OCD is not Rational. I Am.

I hope this does NOT make sense to you:

I have MY locker at the YMCA. I ALWAYS use the same one.

All of us, the regulars, have OUR lockers.

Early in the year the Y is filled with new members.

That is a good thing.

It is also a bad thing.

New members do NOT know that Trudy has her locker,

Barbara has hers,

Mary has hers…

And I have mine.


Oh lordy,

Today my locker had been co-opted.

Yes. Today.

Not only that, but the person who TOOK my locker also had MY lock;

Lock number 17.



Numbers and OCD.

I count, I add, I look for patterns.

This started when I was young as a way to control my chaotic,

 alcoholic environment.

Systems, rituals. They helped me cope.

I have spent years, OK, decades, learning to let go of this


The Serenity Prayer digs in here:

“Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change”

Easier said than done…

While my mother was in decline many months ago

the counting/adding/pattern hunt returned with a vengeance.

I know this:

The day I found out my mother qualified for hospice I had lock # 17.

She had a long time to live yet; but she Qualified.

They would bring a dog to visit her.

Not Dying; just Qualified.

The last day at the Y before Thanksgiving, I had Lock # 17.

That was my last day there before my mother died.

She was not Qualified; she was Dying.

The first day back at the Y after Mommy died,

almost a month later,

I had Lock # 17.



Today is my first REAL day back since Mommy’s death.

My locker co-opted.

Strangers were everywhere.

My Lock, #17,


With some strangers clothes inside.

I was upset.

I know it is irrational.

OCD is not rational.

The Sauna Club was the only answer.

I was in the sauna today;

With a stranger.

I began a conversation with her;

That is what we do.

We help these irritating people

feel welcome.

She was an older woman with a beautiful accent.

“Where are you from?” I asked.

“Russia. Russia a long time. Too long,” she told me.

She told me about life in the Soviet Union,

She told me about life in Russia;

Before and today.

It is worse now, she told me.

God came up.

That happens often in the Sauna Club at the Y.

“One God for ALL religions I tell you. One God for all of us no matter.”

She went on,

“One God for all and Communism. Communism must fall.”

For most of her life she had to hide her faith.

She is Jewish and began going to Temple when she moved here.

She tried other faiths also.

She stopped going to Temple.

“Religion is like Communism. God is God.”

She lights candles now on Shabbat and prays in her way, to her God.

Her God.

My God.


Habib’s God.

As she left she turned and said,

“Take good care Sveetie. One God. Remember and do not forget!”

One God.

One Faith.

No coincidence,

I made my way to my locker.

My locker of Today which is SO not my locker.

I resented #17 across the way

And then,

I let it go.

I met a Wise Woman today.

She called me “Sveetie” and shared her heart.


Who Cares.

Numbers;  Pshaw.

One God.

One Faith.

No Coincidence.

Moving forward.

There is a sign hanging in the Y entrance at this time of year;

Welcome to the Y  We’re glad you’re Here!!!

Me too.


My Locker.


#17 belongs to us all.

One God for all religions.

Faith in the future.

No more numbers.


This evening I was reading about the Broncos;

thinking about my father and how he taught me to listen to people’s stories.

I was thinking about his generous heart and his faith;

In the Broncos and his Girls.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of his death.

Get this:

Denver’s last turn in the playoffs was the 2006 AFC title game,

a 34-17 loss to the Steelers.

Yep. THAT was the game we watched at Daddy’s funeral.

 We lost that one to the Steelers; no shame in that.

We Beat the Steelers in overtime Sunday.

We are off and running. No numbers, no counting, no worries.

One God and Listening and Faith.

This is Our Year Girls!

Peace Sveetie!   Jen

To better understand the Sauna Club, see posts:

Sauna Club Diaries, Sauna Club Stranger, and Sauna Club Salvation.

~ by Step On a Crack on January 9, 2012.

29 Responses to “OCD is not Rational. I Am.”

  1. Will read tomorrow. Dying for sleep. Jen you’ve. Even. I instead for Your. Log is Great ok? Love mel


  2. Holy SHIT! I was on my iPhone. God damn! You’ve been nominated for the Your Blog Is Great Award. FUCKING AUTO CORRECT!
    And, i HAVE to sleep … this is a great post … i will be back!!! love mel!!! i’m so embarrassed!!!


  3. Things happen and we can choose to see a pattern or not. That’s what I believe. And I don’t believe in God, I believe in Good. It may be the same thing.

    Peace to you darling person.


    • Dear Dear Carolyn!

      I love that; “I believe in GOOD.” My God is pretty darn complex; encompassing all the worlds religions AND the Higgs Boson and equations and science. BIG GOOD GOD!

      Hey, I think we have the same Good!

      Good Bless you sweet Woman….

      XXX to you my Friend, Jen


  4. Routine and predictability are things many, if not most, of us desire on some level. Perhaps not at the OCD level, but on some level.

    We have a large, active treatment centre in our community that draws people from all over our province to attend there for their 60-day program. Part of the program is an enrollment in our community centre that has a fabulous gym…. MY gym!

