, though I am fairly rude.

        You’re right not to dwell on the difference between then now, but accepting that environmental forces are holding you back. And you have something to take care of (the cactus army) which is a big thing.


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