Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:26 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Southeast US
"Will you put in extra hours, unpaid, to have something "done right" at your job, rather than let someone else do it differently?"

My OCPDer went back to her workplace at least once a week for 2 years to complete stuff (record disposal) that she hadn't done before she retired. She only stopped when they reworked access to the workspace and she was locked out, and then worried for months that the paperwork wouldn't be handled properly (as she thought it should be).


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 1935
Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
This post continues with Are You Too Driven? and The Joy of Work from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.


When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992. If you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.

Quote:
Are You Too Driven?
If you spend practically every waking hour working - on either job-related taskes or other kinds of productive activities - you may be a workaholic. But what if you are? How drive is "too driven"?

<snip> Workaholism ranks among the most acceptable of all addictions; our society both reveres and rewards industriousness. That in itself can be on of the benefits of workaholism, but it also makes it easier to overlook or discount the costs of overwork. Sylvia, a fifty-seven-year-old businesswoman, once spent twenty minutes complaining to me about her crushing work load, but then added, "It's so easy to think of it all as a positive thing. Even as I'm telling you about my schedule, I'm feeling virtuous."

The Joy of Work

Work can also be one of life's greatest pleasures. It provides many adults with their primary source of intellectual stimulation and social interaction. It may well be the only forum in which they can compete and win applause for their performance. Besides prestige, hard work often results in financial security, power, and career advancement.

Excitement is another dividend of a frantic schedule. You don't have to be the Secretary of State, jetting around the world in pursuit of peace, in order to enjoy a work-induced adrenaline high. "It's literally like taking a drug," says Carl Thoreson, a Stanford University professor of education and psychology, who has studied workaholics. "It's a euphoric, almost giddy feeling, such as you might have when you've just given a presentation. You feel terrific." <snip>

It's a two-fer. You get to complain about being overworked, portray yourself as this poor, suffering martyr (my ex did this all the time) and at the same time enjoy the adrenalin buzz from the hectic schedule that you yourself insist upon.

Win-win - for everyone except your family, and eventually, your body, because being an adrenalin junkie will catch up with you, eventually.

Tip: Fewer people admire you for being a workaholic than you might imagine, especially if your work/martyrdom dominates your conversation.

At a party...
Friend: I just finished a great book last weekend. It's called -
Workaholic: I wish I had time to read. I can't remember the last time I wasn't working most of the weekend.
Friend: (thinks: Asshole): That's too bad. Excuse me, I'm going to get something to drink.

At home...
Workaholic: How was your baseball game, Billy?
Billy: It was super. I caught a line drive that made the last out, and we won the game.
Workaholic: That's great. I wish I could've seen it.
Billy (looks down at shoes): Yeah, I know. You had to work. You always have to work.
Workaholic: I'm going to try really hard to come to your next game, okay?
Billy (mumbles): There aren't any more. That was the last game of the season.
Workaholic: Really? I'm sorry, I was so busy working I lost track. Next year then!

IMO, one of the dirtiest tricks in the book is the parent who is constantly working and when her/his child expresses a very natural disappointment with the situation, emotionally blackmails the child into expressing contentment.

Yes, especially in hard economic times, parents have to work. I did. But take a good look at that schedule, and make time for your kids, if nothing else. And be with them when you are with them - not on your iPad or texting or otherwise multi-tasking.

Do you get an adrenalin rush from being constantly busy?
After a day or two of vacation, can you enjoy it, or are you casting about for something to DO?
Your thoughts?

_________________
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anaïs Nin
Follow the latest Scoop: http://www.scoop.it/t/iso-mental-health-wellness
OCPD SO info: http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 1935
Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
This post continues with The Costs of Workaholism: The Poisoning of Personal Relationships - Shortchanged Children from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992. If you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.
Quote:
The Costs of Workaholism

All these [the previous posts] are very real benefits - but they're benefits of work rather than of workaholism, and they all can be enjoyed even if work plays a more balanced role in your life. <snip>

THE POISONING OF PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Shortchanged Children


If you do have children, you're likely to tell yourself that you're working as hard as you are for their sake - a sacrifice they may find of questionable value. In their book The Addictive Organization, Anne Wilson Schaef and Diane Fassel recount the words of one grown daughter of a workaholic:

Everything revolved around my father's work. If we got too playful and made noise we would be quieted because Daddy was wither working or sleeping. When work went poorly, he was moody, angry, and destructive. When it went well, he was jolly... We rarely saw him. Sometimes he stayed in the city overnight or on big projects, he would be gone for weeks at a time... I don't think my mother or our family were ever second place in my father's life, I believe for him we didn't exist at all. I grew up spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about my father, yet never really knowing him. I hate him for this and I miss him deeply.

