Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yay for Dealing with Mediocrity

I had really mediocre bibimbap for lunch today at some express place I'd never been to, and what a relief to simply experience that it was like a salad bar selection of tired veggies, with spicy ketchup rather than Korean spicy red pepper paste, and then move on with my day.

In the past some of my most dogged ocd thoughts eroded my ability to enjoy eating out. I approached a menu like a test I had to study and answer perfectly, so there was a lot of pressure on making the "right" choices, because if I didn't, and the food wasn't good, then that meant I was an absolute failure, and I would try to "undo" that by going over my choice, and how I went wrong, and how to make sure I didn't do it again.

Then the obsessing about obsessing would start:
"Will I keep obsessing about this all evening?"
"Why do I do this? What is wrong with me?"

I once went out with a friend who picked up her menu, saw the first special, said "oh, that sounds good" and ordered it. That was alien behavior for me. I would've broken out in a cold sweat, assuming I should've examined each menu item closely and weighed my options.

OCD can be incredibly exhausting, especially when the observing part of myself could see that there was no real criteria for what the exact right choice was, and no way of predicting with complete certainty whether I would like what I ordered, and that judging myself defective in some way if I received mediocre food was disheartening, not to mention the cascade of "Am I enjoying this enough?" when I actually got a dish I liked. That is an existential question that cannot be answered.

So yay for today and my bad bibimbap! And surviving it. And making sure I don't go back to that place, which is what I suspect someone without ocd would do.

Related Posts:
OCD Toolbox: Listening to Scripts
OCD Toolbox: Flipping a Coin

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