Have you ever referred to yourself or some particular behavior as 'obsessive'?
It seems that this term is being used more loosely than ever before, to describe certain characteristics, or attitudes which interestingly enough, are closely related to perfectionism.
If you consider this in terms of personality type, what does it really mean?
Does the word 'obsessive' resonate in a positive or a negative way for you? Or neither?
Some common behaviors for those who may be labeled 'obsessive' include:
-Being so worried and anxious about making the 'right choice' that you have difficulty making even the simplest decisions....usually the ones involving pleasure or relaxation.
-When your mind is so hyperactive that you become a 'thinkaholic', unable to turn off the worry and rumination.
-Inability to commit to any long-term relationship for fear that it's not the 'perfect' person.
-The workaholic who works long hours and has cut out most other areas of their life to the point that they know no other way to live.
-Procrastination or laziness? Are you unable to take on tasks or responsibilities because you know that it is impossible to complete them flawlessly?
-Equating productivity with worth...an intense need to fill every minute with activity.
-An intense need to be above scrutiny: moral, professional or personal.
When does such obsessiveness become a problem?
When the obsessions become so dominant and inflexible that every minute of every day is controlled by them.
The core of obsessiveness is an exaggerated need for control. This stems from the irrational belief or conviction that if one has 'perfect' control, it will ensure safety. This applies also to the obsessive-compulsive person who repeats certain patterns in an effort to feel safe or in control.
Many of the above mentioned characteristics or behaviors are common among people who suffer with an eating disorder. I know them all very well, and can relate to the manner in which they can control one's life and become a prison.
I have learned that this is one prison that is self-induced, however unintentionally.
The beauty of this is that it also means that we each hold the key to our freedom.