<snip>Other workaholic parents may transform time spent together into time working together. Say it's a Sunday afternoon, and the parent has no pressing obligations; he really could afford to spend a few hours doing what his child most wants to do, say, playing ball. But because of the parent's chronic inner need to be accomplishing something, he hankers to be gardening, or repairing the back fence. So he tries to accomplish two things simultaneously - to spend time with his child and to work on the project - by cajoling the child into working with him.

If the project truly engages the child's interest, it may turn out to be a pleasant shared experience. But if the child senses that the parent is more involved in the fence than in him, the child will resent it. <snip>

Some workaholic parents go one step further, getting annoyed whenever they find their children "wasting time." They want their children to share their own abhorrence for any hint of laziness, and they find tasks to fill the children's time - until the children get used to fleeing whenever they see the meddlesome parent approaching.

<snip> your children's childhoods are composed of hundreds of fleeting experiences: the first laughs of babyhood, the first steps, trick-or-treating at Halloween, high school courtships. Each stage of development lasts only for a very brief time, and once completed, will never be repeated. <snip>

Some people, realizing that this has happened, try to correct it too late. I've had several adult patients who received very little attention from their parents when they were children or adolescents. When the elderly parents (often newly widowed) finally sought companionship, their sons and daughters reacted with dread, shying away from contact and expressing such feelings as, "We have absolutely nothing in common," or "I don't feel any connection to him." Sometimes these adult children have expressed resentment at being approached after so many years of neglect. "Where was he when I needed him?" they ask.


This is part of why I have a problem with Apple computer products: Steve Jobs. I feel like if I were to buy them, I would be implicitly endorsing his publicly admitted neglect of his children and family (though I admit, years ago when I knew less about his personal life, I did buy an iPod).

Much like the workaholics described here, my father rarely had time for me - and usually it was for his own purpose. If he wanted to talk at someone, he would make me come into the living room to listen to him - during the commercials. I wasn't even important enough to him to turn off the TV and actually interact with.

So when he too became elderly and bored and lonely and decided, then, he wanted to connect with me - too little, too late. I had learned to live without him a long time before that - and in fact, it wasn't truly an attempt to "connect." He just wanted more of an audience. My oldest sister, who did give him the time of day, had very little of his attention about her concerns and problems, even when she was facing a serious eye problem and almost lost her sight.

I have heard so many stories of OCPD parents who cannot let their kids BE kids, who are like mini-sweatshop owners, instilling a sense of work, work, work, all the time. (I'm talking to you, Tiger Mom!) I love this commercial (embedded on the blog http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com/2 ... hap-9.html), because it's about the dad (and the big brother) letting the little girl call the shots.

Let go and have fun with your kids. Be silly. No, you don't have to be a "Disneyland Dad," with fun activities only. Kids do need to learn about mending fences and doing laundry, but neither should you always be looking for Something Productive to Do.

There's an incredible amount of joy and freedom in just being with children, if you let it.

Do you value work over children, or know someone who does?
If you had a parent who always put work first, how did that make you feel?
Your thoughts?

_________________
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anaïs Nin
Follow the latest Scoop: http://www.scoop.it/t/iso-mental-health-wellness
OCPD SO info: http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 1935
Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
This post continues with The Costs of Workaholism: The Poisoning of Personal Relationships - Workaholism and Your Mate from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992. If you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.

Quote:
Workaholism and Your Mate

As for your spouse, workaholism may not cause problems if you're both comfortable spending only limited time together. But when this is not the case, one partner's workaholism can make the other's life a lonely purgatory. Resentful, angry spouses often find ways of retaliating by withholding affection, undercutting their partner's standing with the children, having affairs, spending too much money, or otherwise making their discontent manifest. They may ultimately seek a divorce.

