I Have An Obsessive Personality

I have an obsessive personality.

Regular readers will know this anyway. It’s an aspect of my OCD which I have struggled with for the majority of my adult life. I don’t do things by half. When I develop a new interest or passion I must push it to the nth degree, to the point where everything else takes a back seat. When I am in this zone, my moral compass spins horribly out of control and I lose all sense of perspective.

I used to be obsessed with work, although this was often driven by a fear of failure. I would work ridiculous hours and was forever spending my weekends immersed in it, when I should have been focusing on my family. In my warped mind, this wasn’t a problem as I was doing it for them. The next promotion or pay rise. Putting bread on the table, bringing the bacon home. In reality, it was all about my ego.

When my father died, It was alcohol. I was a weekend drinker, but before long the weekends began on Thursday evening and ended on Monday morning. When our finances were tight, I always made sure there was enough for a case of beer. I drank to forget. To forget about my father’s death, to dull the intrusive thoughts and compulsive urges, to block out the mess I was making of my life.

Alcohol fuelled the Twitter years. I became obsessed with building up a legion of followers although I tweeted largely nonsense. It made me feel wanted, valued, relevant. I didn’t realise though that is was further estranging me from my loved ones, from the people who mattered. I was in the room with them, but I might as well have been a thousand miles away. I was an empty shell.

When I stopped drinking, running took over. My weekends would be spent away from my family again, at races all over the country. I became obsessed with personal bests, medals and beating the people I trained with. While my body was healthier than it had ever been, my mind was sinking further into the more. Image and appearance were everything. I was shallow and selfish.

I still run, but nowhere near the levels I used to. I now race 2-3 times a year when it used to be 2-3 times a month. I enjoy running but largely train alone now. I prefer it that way. Before I used to feel under intense pressure, both from myself and other people I ran with. I don’t want to go back to that way of living. When I run now I reap the mental as well as the physical benefits.

Passion. Drive. Ambition. Determination. These are all words which most of us would agree are positive. But there is a line and, when you cross it, you enter a whole new world. The world of the obsessive. We suck the joy out of everything like a ravenous lion sucks marrow from a bone. Except our demons feed on anxiety, fear and doubt. We lose all sense of who we are and who we want to be. It is the darkest of realms.

I don’t want to go back there, and I don’t think I will. But I must never rest on my laurels. You can’t be cured of OCD. It’s like someone saying they used to be an addict, but they’re not anymore. It is always there lurking, watching, like a dormant volcano waiting for its opportunity to unleash death upon the unsuspecting countryside. It stalks its prey, waiting to pounce and rip you apart.

Have you an obsessive personality?

Have you ever crossed the line?

How is your mental health today?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

54 thoughts on “I Have An Obsessive Personality

  1. As I recently read, we’re all a bit OCD deep inside…. and the struggle is never ending. It’s life and it’s exactly its purpose to forge us through our weaknesses…


  2. Keep working at keeping it in check and keep praying for guidance. I’ve got faith in you. 🙂

    I think B is right also; we’re all OCD to some degree. I struggle with it at times. But… what is this mental health you speak of? O_o


  3. I don’t think I’m obsessive but maybe I am. Or maybe I used to be. I’m a lot mellower than I used to be, I know that.

    My mental health sucks today. I lost my wallet yesterday & all my cards … debit card, ID, buss pass, Medicare card, Medicaid card, the works. I am really upset about all of this, not least because I have to wait two days to get any of these things replaced. I already called the bank & had my debit card cancelled. A new one will be here in 5-10 days. Meanwhile, I have no ID & no way to get money out of my own bank account.

    I know that this too shall pass but right now I am wicked depressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have always been an all or nothing kind of person. It’s taken me a lifetime to learn about balance but I am aware that I need balance in my life in order to reap the rewards of living. I’m a work in progress and I always will be. I am not striving for perfection. I am striving for progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never been diagnosed with OCD but I do think we all exhibit traits of it at times just in a more controlled way. I think it’s the same for most things in mental health. It’s characteristics, like focus and drive in this case, taken to an unhealthy level. I have dealt with depression and panic attacks. And you’re right. I developed them after a very difficult situation and even now after I’m healed from it I know when my mind is trying to pull me into a funk. I’m more susceptible to facing depression again and have to be aware to control it.


  6. Yes, dormant volcano. Perfect description. I had an eating disorder for twelve years, until learning who I am in Christ finally got me to look to Him instead of food … been meaning to blog about it, but it’s a long story. Now I’m kind of an obsessive health nut, still obsessed with food, but it’s got to be the right kind, right quantity, right time … (eye roll)


  7. Yes I have an obsessive personality. I cannot leave something alone until I figure it out. I finally wised up and went to WordPress to leave this comment since it won’t let me through clicking email link to your site. Four years ago it was St. Louis MO 250 anniversary and they put out 4 foot birthday cakes that were all painted different. Not only did I drag my family all over to see all of them, I made a fantastic scrapbook of our adventures and won one in an auction. It is in the garage because it’s too wide to fit through our doors. Anyway yes I’m a lot OCD.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OCD is a monster of a disease. A monster that can be fought, but a monster nonetheless. I don’t have OCD but I do become obsessive when I am fixated on a goal. I can’t give up even when I know the time to do so has long past. I have some compulsions such as needing the radio volume to always be on an even number, and not being able to have just one word on a line of something I writing or typing (super fun at work). I also need to always be closest to the door but that is more of a safety/trauma thing then anything else.

    I think you are doing great Stephen and if you have setbacks here and there, it’s okay. We all do. Much love from the Garden State ❤


  9. So beautifully written! I am OCD as well, so it feels like you were writing this to me. Thank you for sharing. I crossed the line the worst when I was going to school on campus 5 days a week, working the overnights in a warehouse 5 nights a week and a Saturday job for 10 hours each Saturday. I became so sleep deprived that my mind started to venture into dark areas and I began to have problems with my heart. All of these years later, I am still having to face the damage this caused in my family and with my eldest daughter.


  10. Wow thank you for sharing. It’s interesting how those with any kind of mental health related concern have to be vigilant even long after the concerns have passed for fear they may (and sometimes they do) prop up again! Sigh. Well done for the progress though!


  11. So easy to cross the line from wanting to be my best to becoming an unhealthy perfectionist in many areas of my life. If it weren’t for my faith, I imagine I would be highly accomplished and utterly miserable to live with.


  12. Lovely honest post … As always. I’ve gotta go my friend. The ex wife is trolling so I’m closing down my blog. A sad day, but I can’t bear the abuse any more from her. Thank you for being a wonderful friend. Xx


  13. Have you ever heard the song “Rain Clouds” by The Arcadian Wild? It always makes me think of you when I hear it. I may have recommended it to you before, but I don’t remember. Here’s the link, anyway! Let me know what you think.


  14. When life is especially difficult and stressful I find I obsess more than when things are relatively fine. I try not to get on the worry wheel, but sometimes, against my own better judgement I do anyway. It’s a life long habit – a bad habit. These days I try not to take that first think (though in all honesty it lurks there much like your OCD monster). Realizing I am not and cannot control all things (or people) and letting go of the need to control (and therefore becoming obsessive) helps – when I can catch myself before I fall into that same old rut. It really is about balance – about taking care of ourselves on every level. Great post!


  15. I can get obsessive about things, and it’s a struggle.

    Mental health wise I’m doing fairly okay right now, but I still need to find a new therapist. I’m super wary, because my last therapist accused me of faking Dissociative Identity Disorder (I promptly fired him after that) and it sucks when my doctors keep brushing me off.


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