Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Falling Apart? I Sure As Shit Do

falling apartI used to work with a man who would arrive every morning, check all four doors of his car to make sure they were locked, then stop halfway to the entrance of our building and return to check his doors again. During the workday he’d also go out and re-check them, just in case sunspot activity, or whatever, made all the locks pop open.

Needless to say, we mocked him unmercifully behind his back. You know, on account of his Crazy-As-Fuck Disorder. We mocked him for other things as well. The dude was serving up hanging curve balls, every day.

In any case, it was clear he was obsessive-compulsive, for real. Not that fake “I am so OCD” bullshit you hear people say all the time. This guy was genuinely on the spectrum. And that’s some good fodder for a bunch of bitter and bored cubicle monkeys.

The thing? I’m a little like that, too. Just a little. I will check my phone fifty times per day to make sure all the notifications are cleared (I can’t tolerate pending notifications), and need to have everything on my desk just so. If someone has been sitting there, I can tell, instantly. The legal pad is 5% askew, or my pens are on the left side of the Post-Its instead of where the universe dictates they must be… It genuinely aggravates me, and makes me feel slightly panicked until order is restored.

Compared to most people, I think, I’m a little particular. I’m also highly aware of what’s going on around me, which is also quite rare. I’m always conscious of other people, and try not to be a hindrance to them. I am the person you want to be behind in line, and the guy you don’t even notice at the grocery store… because I’m not causing anyone problems. It feels like the rest of the world is fairly scattered and oblivious.

Anyway, because of the way I am… I almost never lose things. There’s a special compartment in my brain that never stops doing an inventory. I’m not as wacky as that door-checker in Atlanta, but can sort of understand what drives him.

But over the past two weeks there have been disturbing developments…

Last week I went into Sheetz to buy a Mountain Dew Severe, and it was pandemonium in there. People were ordering food and (this bugs me) all sorts of ludicrous coffee drinks and smoothies that require a blender and a plastic dome lid. So, there weren’t enough employees to go around, which translated into a massive checkout line. Grrr…

I stood there wishing physical harm upon the fancy coffee drink assholes, and waiting for the one cash register guy to deal with all these customers.

Finally I paid, and left the store. And as I was driving away I started doing one of my compulsive checks and re-checks. And I was thrown into a DEFCON 2 situation. My flash drive was gone! I was heading to my super-secret writing lair, and had all my stuff on the seat next to me, situated the way the gods require. But my little orange flash drive — which rides in my right pants pocket — was missing.

My heart began pounding in my chest. The entire memoir that I abandoned is on that thing, as well a bunch of other important stuff. Sure, it’s backed up six ways to sunset, but I still didn’t want it out of my control.

I did a big ol’ illegal U-turn and returned to the Sheetz parking lot. I ripped my car apart, and couldn’t find it. WTF?! I was freaking out, man.

I went inside the store, and there was now nobody waiting to pay. Weird. I asked the older manager-type woman behind the counter if anyone had turned in a flash drive.

“A little orange one?” I pleaded.

“I don’t know anything about it,” she said, clearly not giving a crap one way or the other.

“It’s important. I have to find it.”

“Well, we don’t have it,” she repeated. Thanks for the empathy, bitch.

I walked back toward the Mountain Dew coolers, and there it was, lying in the middle of the floor. Holy shit! There had been an army of people in there. How did nobody pick it up, or accidentally kick it underneath a fixture or something? Wow! My heart was now fully cutting in and out.

I walked past that sturdy softball-pitching manager on my way out, held up the flash drive to her, and said, “Thanks for all your help. You were great!” That’ll show her.

Then, just a couple of nights later… I lost my keys at work. I was going around at the end of the night, making sure everything was locked-down, etc. And while I was walking toward the exit to leave for the day, I did an inventory. And my keys were gone. What the hell, man??

It took me five minutes to find them, which doesn’t sound like much. But when you’re frantically searching for something, five minutes is an eternity. They were on the floor, on the receiving dock, near a wall I didn’t remember walking past. A wave of relief washed over me.

