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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

McReadie Worries About Salad; Tries Not To Worry About "The House of Obsessive Compulsives"

I'm quite a salad fan. This may come as a surprise to you, since it is also the case that I'm quite the junk food fan. Mmmm... junk food. However, as it turns out, the two loves are not mutually exclusive. I can enjoy a good salad and follow it up with a good chocolate bar. And a good bag of crisps. And a good cake. And a good few slices of takeaway pizza.

Here's the thing, though: while I'm not all that fussy about junk food (if it has sugar in then, pretty much, I'm happy) I am fussy about salads. Here's the rules:

1) No cucumber
2) No red onion
3) Must have proper French Vinaigrette, made by my Mum or my Grandma

Now, as you can imagine, finding a salad which meets these criteria is tough, especially in the UK. Especially the last one cos, unfortunately, my Mum and Grandma do not supply salads to any major supermarket chain.

In the past week, however, a new food place has opened in Wimbledon station. It's Spanish, I believe, and when I saw the details of its green salad - lettuce, egg, tuna and olives - I had hope. Thus this morning, I took the plunge and purchased.

I was impressed. It was freshly made, and they even gave me a piece of bread to "mop up" the dressing with (I asked for only olive oil, though vinegar was offered, cos I was worried that the vinegar would burn up the lettuce before I had a chance to eat it). Problem is, obviously, I won't be eating said salad til lunchtime. And it was made around 9:30am this morning. It's safely tucked in the company fridge, but I am nonetheless worried. Will it hold out til lunchtime, or will it be a mere shadow of its former self? It's cause for concern.

Yes, yes, I realise this sounds a little obsessive compulsive. What I can tell ya? I am one, remember?

And that provides a perfect link to the other thing I wanted to tell you about this morning (yes, yes, a need for neat links is probably another manifestation of OCD, but what the hell, a nice link is a nice link) - The House of Obsessive Compulsives. This is a new, two part TV show on Channel 4, which starts next Monday.

Now, I've been aware of this show for a little while. I read about it on an OCD support site, and a quick Google search shows it's been gaining some media attention. I gotta be honest: I was a little worried when I first heard about it. I wasn't wild about the concept of a reality TV version of OCD. It felt a little too like an intrusive freak show - "Hey, look at these crazy people! It's entertaining, isn't it? And the best thing is we can get away with this by claiming it's a psychological experiment! Cool, huh?"

However, I was reassured when I found out that the team of experts behind the show are all from The Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at The Mighty Maudsley! Why, yes, those of you with good memories, this was where I was treated! And I'm confident that these good folks wouldn't be involved with this show were it exploitative. We loves them Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma folks.

So I'll be both taping and tuning in (obsessive compulsive, huh?)

I'm not too sure how it'll feel watching other people in the same place I was not too long ago. On the one hand the days of the deep, dark OCD feel a long time ago and, on the other hand, I guess the feeling that I'm a recovering obsessive compulsive won't ever go away.

I never really understood what former alcoholics meant when they said they were "recovering" even though they hadn't touched a drop of alcohol in fifteen years. But now I get it. Maybe I haven't bought a Dettol product in a while, but it doesn't mean the temptation isn't sometimes there. Recovering obsessive compulsive.

Anyway, I hope that a few of you might tune in next week. Consider this your heads up.


  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger Barbara L. said…

    Two things: First, I totally get your bipolar eating habits. This morning, for instance, I had a bowl of organic oatmeal and blueberries (no sugar at all), followed up by several handfuls of chocolate chips. If it weren't for the chocolate that I consume daily, my diet is actually quite healthy.

    The OCD reality show sounds interesting, I think. Given that my blog is about health issues, I may have to blog about it myself. I teach a health a media class, so I am particularly interested in this show.

  • At 6:41 PM, Blogger McReadie said…

    Ha ha - excellent! That sounds exactly like my diet! I convince myself that drinking a bottle of fruit juice somehow balances out the crap I spend the rest of the day eating :)

    Yeah, I'm interested to see the OCD show. As I say, I'd been concerned, but I do strongly feel from my experience of treatment there that the staff at the Centre wouldn't have agreed to it if they had concerns about it being exploitative. I'll be interested to see also how the media reports on the show. Already a magazine I read described the three people as a "bizarre but poignant trio", which didn't please me greatly :)

    Ah, of course, yes - the show link well to your blog, I think, and certainly to your class. I'll hunt out any information I find on it and point you in its direction. It's a shame I couldn't get a tape of it over to you, but I believe you guys have a different TV system over there, which would rather screw things up!

  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    I do that salad-and-chocolate thing too. I don't think it's an OCD thing. I think it's just part and parcel of having two X chromosomes. Also, I like salad, and I like chocolate and the calories cancel each other out, which is how I maintain my elfin figure*.

    * I realise that having not met me this joke will fall a tad flat. But hey, I'm gonna crack it anyway, what the hell.

  • At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Jo said…

    Hi McReadie,

    I've seen 'The House Of Obsessive Compulsives' advertised on T.V and will be tuning in - mostly to see if any advice offered will help me with my own OCD. I too was a bit worried that some people might view this as a 'freak show' full of 'crazy people', but hopefully it wont be like that and will help people realise what OCD is truly about.

    Hope all is well with you!



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