The Age of Majority Card
This is strange and unusual tale based on events from the past that embarrass me. However, they serve as an example of what happens when one lets obsessive compulsive behaviour get out of control.
I have had symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder since I was a young child. I remember when I was in public school doing actions and saying things repeatedly. In high school I had trouble focusing on the schoolwork. The symptoms were never consistent and would appear and then disappear for days, months, even years. To a lesser degree, this behaviour followed me to university where I felt compelled to keep and check lists, insist that things always be in the same place and that nobody touch them. Again, these self-imposed rituals would disappear for long periods of time, but then flare up. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a form of anxiety that I have lived always lived with to some degree.
A number of years ago when I was doing graduate studies in sociology and library science at the University of Western Ontario I was frequently going to the clubs and discos in downtown London sometimes by myself and other times with friends. Well, one evening when I went to the disco at the Holiday Inn, I was not let in because I did not have an Age of Majority Card and they suspected I was not nineteen years old. I was quite distressed at this since my entire purpose of going to these places was not to drink but to meet girls.
So you can imagine my elation when shortly after my rejection from the disco, I discovered that our Ontario Government would be sending representatives to set up stands throughout the university to issue Age of Majority Cards. On the first day that they were there, a Tuesday, November 14th, I happily went to one of the appropriate locations, wearing a nice shirt and looking good to have my picture taken. After the picture was taken, I signed the card, which was then placed in an encased plastic holder.
However, my jubilation turned to dread shortly afterwards. I started to have the strange feeling that something was not right with the card, it was not placed in evenly, dirt had somehow got in the plastic, that my shirt was not right,and the picture was not right. I felt an overwhelming need to destroy the card so as to eliminate my feeling nervous, anxious and sick. And so I destroyed the card by cutting it up and depositing it in a waste basket in the University Centre. A continuous cycle of repetition occurred over the course of that day, Tuesday, November 14th, and into Wednesday, November 15th.