But what is going on? I never lose things, NEVER. And now I’m dropping stuff all willy-nilly, like some bumbling old man? I told Toney about it, and she said, “Obviously, you’re in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.” I think she was joking. I’m almost sure.

And some other weirdness is happening. I took two vacation days earlier in the week, so I had four days off in a row. But I couldn’t sleep. The entire mini-vacation happened inside a fog. I went to bed after midnight every night, thrashed around trying to get comfortable, got up and read for an hour or two, returned to bed and wallowed some more…

I ended up sleeping just three or four hours each night. I never have problems with sleep. I don’t even understand it. When people say they couldn’t sleep last night, I act sympathetic, but am really fighting the urge to roll my eyes.

I had a lot of things I wanted to get done, and it felt like I was subconsciously sabotaging myself. It wasn’t a complete washout, but I wasn’t firing on all cylinders, that’s for sure. It was frustrating, and disappointing. Plus, when I’m really tired, I tend to get depressed. So, that was happening, too.

And last night I returned to work, came home, and slept like an Olympic sleeping champion. So, what the hell?? Am I on Cosmic Candid Camera?

Does any of this resonate with you? Are you experiencing any new problems, or seeing fresh signs that you’re falling apart? Please tell me I’m not the only one? Use the comments link below.

I’ll see most of you guys again tomorrow, and the folks who don’t subscribe to the mailing list for some unfathomable reason… on Monday.

Have yourselves a great day!

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  1. The quality of posts is rising again.

    • Ron from PA says

      I think this was a great post but, by the time I got to the end I had already forgotten what I read

  2. Jazzbone Swirly says

    I fell apart years ago, so I don’t have anything fresh to report. I’m a complete wreck now. Thanks for asking, though.

  3. ADHD

  4. Earlier this week I was absolutely positive that I’d put a freshly-burned CD in or near my purse so I could take it out to the car. I headed off to work and tried to fish it out of my purse but it wasn’t there. That night I searched the counter where my purse had been that morning and it wasn’t there either. It turned out to still be sitting on my desk near the computer, which means that my clear memory of having taken it downstairs was completely fabricated in my own head.

    • You probably forgot it was 2014.

      • Hey now. I still use a 300CD changer in my office, hooked up to *gasp* a real amp and speakers. You kids can keep your lame sounding MP3s. I burn CDs for the car too.

      • I have iPod Shuffles. I’d rather waste a CD to listen to selected songs in my car than clear off one of the iPods. Or play song roulette with them.

  5. I used to be the chronic door checker, iron off, gas pilot light still lit kind of person. It drove my wife to the brink. I finally cured myself by saying out loud three times “the door is locked.” Haven’t had much of any issues since.

    I too also know where everything is. Keys go in the same spot, money clip and change same drawer. The wife on the other hand is exact opposite. Never can find her keys, purse, wallet, etc. Never in the same place twice. Aggravating.

    And aside from a few aches and pains, I’m in relatively good shape for a 47 year old that drinks too much, smokes too much and works in a high pressure job. So, yeah, I’m just a stroke waiting to happen…

    • Dorothy B. Raught says

      i wonder if psychiatrists know about this trick. i discovered it years ago and do almost the same as you do, except i give the date and time :
      it is june 26 at 4pm and i shut the oven off. works like a charm. don’t know if it would work with true ocd, but it works with obsessive personality (which i have.)

      • Ha! I do the exact same thing, and it has saved me many return trips home. I check the time that unplug my flat iron, and then announce it to myself out loud, “You unplugged your flat iron at 7:26.” It finally fixed my issue. My mother just carries her iron, curling iron, etc. to work with her; if you can see it in the back seat, you know it’s unplugged. My brother says we are both certifiably insane, but he’s the one who gets up at 2 am to check all the windows and doors, so I think that’s a definite case if the donkey calling the mule an ass.

  6. Bill in WV says

    I’m highly organized. I think I get it from my dad, who used to be so anal, it wasn’t funny. Several years ago, mom and dad had visitors (aunt & uncle on dad’s side). My aunt noticed that everything in the kitchen pantry was neatly organized, canned food neatly stacked and in straight rows. My aunt decided to test my dad and see if he really kept up on things. She took a can of baked beans from the third shelf and put it up on the first shelf with boxed food and stuff. She went back an hour later and the can had been returned to its original resting place. I’m not that bad, but still like shit to be where I left it and where I can find it quickly the next time it’s needed.

