How Do You Feel About Numbers?

I wonder if non-OCD folks out there, and actually those with OCD and without the characteristic, think my next topic might be a bit weird.

I’m assuming most people don’t give too much thought about numbers, other that they need them for regular every day purposes. How much is gas? There’s a number. Call your mom. Another number. Weigh yourself. Number. Buy anything at all from any store (lol?). Number.

Big one here… Turn up the radio. There’s a freaking number.

Let me ask you: Are there good and bad numbers?

My answer is hands down yes, absolutely.

No, I’m not a numerologist. I’m not exactly sure what that is anyways, so I can’t be one.

It’s an OCD thing. Some people with this disorder need to count to a certain number or do things a specific number of times. For me and some others, there are good and bad numbers.

My bad numbers are most (not all) odd numbers, plus anything associated with Satan. I’m not comfortable even stating the obvious ‘evil’ number that would bother me, but those somewhat familiar with Christianity and the significance of numbers in the Bible can surely guess.

Good numbers are most even numbers (minus the evil one), numbers divisible by 5, and prime numbers.

That is, unless it’s the volume in my car or on the TV. Then it has to be an even number or end in 5.

If anyone, like my darling teenage son, decides to mess with me and turn the volume to a “bad” number, things get internally itchy. I don’t feel right, the world doesn’t feel right, I can’t help but think about how it’s not how it should be. It’s anxiety but it does literally feel like underneath my skin is itching.

I know how crazy it sounds.

They are just numbers and can’t do anything to me. They can’t attack me. They can’t affect me. They can’t do anything at all but just exist and act as a function of their existence to represent an amount or volume.

But you can’t use logic against OCD apparently. I still see numbers as good and bad. They still make my innards cringe if they are not right.

I am blessed however that my distaste for bad numbers is relatively mild and I can handle them in my regular daily life. I don’t avoid all bad numbers, I just avoid them when I have any control over it. Like the volume control.

Word of Advice

If this post prompts a discussion with a family member or friend (why not ask if they think there are good and bad numbers?), then I caution you this. Be careful in your response.

Thinking that numbers are good and bad, no matter how logically it’s looked at, mental illness makes it impossible to “logic” those thoughts away.

I had a friend I confided my number theory to a while back. His response? There are no bad numbers because numbers were created by God.

As well meaning as that was, as he is as logical as I tend to be, it was inaccurate and unhelpful. God created Lucifer…so obviously good things go bad. Can’t use logic against me.

Plus, it tried to smoosh guilt into the mix. Guilt for thinking something God made is bad. Hello, scrupulosity sufferer here, got a big huge dose of guilt enough to share.

Conclusion, OCD or not?

Anywho. Is thinking some numbers are bad a sure sign of OCD? No, certainly not.

Examine the reason behind the beliefs.

Do you think the number 8 is bad because your brother passed away on August 8th? Or that 7’s are lucky? Some things are chalked up to superstition.

But if you’re like me and you find yourself unable to handle the radio on an odd (or even, no judging here) number for no discernible reason, then it may be worth assessing what other symptoms you might have.

Being obsessive and/or compulsive though is not a disorder unless it causes distress or disrupts every day functioning. I found that little tidbit from a book my husband is reading a bit… misleading.

Basically what it is saying is, issues like this and similar may arise. It’s not a “disorder” unless it disrupts your life. If this quirk with numbers was my only thing, I wouldn’t qualify as having OCD. It does not interrupt my regular functioning and I can get on with my life as if things are normal if need be. It’s all my other symptoms that do interrupt my daily functioning and cause distress that qualify me as having OCD. My considering numbers good and bad is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of deeper issues.

So tell me, how do you feel about numbers? If you do think some are good and bad, care to share which ones and your reasons why? I’d truly love to know!



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