OK, by a show of hands, how many of you readers have obsessive/compulsive (O/C) traits?

Wow, would the masses now please put your waving arms down! I can’t believe so many of you are afflicted with this common personality trait.

I am totally guilty, too. As long as I can remember, things had to line up just right. If they varied one way or another, I quickly straightened them out, or I wasn’t very pleased. As most of you know, occasionally, this personality trait can be a mental burden. Fortunately, I think I merely have the trait, not the “disorder”, which is suppose to consume someone’s actions more than 2 waking hours per day. And, yes, for the real problem-afflicted people, there are those ever-present prescription medications available, along with mental health therapy. Remember, folks, this is America; if you want anything to address a personal health issue, advertisers tell us to merely take their pill!

I am firmly convinced, I was able to attain a professional education because of my O/C personality streak. When I started down the extended school path, I could barely see light at the end of the long road, and, almost needed a telescope to see that flickering, faint light. Our Town’s excellent public school program taught me well, but I fought through lots of social distractions along the way to successfully complete most of my academic efforts. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, I was able to put my education first because of me consistently using my O/C study traits Onward to college for me at OSU, and 4 more years of possible (?) party, party, party. Now, I am not going to lie to you by trying to tell you I never partied, but I will tell you I would reach a point when I knew I needed to study, study, study, and not continue my goofing-off. In short, I tried to always keep my eye-on-the-prize of being able to academically qualify for professional school. Once again, my O/C personality trait was probably greatly responsible for my positive educational efforts as a college undergraduate student.

On to OU Medical School in Oklahoma City, and intense academic competition with my fellow 135 smart classmates. Wow, that experience was a blindsided awakening for me!. Never before in school had I ever been confronted with such intelligent/brilliant peer competition. Therefore, I had to turn up my O/C personality non-stop, full blast in order to complete the educational requirements, and be graduated with an M.D. diploma four years down the road.

Moving on, now let’s discuss some of the interesting spin offs of daily O/C traits. How about always writing down to-do lists? Yes, I am guilty, again. However, I will say I am not as bad as I used to be with that particular O/C item. One of my dearest friends is the absolute king yellow or pink “Post It” individual I have ever known, taking his list writing to another level by sticking his reminders EVERYWHERE! How about a daily journal or diary? Once again, I did that for many, many years, but have taken an almost 2-year break. However, I must confess, I have felt somewhat guilty during this lengthy interval. Guilt meaning code for I plan to start writing in a daily journal again very soon (i.e.-tomorrow?).

I know I have touched a cord with some of you out there regarding your individual O/C traits. I am not asking any of you to alter them, unless it bothers you, feeling like you are committed to those bad (?) O/C habits over and over and over again?

Remember, you are in control of your own actions. And, isn’t it refreshing when you change directions regarding an old habit, and point yourself in a different direction? It is scary at first, because it is uncharted territory, but, of course, eventually a very satisfying feeling of personal accomplishment!

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