Where Quirks End And OCD Begins

Lately I’ve been wondering where quirks end and OCD begins. You often hear people say something about their OCD when they straighten a picture or make their kids wash their hands. For those who suffer from real Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, we know it is so much worse. OCD for me, at least, can create a prison I can’t get out of. It’s like running around in the same circle over and over and over again with no end in sight. I struggle with intrusive obsessive thoughts. But I also have some quirks. Are they quirks or is it my OCD? What do you think?


I have an obsession with balance—or perhaps evenness would be a better word. I don’t have a problem stepping on cracks in the sidewalk, but if I step on a crack with my right foot I absolutely have to step on one with my left foot and vice versa. If I don’t I get this incredible sense of feeling unbalanced—as if I’m walking around with heavy weights attached to one side of my body. As long as I keep the amount of times I step on a crack with each foot even, I’m good! I’m balanced! Sound crazy? Maybe it is crazy. Or maybe it’s just some weird quirk I have. Or maybe it’s OCD.

I really like things to be even. My kids often ask me what my favorite number is, and I always tell them I don’t have one. Honestly, I don’t get the favorite number thing. Having a favorite number seems strange to me. But if I were forced to choose one—like gun to the head, tell me what your favorite number is—it would be an even number—no matter what!

I am not the kind of mom who makes lavish breakfasts for my kids. Mornings are crazy enough trying to get them ready for school and myself ready for work, so it’s usually frozen waffles or frozen mini pancakes. Those are my six-year-old’s favorites. I always ask him how many he wants, and usually the answer is seven. Long ago, I used to get him eight anyway, because I needed him to have an even number. But after throwing away too many pancakes I decided I had to conquer my quirk or OCD or whatever it is and just give him seven pancakes. Again, it sounds crazy, right? It’s just my obsession with even things.

So, is it really OCD? Is it a quirk? Or am I just really, really weird? Maybe I’ll never know.

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