Posted by: Jack Hope | Monday September 10, 2012

Ready to Go

At the time of this writing, I would say I’m about 90% ready for my upcoming trip to Germany. The suitcase is lying on the floor in front  of the bed and it’s just about ready to be closed up. My suit bag is all sorted and ready. Toiletries still have to be packed in but I may use them a bit before I leave. My messenger bag is all ready to go.

When am I leaving? Tuesday night.

I like to joke that my anti-depressant medication has given me an obsessive/compulsive disorder and like any good joke it works because it contains an element of truth. Anyone who’s known me for a long time can easily relate what a mess I used to be and hot now I’m anything but.

And to be perfectly honest with you, I love it. Anyone who has experienced Clinical Depression knows how crippling it can be in your ability to do things. Frankly, doing stuff is what we humans are all about.

So after years of Depression feeling a mild compulsion to do stuff is a blessing, not a problem. It’s mildly inconvenient at times, such as my urge to wash dishes by hand when there is a perfectly working dishwasher right there, but that’s easy enough to work around. Slightly more inconvenient when I’m someone’s guest but we adapt. As long as I’m not washing my hands 17 times in a row or flicking the lights off 9 times before I leave a room, I’m good.

I tend to think that medication for your head largely works with what you’ve already got going on. And while no one would accuse me of being an obsessive clean freak before I started meds (and many are still being shocked to find it out now) I have always had one thing that I was compulsive about.

That would be my preparations to travel.

Maybe there was one too many trips in my younger days where I came home to an utter disaster because I’d left if that way but I’ve had an overwhelming compulsion to make sure that I never go through that again. And really, that’s a perfectly reasonable desire given that it’s such a huge come down after any kind of trip.

But it’s also resulted in some odd behaviour cropping up too. And well before I started taking any kind of medication. A good example of that is the laundry. I can’t leave the house with any dirty laundry in the hamper. Not one single sock, or t-shirt, or towel.

So I’ve woken up at 4:00 am to do a last load of laundry before I leave on a flight at 7:00. Not a great way to start things off sometimes. Now imagine adding in my new compulsive tendency.

Well, I’m not going to let it drive me into some sort of last-minute frenzy of activity.

There will be no 4:00am wake up call for me on Tuesday (partly since I’m leaving in the evening) and no last-minute loads of laundry with me sitting by the dryer hoping it finishes before the taxi rings.

No, if I’m going to embrace these compulsive tendencies then I shall just work around them by making sure everything is done well ahead of time. There will still be a last load of laundry on Tuesday, after all, if I put clean sheets on the bed before I leave then I have to wash the previous set or there will be dirty laundry sitting in my hamper. Can’t have that.

Fortunately, I still have writing up last night’s reunion to occupy me today. But now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do all day Tuesday…..

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