  7. The harsh reality of the passage of time, I know it well. For sure I’m not nearly as sharp as I once was, and words are now starting to elude me. Recalling names is never easy, but now it’s an occasional struggle to remember names that ought to come easily. Very frustrating.

    However, even with the frustrations of getting older, it’s nice to know that I’m not the self-centered asshole I was when I was younger. That shit was not good and needed to stop.

  8. I scare myself every day when my mind goes suddenly blank and I’m standing in the middle of a room and wondering why the hell I’m in there. I used to be the super, multi-tasking mom and the totally orgainized worker but something happened when I retired. The mind has retired too. So here’s a tip for all you “youngsters” out there. Be aware that in a few years you too shall have this CRS disease.

  9. I’m a compulsive checker of way too many things, and it drives me batty. It takes me an extra 15 minutes to get out of the house for work every morning. Oooh! Let’s check the locks again and again. Is the stove off? Did I unplug the Keurig? How about the house alarm? Is it on? Good LORD. As if I haven’t already wasted enough time, why don’t I go ahead and shut the garage then circle back around by the house to make SURE I shut it. Kill me.

  10. madz1962 says

    I’m at the point where I’m mixing dreams with reality. The other day, out of the clear blue, I decided I really had bought a 12 pack of washcloths at Target. Could even see the colors. I searched high and low and can’t find them. All I was left with was a nagging “Did I buy them? Or didn’t I?” until I looked at the receipt and sadly, never purchased them.

    I’m disorganized but I have a general idea where I left stuff and important things like keys and purse go in the same spot each and every time. Beloved, on the other hand, tends to misplace things. Then I get a frantic phonecall at work because HE can’t find shit. And I want to personally maim the sonovabitch who came up with those Post t Notes because he’ll use one, curl it, use the next, curl it, etc so he has this wave looking pad of post its. Invariably, he’ll lose the top one with the most important phone number or seria number he jotted down. This will cause him to go roaring around like a banshee after I tell him time and again to write it in the notebooks I bought him.

  11. madz1962 says

    Oh and yes, I too check and recheck to make sure the stove is off. I eve got a carbon monixode detector.

  12. 80-HD. And everyone claims to have OCD now as if it’s something to brag about. I think it’s supposed to be a hint that they’re “orderly” but their cars and homes are always a fucking wreck. Sure, everyone fancies themselves fucking “Monk”, but they aren’t. Fucking idiots.

    My short term memory is getting to be shit. Lots of times I’ll find myself standing in the garage, or in front of an open freezer door and it takes me a while to figure out what the hell I’m doing there.

  13. Ruthless Dee says

    Just lately I increasingly have lost my mind. I have screwed up almost everything except at my job and at the same time have become an emotional wreck. I am famously not unfeeling but definitely not emotional so the constant burst of tears is just crazy. Each weekend I make some dish, in quantity, one for the week, and a couple more for the freezer so we always have a rotation of easy to fix meals. Saturday I made four batches of Mexican casserole, wiping away tears brought on by I-don’t-know-what and wondering why the whole thing seemed to be strange. I wrapped and froze three batches and on Monday I pulled the reserved casserole and started topping it for the oven. It was then that I realized I had made Mexican casserole with ingredients for vegetable soup. WTF. Of course I cried….and laughed….and cried again. It was clearly time to really analyze WTF. It turns out the answer is pretty disturbing. I am not producing any testosterone at all and apparently we all need that. A whole new WTF! I am a woman but I don’t have the hormones I need to think straight and not cry and whine? Are you kidding me? This goes against everything I’ve declared since reading Montagu’s The Natural Superiority of Woman in the 90’s as well as kicking ass while serving in the Army. Anyway, after only a couple of days on EEMT, I’ve got my freaking imaginary balls back and three healthy but really lousy casseroles in the freezer. I’m also shoving my hand in my pants while I watch tv.

