Living Daily with Chronic Invisible Illness

Being Obsessive Compulsive with Fibromyalgia

I have Fibromyalgia. I also have the tendency to be ridiculously meticulous.

An example of this is during the Christmas season. I may (try to) relax in a chair while sipping a festive cup of coffee from a festive mug. After getting all comfy, I begin to admire my beautifully decorated tree…only to notice one (or two…or…three…) ornaments that just have to be moved to balance out the tree. (Maybe the colors are too close together, maybe the placement is not quite right, maybe it is my own quirky hangup…)

Regardless, I cannot think about anything else, and so, I get up and fix it (or them). (After all, who can relax when the tree is not precisely perfect???) Unfortunately, that person is me.

Okay, but what about those pantry shelves?? What about them?

Do all those cans have to have the labels facing the same direction? I mean, what about the canisters, the boxes of cereal…

Okay, so maybe I am also guilty of perpetually reorganizing my cabinets to make them “just so”…doesn’t everybody???

Another example may be my inability to relax completely until the dishes have been put away, floors swept, dogs taken out, laundry done, etc. This personality issue makes my Fibromyalgia flare!

How about how I can literally see things happen before they do. It is a terrible trait, but I have watched glasses of milk tip over, a child trip over a toy and the rice burn…all before it may happen…until I pick up the toy, turn off the stove (and check the stove three times to make sure I really did turn it off) and ask the cup owner to please remove the milk before it tips. Would those instances have occurred if I had not tried to prevent it? We shall never know, but it makes me less anxious knowing I did try.

Some may say I am only being a Mom. Maybe I am. But it is that type of “phobia” or “paranoia” or OCD symptom that prevents me from just walking through the house from Point A to Point B.

I continually get sidetracked by things out of place. A sock here, a game there. Colored pencils left on the counter, the silverware drawer all in a shambles…doesn’t everyone know that forks stay with forks and spoons with spoons??

Does that mean I have OCD?

Well, given the definition of OCD, I would wager I have a symptom or two, but not enough to qualify me for a complete diagnosis in the affirmative. I am just a perfectionist to the highest degree and have multiple idiosyncrasies which can interfere with my Fibromyalgia.

A lot of it is personality. Much of it is all a part of living with Fibromyalgia.

While at my daughter’s new townhouse, I found myself straightening the mini-blinds, fixing a place mat and being (over barringly [is that a word???]) concerned with the steps downward and someone falling…like me!

I needed to make myself stop the micro-scrutiny of lack-of-symmetry-issues and just notice how quaint the dwelling was and how charmingly she had decorated it. Once I did, it was easier…

I think the daily, never-ending pain that I live with has made me more critical. Not intentionally, mind you. But staying positive when constantly in varying levels of pain is quite difficult to do.

Add OCD into the mix and well…it would be a horrible mix.

So, here is to seeing only what needs to be seen; not letting the “little things” bother you and trying, trying, to get through the day with a positive outlook when your body feels like it is falling apart!

And let’s not forget to curl up with a comfy blanket and let our body relax from all the pain… and not let the fact that the table needs dusting, bother you.

God Bless- The Fibro Momma of Ten

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