Mis-matched Socks

Image from: http://customsocksonline.com/

Image from: http://customsocksonline.com/

Ever since I was a small child, I can remember obsessively wearing perfectly matched-up socks.  I would even go so far as to wear “right foot” socks and “left foot” socks. I had these little washable plastic things that you could use to match up your socks, and I scratched a little “r” on one side, so I would know that I had the correct sock on each foot. 

I remember crying when they felt wrong, telling my mother “these socks hurt!” It always felt traumatizing. Of course, back then, I didn’t know I had OCD. I didn’t know that the “hurt” feeling was anxiety born out of obsession. I just knew that I was upset when it wasn’t right.

Fast forward to now. I haven’t felt the need to wear “right/left” socks in a long time. But my socks have always had to perfectly match. I always buy the same brand. But if I get new ones, I can only wear the new ones with the new ones, and the old ones with the old ones. It’s been this way as long as I can remember, and I don’t know that I want that to change, necessarily.

A few days ago, though, I was digging through the dryer looking for socks. I couldn’t find a match right away. After about 15 seconds, I just grabbed two socks that were “close enough” and went on with my day. A few hours later, it hit me: I was wearing mis-matched socks, for the first time in over 20 years, and I gave zero fucks that day! It felt liberating. I walked around most of the day with no shoes on. I swaggered around, like, “Yeah, they are mis-matched, and I don’t care if you judge me. I’m a bad-ass!

When I confided this revelation with Jenny, I was surprised to find out that she, too, had similar issues with socks. This made me feel even more like a bad-ass. I mean, how do I explain to you how free I felt? It’s like wearing a steel bracelet for my entire life, just to come to the conclusion that the 5 pound thing on my wrist was unnecessary. I got to take off that burden, and it felt good. 

Now, I’m not completely crazy (maybe I am, but I don’t care about that). I know it’s impractical to operate under the assumption that I will never have to wear matched-up socks again. But I will take it for what it is. My meds are working. Really working. A compulsion I’ve lived with since before I knew what that meant is just gone. I will take this as yet another sign that I may have dropped some of my burdensome symptoms because of medication.

It’s been a good couple of days, too. I’ve been getting a lot done around the house, and it’s just plain nice. Jenny says it’s sexy that I want to take pride in the condition of the house, and actually do something about that. I mean, it’s never been gross, but it has always been cluttered, and I’m taking that on like a boss. It actually makes me feel good to clean, and not even in a must-do-it-or-assume-the-fetal-position kind of way. I’m going to go make breakfast at noon, and not call it brunch because I am literally breaking my fast. Ciao!

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  1. That’s wonderful! I, too, have always had that issue with socks. However (and I assume it is thanks to the med I’m on) I can more often times than not let it slide without obsessing over it nonstop, as long as I put the right one on first – that is still a must! I don’t know about you, but some days I can let many of the usual “musts” slide without driving myself crazy over it, and then there are some days that all the OCD “rules” attack full force and I literally spend all day involved with those things else something horrible will happen. But yes, how freeing it is on the days when I can get away with not doing certain things. I absolutely LOVE those days! And I wish you many, many more of those freeing moments of mismatched socks 🙂

  2. T

    My daughter DELIBERATELY wears two different socks. Sometimes there is a theme..a bee and a flower. She has been this way for a very long time…and she doesn’t have to match any of her socks…they are loose in her sock drawer and she just grabs a pair to wear.

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