    • The same thing happens when a woman does not have any estrogen. I ran so many red lights in a row one day that I was ready to commit myself. Then, I just stopped at every light and had a discussion in my head–this is a green light, so do I stop or go. Okay, I will go. I have been taking estrogen for 25 years and will never stop. I went through early menopause, so this was shocking to me.

      Nowadays, it seems that I forget everything. As long as you remember eventually that you had an orange flash drive, you are okay. When you forget you ever owned an orange flash drive, then it could be Alzheimer’s.

      I know the panic, the sweaty feeling when looking for something or after locking myself out of the car or house AGAIN. Right now, I am not panicked, but I know I have a beach bag, bought for my daughter’s birthday on July 6, but I cannot find it. Plus, I have to mail it. So, time is short. There is no panic, just disgust right now.

      One day, I was driving along with cash in my hand because I forgot to buy gas and I was driving on fumes. My car sputtered and I knew it was too late. I braked, stopped the car right on the highway in the left lane and blocking the entrance to a shopping center to the left. I jumped out of the car. A man stopped and asked if he could help. I said yes and turned to get money for gas. I had locked the money and keys in the car. The policeman who was a friend and future chief of police saw me. Someone had called the police when I was standing on the highway. He unlocked my car just as the guy brought me gas and would take no money. That was after I got the estrogen.

      I was in school and could only write a simple sentence. I went directly into grad school and could barely think until the estrogen kicked in. I lost everything all the time except for anything related to school.

      Now, 25 years later, at 68, I lose stuff, forget stuff, stumble around. I never had any OCD tendencies, but was neat. Now, I may seem OCD, but it just trying to stay in better control since I have developed CRS.

      • Ruthless Dee says

        So now we have to take pharmaceuticals to think straight. I had a red light incident in my youth due to non-prescribed drugs. I made a left turn on a green light and looked up while I was turning. Shit, the light was red now. So I sat in the intersection to wait for it to change in that direction.

  14. I’m always checking for my keys… Being I work on the road, losing or misplacing a set of keys would be an unwanted adventure to track down.

  15. Stuart from Oz says

    ………….I’ve forgotten what I was going to say……………………………….

  16. Since the flash drive and the keys were both found on the floor, it sounds to me like you’ve got a hole in your pants pocket.

  17. Odd. I just noticed I can’t remember shit lately. Names. Dates. Client brands. I would guess that at least 5 people made snide or jokingly snide comments about this- today alone.

    Fuck it. If I lose my memory then I’ll forget all the bad shit that haunts me. Unless I somehow retain only it.

    Glad you found the flash drive, John.

  18. Jeff. Whatever.

  19. Skippy in WV says

    I fall into the truly OCD column. The things that set me off are incorrect spelling, my money MUST be turned the same way and in numerical order, and improper grammar. I literally grind my teeth and fight the urge any time I hear someone use improper grammar or day the word “ain’t”. (It made me cringe and grind my molars to write that fuckin word just now.)

    • Skippy in WV says


    • Skippy in WV says

      Stupid fuckin autocorrect.

    • revashane says

      Hello Skippy, let me share. I have two college graduate friends that couldn’t conjugate a verb if their life depended on it. One has her degree in English!! Drives me ape shit.
      Lately I’ve noticed that writers have lost the word “take”. They “bring” everything. I’m sure you know the difference and when to use the correct verb. If you haven’t noticed this now you will and it will drive you APE SHIT!!!

  20. johnthebasket says

    There’s a thing drunks do (I’m very familiar with things drunks do). They identify someone who drinks even more than they do, and, perhaps is cross-addicted to another drug, and think, “Well, at least I’m not as fucked up as Fred.”

    So, when you write…

    ” I will check my phone fifty times per day to make sure all the notifications are cleared … and need to have everything on my desk just so. If someone has been sitting there, I can tell, instantly. The legal pad is 5% askew, or my pens are on the left side of the Post-Its instead of where the universe dictates they must be… It genuinely aggravates me, and makes me feel slightly panicked until order is restored.”

    …and then write…

    “I’m not as wacky as that door-checker in Atlanta, but can sort of understand what drives him.”

