My obsession with order and symmetry means that I'm compelled to put everything back where it belongs. And where it belongs doesn't mean the cupboard, or the top of the chest of drawers, or the edge of the bath; it means the precise-to-the-millimetre position I've allocated to it.
In originally determining that position, I will have been guided by the lines and angles of the cupboard/drawers/bath, and other objects already located on them, to create what is, to my eye, the most aesthetically pleasing arrangement.
Take the top of my chest of drawers, for example (may I suggest you also take a deep breath)...
The layout has as its cornerstones a box of tissues in the back left-hand corner and a fabric-covered box containing make-up in the back right-hand corner. Each of these is positioned about an inch from the short edge and parallel to that edge.
|Photo: Peter Gettins Photography|
Centred between them is an open fan.
Centred in front of the fan is a bottle of body lotion.
Centred between the tissues and the body lotion is a deodorant aerosol.
Centred between the make-up box and the body lotion is a tube of hair gel.
In front of the tissues, and centred to them, is a jewellery box.
In front of the make-up box, and centred to it, is a vase.
In front of the body lotion...
Got the picture? I hope so, because I'm only halfway through describing the chest of drawers and I have a whole flat like this.
To those of you unaccustomed to OCD habits, this must sound exhausting. In fact, it's not that hard. If I use my deodorant, it leaves a gap. When I'm finished with it, I simply replace it in the gap, tweaking it as necessary to ensure it's centred or parallel to its neighbours.
Creating the patterns in the first place is the hard part, but I've lived in my current home for 18 years, so most of them are long-established. No one else would be able to figure out the particular physical laws governing my life, though, without the OCD equivalent of the Large Hadron Collider.
Just because it's easy for me to maintain my patterns, however, doesn't mean that I should - performing compulsions fast doesn't make them any less of an issue.
With that in mind, I've resolved to try, once again, to overcome some of them. I'll keep you posted as to my progress.