<snip> too much work is likely to take its toll on your sex life. <snip> The sex researchers cite, " the kinds of husbands and wives who relentlessly search for new ways to occupy their time and use their energies - making more money, advancing in a career, caring for children, improving homes, doing community work, accumulating possessions - in short, doing anything that feels like work... In that scheme of things, a sexual relationship has virtually no place. Coitus does because it is translated into a task, a chore, an obligation, a performance, something to be done."

We've all seen the ads - the couple on a sunset patio, holding hands from their side-by-side bathtubs. Ridiculous, of course, and yet... what the ads are selling isn't really boner pills. It's the idea of intimacy, closeness with one's partner, sharing an experience.

Sex can be a big part of that, but not if you turn it into a chore. Or into, "I'm in the mood, right now, so let's do it, right now." Not that I, personally, mind a quickie here and there, but other times I need a little time to get my motor running. I want the hand-holding and sunset walks on the beach.

A couple years before we split up, my ex and I took a trip up the California coast. I got my sunset walk on the beach - only I didn't, because he wouldn't walk with me. No hand-holding, no sharing the moment, just two people who happened to be in the same place at the same time.

Oh, w did have moments on the trip when we did connect - overall, it was a very good trip - but always on his terms, if and when he wanted. There was little mutuality. Most of the time, we'd be twenty, thirty feet apart, wherever we went. (And there were the times when he had a total meltdown and behaved horribly, including one evening out with a couple of his friends at a restaurant.)

He never saw these guys (video clip on the blog, http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com/2 ... m-and.html) at all, because he was off having a snit fit about what restaurant we were going to eat in, and when I beckoned him to come over, I believe he flipped me off and walked in the opposite direction.

I am less lonely now, without a boyfriend, than I was when I was with him.

Do you value work over your partner, or know someone who does?
Has your sex life become another item on the to-do list?
Your thoughts?

_________________
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anaïs Nin
Follow the latest Scoop: http://www.scoop.it/t/iso-mental-health-wellness
OCPD SO info: http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:26 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Southeast US
Referring back to the 8/14 post:
"Do you get an adrenalin rush from being constantly busy?"
Mine is a rush from fixing computer stuff, or earlier in life, punch card stuff. Got addicted to the rush working at a site where there were sometimes 20 or 30 fixes a day. Still have the need, but not as compelling. Fortunately I am not OCPD so it didn't morph into something else.

My OCPDer, even before retirement, was picking up additional things to obsess about, particularly shopping bargains for food pantries to relieve the anxieties about needing to give but also as a replacement for the compulsive shopping for clothes as the storage areas reached saturation.


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 1935
Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
This post continues with The Costs of Workaholism: The Poisoning of Personal Relationships - Forgotten Friendships from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments (http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com), engage more on the FaceBook website (http://www.facebook.com/perfectlyawful1) ... whatever your heart calls you to do.

Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992. If you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.

Quote:
Forgotten Friendships
<snip> Maintaining a happy family life and developing close friendships contribute immeasurably to one's fulfillment in life. But it's amazing how many workaholics fail to see time spend on relationships as productive. They may pay lip service to the importance of their relationships, and indeed often truly value them. But at the same time their behavior betrays the hidden conviction that's it's somehow more important to put one's time and energy into work than into friends and family.

<snip>... he agreed to refrain from doing any work for one entire weekend. When I asked him how it went, he told me he'd been plagued by the feeling that he was wasting time, that he should have been accomplishing something.

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Victoria and I spent the whole weekend just playing together. We went sailing on Saturday and went for a long hike on Sunday. We really relaxed."

"But you just said you didn't get anything accomplished."

"I meant work!" he laughed.

One reason workaholics like Larry may see "fun weekends" (and other leisure activities as being "wasted" time is that the good relationships, personal fulfillment, and increased self-awareness that spring from such time are not as concrete as the most common reward for long, hard work, namely money.

My ex often talked about how wonderful and valuable friendships were, but like the examples, totally begrudged spending time on them. He made so many excuses to stop playing guitar with his best friend that the friend eventually stopped inviting him. Likewise his own family; valuable as a concept, but invitations were frequently declined.

