Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains my only focus in my writing, which for today is for, of all things, having OCD!
Having been diagnosed long ago with obsessive-compulsive disorder, there have been many times over the years ever since where I’ve recognized how it plays into my thinking and my life. Sometimes having it is not the greatest of thing, like when I spend far too much time worrying about my health and doing things like staring at blemishes in the mirror repeatedly. But then there are other times when having this condition becomes a blessing solely for the energy it brings me to complete major tasks I undertake.
Getting my over-the-top Christmas decorations done outdoors is a great example of that. Daily maintaining my meticulous garden and yard during the warm seasons is another. But the example I want to delve into a little deeper that brought me immense gratitude began with me hearing a weather forecast and learning that my local area was going to be getting high winds up to 60 mph for most of Sunday just over a week ago now. When winds like that strike for an entire day as the forecast was calling for, I knew there would probably end up being major cleanup from all the debris it left behind in its wake, especially due to the many huge mounds of leaves in the street all around my home, as well as those still strewn across many of my neighbor’s yards. So, in all my OCD glory of thinking, I checked which direction the winds were going to be moving during the incoming storm to identify which piles of leaves and which yards would most likely dump the heaviest debris onto my own property. Once I figured that out, I woke up early the morning before the storm and began bagging up one pile of leaves after another and mowing one yard after another, until I had bagged at least 15 of those mega Hefty-type lawn and leaf bags and mowed five of my neighbor’s front yards.
I know there’s a pretty good chance you might actually be laughing at me right now about this or quite possibly shaking your head in dismay over my decision to embark upon such a task in the first place. But let me tell you, not only did my yard sustain far less debris during said wind storm, but so did a number of my neighbors’ yards as well, the majority of which thanked me for helping them out. One even gave me a big portion of new garbage bags because I had used so many of my own, while another gave me $5 and said thank you for my service. I honestly didn’t expect nor sought either and was very appreciative of it. While the job took just over 8 hours of time, and pushed me to my very breaking point with my health limits, something I normally wouldn’t do to myself, I’m overly thankful with the results of my actions and for my partner for lending me a big helping hand to complete my OCD-based task.
While I can most definitely attest that having OCD can often be a huge hindrance to my life, there are many times as well just like this, where it’s truly helped me to do things I normally would give up on before really even undertaking. So, in the end I’m grateful to OCD having made my life and my neighbors’ life much easier post-storm, which is why I’ve dedicated today’s Grateful Heart Monday to having a condition that I’ve chosen to see isn’t always a burden and instead is sometimes a gift.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson