I’ve learned to cherish the disorder that organises my mind


I appreciate that OCD in its most severe forms has serious, life-restricting complications. Germphobic people can find socializing difficult, for example; others get so obsessed with a worrisome thought that they become unable to leave the house. None of that is to be envied – but OCD at a lower level can be managed through rituals, and that’s where I find it becomes an advantage.

Take the dishwasher. Once the mind is on auto-pilot and knows that there is only one way it can be packed (i.e. my way, aka ‘the correct way’), it is free to drift off . A chore actually becomes relaxation time with a sense of fulfillment once the job is done – see also, sorting shopping into fridge/freezer/cupboard bags at the check-out. Do you think Becks wastes time looking for a pair of matching socks in the morning? No.

Michelle Mone, the founder of the Ultimo bra company, is on the record as saying, “It can prove really useful in business because it makes you really organised. I’ve always said that if your drawers are organised, then your life will be, too… I love having OCD.” Tennis superstar Serena Williams agrees. She bounces the ball five times before her first serve and then twice before the second one. “I have a slight case of OCD,” she reckons. “I think it’s good to have it.” Cameron Diaz (opening doors with her elbows due to hygiene issues) might be more circumspect but even she says, “I’ve made my peace with [the condition].”

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