We entertained very little, because he had these rules... No one was to just drop in, ever. (I used to have friends dropping by all the time.) He couldn't stand the thought of having more than six people over at one time, including the two of us, even though we had a huge yard perfect for entertaining. So we could only invite four people, EVER. Once, when an invited guest declined and I invited someone else in their place, another conniption fit, because I didn't ask him first if it was okay to invite this other friend, though it wasn't going over the "six or less" headcount.

He was jealous of events I went to with my friends, though most often, he refused to join me. Or, if he went, would throw a scene. One particularly bad one was at a July 4 party. He felt one of my friends had snubbed him, and he wanted to leave, right that very minute. (I had driven, as I normally did, so he could drink.) Well, the fireworks were going on, right that very minute. I refused to leave until the fireworks were over, because I didn't think it was safe to drive distracted, and with people often setting off bootleg fireworks in the street. Suggested he go sit in the car if he wanted to pout, and I would be willing to leave about fifteen minutes after the fireworks ended.

So, he left, walking. (The friend of mine throwing the party lived in a suburb about 30 miles from our house.) This was before I knew about OCPD, so I spent an hour driving around looking for him. Called his best friend, who hadn't heard from him. Finally I went home, and eventually he showed up. He walked for a while and then I think he took a cab.

End result - I was much less eager to invite him on outings with my friends, and since he mostly declined invites from his... our social circle constricted considerably. I would advise anyone in a relationship with a workaholic and/or OCPD'r to not let your partner's excuses suffocate your social life. If anything, you need your friends even more.

Are your friendships not given space, time, or energy?
Is "just hanging out with friends" frowned upon?
Your thoughts?

_________________
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anaïs Nin
Follow the latest Scoop: http://www.scoop.it/t/iso-mental-health-wellness
OCPD SO info: http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 pm
Posts: 1314
Location: Suburbs of Atlanta
I was taught as a child to not "waste time." I know that was a big influence towards me being a workaholic. Now it seems like I'm either working like a fiend, or wasting time like one. Nothing in between.

As for the having people over thing... we just don't. We're both extreme introverts and like being by ourselves. I do a lot of socializing at work and just don't have the interest in seeing other people at other times. I think that's more of a factor of the introversion than the OCPD. My first husband was an extrovert and we entertained a fair amount. But I didn't realize then how much it exhausted me (and since I was much younger, I had more energy to burn anyway).

_________________
Liza Jane

Peace is the result of training your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. ~ Wayne Dyer


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:26 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Southeast US
With the hoarding issue and the related lack of space to sit down we hadn't had anyone to the house for over 10 years until the children came in for the interventions. Still don't have people in but at least we have more seating.

My OCPDer avoided those thing that would normally require visitors by using the house repair stuff as an excuse. Whenever there was a need for interaction we would meet at other sites. Her children were clueless for 9 of those years, mine were aware of the problems but ignored it until a year ago when my eldest blew the whistle and got the step-children involved.

The house repair stuff was constantly deferred because we couldn't have a contractor in, too much mess.

To those who never have seen it, "My mother's garden" is worth looking up.


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 1935
Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
This post continues with WORK AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVITY from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992. If you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.

Quote:
WORK AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVITY

Workaholism causes problems in more than just the personal realm. "Keeping one's nose to the grindstone can hurt... business," concluded The Wall Street Journal in an article about workaholic entrepreneurs. "The protracted stress of fighting distraction, focusing intensely on dull details and working at protracted tasks fatigues the mind... The result: a rise in errors, troubles handling the public, more accidents, and declining workmanship."

As previously noted, perfectionists often have trouble starting projects, making decisions, and delegating tasks that could be better executed by others - all of which may easily do more damage than the good done during all those extra hours on the job. At the same time, the perfectionist's constant fault-finding is apt to dampen office morale.

<snip>...Fortune magazine described how a management consultant spent three days following one "hard-driving, bleary-eyed investment banker," recording in minute detail what the man did in the course of his interminable workdays. The consultant found that eighty percent of the Wall Streeter's activities turned out to be "busy work": redundant phone conversations, unnecessary meetings, time spent packing and unpacking his two bulging briefcases. All too often, no one looks at how effectively the workaholic is laboring, and yet that is ultimately much more important than the number of hours he spends on the job.
Churning. Not just for butter any more.