    Your post reminds me of how my attitude varies with the number of freshies that come in from the treatment centre. You can always spot them because they are usually unfamiliar with the gym and equipment. They dont appear to have fitness routines but instead meander from aparatus to apratus in a disjointed fashion. Oh yah, and they talk too loud, have far too many tatoos, and spend a disproportionate amount of time flexing in the mirrors 🙂

    This is my attitude speaking! My attitude that pefers routine and predictability in MY domain.

    I have to stop and put things in perspective. As out of place, awkward and disruptive as they seem, I am glad the treatment centre guys are there. I am always disappointed when I only see them there once or twice then never again. It tells me they don’t quite get it. That fitness is an important aspect of taking care of one’s healty and simply feeling good.

    So it is this battle in my head that plays out in a similar way that you describe in your post. My petty preferences still have some recovering to do. You are not alone in wishing for consistency. A part of it is completely naturaly.




    • Welcome Chaz!

      THIS is Wisdom:

      “I have to stop and put things in perspective.”

      You TOTALLY understand what I am talking about: MY gym! It is a wonder, is it not, to be trying with grace to walk in light and then to find this vein of anger and resentment popping up. I figure it is my God running me through my paces. I think it is curious that both you and I find ourselves, not at Golds Gym or a 24 hour fitness center, but the YMCA (Christian run) and the gym at your Community Center. Community being key I am guessing in both places.

      You are right: the battle is in my head. I need to keep it out of my heart and all will be well.

      I DO hope the new people stay. I DO hope they find community and create a healthy routine. I REALLY do. I just wish they would do it later in the day….
      : )

      Thank you SO much for stopping by!

      Peace to you,



  5. My day is already moving too fast for me to say much except I here every word you are saying and hear the victory in your voice. Victory of choosing a path of health, love and peace. Love that sauna club!


  6. Makes lotsa sense but does not worry me one whit.
    I love counting. It helps me do so many things accurately. I am not good at many things, things that counting helps me do better, like remembering, seeing in the dark, etc. Maybe it’s more normal than we realize. Just because a diagnosis is popular these days does make it spot on. Does anyone out there not count?
    If so, are these people really, really good at math? Perhaps I count everything because my math skills are low and it helps me keep track of what I’m doing or supposed to be doing, or maybe it is just a different way of showing math ability that some of the more mathematically brilliant ones do not understand?
    God counted EVERYTHING, for pity’s sake–even the hairs on our head are not just counted, but even numbered, He says. It can’t be all bad. There’s even a book in the Bible called :NUMBERS!
    Maybe we “counters” are just misplaced census takers! 😀


  7. Geesh…I don’t count. Sorry. I really hated math, could do it and got through Algebras with a puddle of tears. Heck, I even took French because it got me out of any numbers classes in college! Seriously, I don’t count, but also, seriously, I’ve got other behaviors that make me diagnosable! I’d say we’re all diagnosable! Depends on how vulnerable we are and how well the diagnoser knows us.

    In other words, I just LOVE the title. Yessiree! You are rational. OCD is not, along with alcoholism, bulimia, gambling addiction or any number of other issues. But we’ve all got ’em by the time we get wise, we may know how to live with joy anyway!


  8. In appreciation of the light you bring with your positivity and creativity, you’ve been nominated for the Candle Lighter Award. Congratulations and shine on. 🙂
    Peace & grace,


  9. GO JEN!!!!!!!!! Pile ’em up baby!!!! You rock, lady! Love mel


  10. Welcome back to the Y Svettie! One God and one Locker and lock for all. So good to see you in the locker room again Jen! love Sue


    • Locker schnooking should be outlawed!!! Shame on that Russian lady! I probably would have started a friendly little fight 🙂 love mel


  11. 1

    There’s a number i can get into!


  12. Wonderful!


  13. I love the day’s journey in this post! The number wouldn’t take me down, but losing my space just might. Introvert, nester, attaches meaning to tangible things…, yep I would have struggled with a takeover of my locker. Isn’t it great that in our moment of compulsive pettiness, our intruder invites us to think big, think inclusive, think a community of the universe. I think I love/hate those moments. Love the lesson. Sometimes wish I could say I got it without having it put in my face by a “teacher”.

    Farther up, and farther in Sveetie. Paulann


    • Dear Paulann! I love this comment. thank you so much. You really understand. I am a champion nester and it is hard AND the Universe has lessons and it is best to just Step Up. I too, love/hate those moments. Since that day I have been choosing different lockers on purpose each day. I think it is helping to let go.

      XO to you! Jen


  14. Great Post! Please feel free to follow my new blog page. My old page was deleted because of personal reasons. My new url is http://tigergroves.wordpress.com Hope to see you on my list soon! Thanks


  15. Hey Jen, I get this post. Not numbers but little rituals. Rational no but it helps so yeah I get this. I must also tell you that I’m reading my friend not commenting but reading every post.


    • Dear Maiya,

      Hello there! I have to tell you, your Poetry haunts me In that good way only Poetry can…

      Thank you for reading. I love your presence comment or no…

      Peace to you my Friend,



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