This post continues with Preoccupation and Doubt from Chapter Seven.
This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.
Too Perfect, When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992. If you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.
Preoccupation and Doubt
<snip>Preoccupation simply means the inability to give one's full attention to the matter at hand, due to another matter being foremost in one's mind. Worry and rumination are forms of preoccupation, but they are not the only forms; the intruding thoughts need not be about a "problem," past of present. Consider, for example, the woman whose thoughts keep straying to her next day's schedule while she and her husband are making love. She may not be worrying about the upcoming events - merely thinking about them at an inappropriate time. But when those thoughts distract her, she obviously can't give her best to what she's doing, be that lovemaking, interacting with her professional colleagues, or reading to her child.
Doubting - not allowing yourself to feel certain about something - can darken your view of life. Many obsessives doubt their own judgment of performance, as well as the honesty, ability, or conscientiousness of others. Some are chronically pessimistic about nearly everything - they try to beware constantly of the possibility of failure or disappointment. As I've explained, this may also give them an illusion of control, since forecasting a negative outcome makes them feel they assessed the situation accurately. <snip>
I have a sneaking sympathy for the woman planning out her day while her husband is making love to her; maybe his skillz were lacking, know what I'm saying? Not that that ever happened to me. *rolling my eyes*
I admit, the preoccupation thing is one of my personal weak spots. I tend to let my mind wander to my schedule when I'm doing yoga; to creative projects when I'm at work; to work when I'm drifting off to sleep or in the shower. Whereas if I were more centered and present, I would be more involved in the activities I'm doing.
On the doubt issue though, not me. Seems a bittersweet victory, really, to be "right." To doubt something is going to work out well, and then, guess what, it doesn't. You get to experience that pain twice, first by living the doubt instead of focusing on something more pleasant, and then getting to experience the actual disappointment.
I believe, too, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy; if you're headed to a family party, say, and you doubt that you're going to enjoy yourself, it's more than likely you won't. Or, even if you do enjoy yourself, you can afterwards tear the experience to shreds as some have described.
Is doubt and preoccupation part of your daily burden?