I once worked with a young woman who was let go, and my boss described to me how once, when they were getting a delivery of new office furniture in, she told "Joan," to clear off her entire desk, empty the drawers, etc., so the old stuff could be removed, and the new installed. When she came back twenty minutes later, it appeared Joan had moved a stapler from one place to another, and nothing else.

That's churning - the mindless business of shuffling papers around, of re-reading the same email over and over, or trying to make sense of a spreadsheet with the same methods that aren't working.

At least when you churn butter, there's a delicious product at the end of it all.

Simply being at work, or sitting at a computer, does not necessarily mean you are being productive. (Trust me, I can offer plenty of personal experience on that one!)

I work with people who put in 12-14 hour days certain times of the year, but honestly? A lot of it is going over the same thing fruitlessly, over and over; or chatting on the phone for hours. They could probably get as much productive work done in ten. I've been in these round-robin e-mail loops where everyone is misunderstanding and it goes through six sends when the whole mess can be cleared up in 30 seconds of conference call.

(And as I type all this, I have firm plans to clean my desk at home - this week. Which plans I've had for several months, but still... my intention is NOT just to shove piles from one place to another.)

Is all your extra work really productive?
How much churning do you do?
Your thoughts?

_________________
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anaïs Nin
Follow the latest Scoop: http://www.scoop.it/t/iso-mental-health-wellness
OCPD SO info: http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:52 pm 
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Posts: 1978
LovethatOCPDMan wrote:
but still... my intention is NOT just to shove piles from one place to another.)
I think that one of the most effective things I've become aware of is how I would equate my intentions with actions, and be honestly confused when all my thinking (and no or very little doing) on something really did get me nowhere in real-world, physical terms. That I certainly wasn't taking other people's intentions to heart the same way, and only seeing their results and actions, was invisible to me. I still find myself thinking a lot, but I'm better able to gauge what's really going on, by using what's getting done rather than how I feel or how much time I"ve spent "working" on it :)

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People do not change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.  ― Freda Lewis-Hall


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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 1935
Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
This post continues with CHRONIC LEISURE-DEPRIVATION from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992. If you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.

Quote:
CHRONIC LEISURE-DEPRIVATION

By definition, workaholics don't have much free time, and chronic leisure-deprivation in itself may cause both psychological and physiological damage. Among the varied medical ailments attributed to overwork are fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbances, difficult in concentrating, depression, gastrointestinal malfunctions, coronary disease, hypertension, headaches, and muscle spasms.

<snip> Of course, burnout afflicts both those who are forced by circumstances into overworking, and those who are psychologically driven to work all the time. But of the two groups, overly driven obsessives are less likely to be able to enjoy whatever small amounts of leisure time they do have. <snip>

Other workaholics might cook elaborate dinners or take on complex home-improvement projects. Such laborious "play" can be truly pleasurable, but it's also very common for demand-sensitivity insidiously to drain the fun out of freely chosen leisure activities, making them feel like things that should or even must be done - in other words, like simply more work.

<snip> Caroline, the marketing director for a large clothing company, one day described her feelings about spending time with her baby and preschooler on the weekends.

"I love my children more than anything else in the world, and I don't have that much time with them during the week. Yet I find it very hard to spend completely unstructured time with them. Half the time I devise activities for us: we go somewhere or we undertake some project. About the only way I can force myself to just hang out with them and play spontaneously is by telling myself that it's my 'job' as a good mother to do that. And then it's okay. But it's sad that I can't fully surrender myself to their world."

<snip" Danielle was a perfectionistic workaholic who used her vacations to travel extensively; once on the road, she was a relentless sightseer. If she wasn't out the door and heading for a museum by nine in the morning, she became tense; should a vacation end before she had hit all the "things to see" in her guidebooks, she felt cheated and unhappy. These underlying tensions burst into full bloom when she started to travel with her boyfriend, Jack, who took the view that touring should be leavened with long mornings in bed and lazy breakfasts spent with coffee and local papers. <snip> to my surprise, I found that I actually sort of preferred this schedule. I began to think, 'Maybe there hasn't been something wrong with Jack. Maybe it's wrong with me.' And I just started to enjoy relaxing and hanging out more. Since then, I've made the conscious decision that I don't have to see everything while traveling. I've learned to prioritize and try to see just the best."

No matter how minutely or how well you plan things - other "stuff" is going to happen, too. Sometimes much better "stuff" than you could have planned. I remember taking my son to Disneyland (a not particularly cheap day trip, FYI, if you've never visited) when he was about three. I wanted to schlep him to this ride and that ride, to get his picture taken with Mickey Mouse, and all that. And he wanted to sit on the benches behind Dumbo and watch through a gap in the hedges at "Casey Jr." the miniature circus train go by.

OMG, I wasn't getting my money's worth! Then I realized, I was, because the point of the trip was for us to have a good time together, for my child to have a good time at Disneyland, and he did. (Even though by the time he was ready to move on, after over an hour of train-watching, I was bored out of my gourd.)

A few years ago my ex and I went to the Grand Canyon (pics up on the actual blog post, here: http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com/2 ... ronic.html) , and yes, we had a fair amount plotted out in advance, because we had to (accommodations and so forth). But while I was there I picked up several books about the Grand Canyon, and I'm pretty sure Harvey Butchart, subject of Elias Butler & Tom Myers' book: Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon, was at least somewhat OCPD. The man spent decades hiking and rafting in the Grand Canyon, virtually abandoning his family for weeks and months in order to cross another summit climb or canyon map off his list.

Quote:
A self-described perfectionist, Harvey constantly assessed his hikes in terms of time and distance. Companions remember him as a man absolutely preoccupied with his watch - how long it took to hike from point a to point b, how this compared to the last time he had been across the same piece of ground, how long he could go before having to turn around, etc. <snip>

Susan Billingsley, a former river guide who first came to Grand Canyon in the 1960's, explained," I didn't do that much hiking with Harvey but I never particularly wanted to. Because he didn't hike, I don't think, for the beauty or anything else, he hiked to get to a certain point. You'd go look at his slides and they would be of the route, you know, there was never a beautiful slide of the Canyon, or who was with him, just - the route. He was so focused on that. He'd just get up in the morning and eat in his sleeping bag, and then get up and hike all day, and get in his sleeping bag and eat and go to sleep."

Butchart, a mathematics professor, covered over 12,000 miles, made hundreds of maps and had a few books published on the subject. He was extremely competitive though he did enjoy exchanging letters with others who shared the same interest. It wasn't a spiritual experience, or about drinking in the sights. For him, it was all about plotting the hike or the trip, getting there as quickly and efficiently as possible, then turning around and getting back as quickly as possible, like Danielle from Too Perfect, who felt she had to hit every spot in the guidebook.

Maybe for some people, that is as good as it gets.

Have you been affected by leisure-deprivation?
Do you ever have a hard time just letting fun happen?
Your thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:52 pm 
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LovethatOCPDMan wrote:
Butchart, a mathematics professor, covered over 12,000 miles, made hundreds of maps and had a few books published on the subject. He was extremely competitive though he did enjoy exchanging letters with others who shared the same interest. It wasn't a spiritual experience, or about drinking in the sights. For him, it was all about plotting the hike or the trip, getting there as quickly and efficiently as possible, then turning around and getting back as quickly as possible, like Danielle from Too Perfect, who felt she had to hit every spot in the guidebook.

Maybe for some people, that is as good as it gets.
I don't know, to me this sort of sounds like you're saying there's some sort of external standard for how we should be able to enjoy things. I get that in the context of trying to enjoy time with another person, one person's fixation on details, destinations and miles covered does sap the together time, and this is a telltale experience of life with OCPD'rs. So it's not so much that part of things I'm commenting on here, it's the comment about this maybe being as good as it gets for some that I object to.

I just spent some time with one of my sisters and she's kind of like that, so it was a good opportunity to experience it for myself. But she also travels a lot for work and I've sometimes thought that the travel time maybe benefits her marriage, given her temperament vs her husband's. Maybe for your guy Butchart, his weeks away from his family doing something he loved helped him be more engaged at home. Or maybe he drove his family crazy, I don't know. But, saying that's as good as it gets for some people seems to be putting a judgment on how he's spending his time and that there's a right and wrong way to enjoy things or have a spiritual experience. How does anyone know what's spiritual for another person?

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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Francie wrote:
But, saying that's as good as it gets for some people seems to be putting a judgment on how he's spending his time and that there's a right and wrong way to enjoy things or have a spiritual experience. How does anyone know what's spiritual for another person?
I don't mean to be judgmental here, and you are right, what is spiritual and fulfilling is not necessarily spiritual and fulfilling for another. I was actually trying to be NONjudgmental, and expressed it poorly. :roll:

In reading the entire book (500+ pages, something of a slog, with hiking stories by the authors recreating some of Butchard's routes), it is clear that his Grand Canyon obsession impacted this man's marriage and family in a number of negative ways. I personally think it's healthy for people in a marriage to have different interests as well as shared ones, to not be superglued to each others' hips all the time. But as time progressed, it became clear that he did the minimum at his day job, to earn a living, THEN devoted time/energy/money on canyoneering, and then, if there was anything left over, it went to his wife and family. He took his family on hikes a few times, but the kids couldn't move as fast as he thought they should, so that quickly was abandoned.

It's bad enough to feel like you come in #2 to your husband/wife's job, but to always be in third place... ouch! He might, personally, have felt very fulfilled, but his life was certainly out of balance. This was his leisure, in one of the most stunning places on Earth, and the man turned it into a to-do list. He considered a hike a failure if he couldn't cross off whatever goal was on his list. But even though concept that feels horrific - to ME, maybe it was deeply satisfying, to him.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:39 pm 
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yeah I get you. If it's making us or the people around us deeply unhappy, then yeah there's something to look at. And I'm appreciative of your efforts to become aware of our rigidities and how they affect others and how they curtail our own life experiences. I think that in trying to let go of my own invisible backdrops of "how things should be" I"m seeing how deeply ingrained these expectations are in us and how we also impose them on others, and I"m having a lot of success in just dropping them completely (on a moment to moment basis, that is.) Just totally letting go of any sense of how things ought to be or should be or should feel. And just letting them be what they are.

and you know what? ...."And yet God has not said a word." The earth keeps spinning, life goes on, and I don't fall into a mass of non-functional parameter-less unbeing. I'm still myself and the only fallout is that SO and I are getting along a whole lot better.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Perfect Tuesdays
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:54 am 
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Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
This post continues with Becoming Less Driven from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992. If you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.

Quote:
Becoming Less Driven

<snip> As a starting point, ask yourself:

* Are those long job house really an unavoidable requirement of the job?
* When was the last time you took a walk, going no where special? Or sat and listened to music? Or window shopped?
* Do your co-workers (or people in comparable positions elsewhere) put in as much time as your do, and if not, how do they avoid it?
* Could your own perfectionism be driving you, and is it really worth it?
* Are you avoiding being home, for any reason?
* If you've taken on extra part-time work, is it because you really need the extra money? Or is a craving for absolutely guaranteed financial security shaping your behavior?
* If you're self-employed, must you really accept every referral or project, or are you distorting things? For instance, how true is it that if you don't accept that referral, you'll never get another one from that person or firm? Even if that did happen, would it really endanger your security?
* As for being preoccupied with work during your "free" time, how necessary or useful is this, really? How often to you actually get a creative idea or solve a work problem when you're with your family or engaged in leisure-time activities? Isn't it more likely that "thinkaholism" is contaminating your leisure?


When I was living with my ex, I avoided home, because I was in no hurry to go home and be yelled at or nit-picked. I suspect that, consciously or subconsciously, many workaholics choose to work because it is easier and more familiar and allows them to avoid... something they really don't want to do. Or something that will be a surprise.

In order to become less driven, we first must become totally honest with ourselves. To know when we are BSing ourselves with the lists of Things We Must Do, work that Must Be Done, and when, once in a while, a little overtime might be in order.

We need to make time for unstructured play - for just hanging out with friends and family, for trying a new craft or visiting a new museum or some other loosey-goosey activity where we don't know what's going to happen next. It's not simply important for children to enjoy free play, but for adults, too.

Do too many of the above questions strike a chord with you?
Do you cling to busyness like a security blanket?
Your thoughts?

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And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anaïs Nin
Follow the latest Scoop: http://www.scoop.it/t/iso-mental-health-wellness
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