    …I become a little concerned.

    Hell, people lose shit all the time, and most adults have trouble sleeping occasionally, but the feeling of genuine anxiety you experience when the world seems disordered is probably worth looking into.

    I’m a fan of talk therapy (counseling). It’s usually covered (or partially covered) by medical insurance, but even if it’s not, I’d consider looking into it. Sometimes anxiety is all about perspective, and a good counselor can help you find a more peaceful and fluid perspective on life.

    Finding a good counselor is hard — most of them aren’t very good — but by asking around (yeah, it’s embarrassing…just suck it up) you’ll find a great one.

    Jeez, I hate to be this fucking serious on a site called maturityisforsuckers, but life is short and we should optimize our enjoyment of it. I’m just sayin’…


    • true that.

    • Jazzbone Swirly says

      Counselling would be the mature thing for me as well; regarding a whole host of unresolved issues. I have avoided counselling for decades by just telling myself over and over: “I’m not crazy – everyone else is crazy”.

  21. Not Oprah says

    I’ve taught myself how to keep things in order, but there are certainly areas that I am challenged – such as where I have parked. I am the one frantically searching for her vehicle amongst a lot with only 20 other vehicles. Once in dt Vancouver I met a friend for lunch and couldn’t even remember what parkade I was in never mind what floor. I had to catch a flight out shortly and that kind of taught me a lesson. Now I am paranoid looking for landmarks as to where I leave my vehicle. Doesn’t seem to work for me though – still always having problems, I just need to know how to use my GPS AP better I guess.

    When I go to malls, I have to park beside the biggest department store and make myself remember the items by the entrance that I walked in beside.

    • Lew in Bama says

      I lose my car in parking lots a lot. I got so bad one day I almost called and reported it stolen. I walked the mall parking lot span of about 10 aisles for half an hour, called my boyfriend in a panic…turns out I was about 4 aisles off in my search. I felt so stupid.
      It happens at work some too. If I am late for whatever reason, I lose my preferred parking and have to park way way way out. When I come out at the end of the day I have to walk slowly and repeatedly hit the unlock button so I can follow the beep.

    • revashane says

      I learned to “take a picture, it’ll last longer” than my memory.

  22. I am constantly groping myself over my pants/shorts, taking an inventory of what should be on my person…keys, cellphone, wallet-and any other sundry items I might have picked up along the way.

    Also on a related note, living in Austin I have learned that the length of one’s sideburns and walletchain are not the measure of a man.

    • MommyWoman says

      My Beloved goes through the self-grope multiple times when we go anywhere, even 2.5 miles down the road to the store for milk. He also loses his phone daily as well as the keys to both of the cars as he never gets the keys to the correct vehicle, ever.

      I’ve not yet started this dance, but I did just turn 50, so I anticipate the games beginning any day now…

  23. Losing a flash drive is a nightmare. I tend to lose notebooks. I’ll write in it for a year or so and then leave it at a bar or something.

  24. Art Vandelay says

    I have a fairly healthy self-check routine, but yeah, this year has shown the signs of advancing age and mental decline.

    I travel a fair bit for work. Once I had a personal errand to run in San Jose. I was working about 5 miles away in Santa Clara. I went outside, walked to the car, had a smoke, then drove into San Jose. The car was a Charger, and you don’t have to put the keys in the ignition to run those… As I shut off the car, my mind flashed to the fact that I set my keys on a wall while I was smoking, and sure enough I did not have them and was now 5 miles away. Just for the hell of it, i pushed the start button and voila, it started! which confused me even more. Turns out there was a spare set in the glove box I didn’t know about (rental car). Bullet dodged.

    I have also locked my keys inside of my personal truck at home twice in the last few months. I have never, ever locked my keys in a car before.

    I’m 45 and slipping fast.

  25. Minipeds in NOLA says

    Stress does a number on your ability to form short term memories. I’m 28 and feel like I should be sent to the glue factory any day now, with how much I forget. It’s kind of alarming but everyone else I work with is having the same problem. Except for the million year old coworker who actually did have a stroke, we can all blame stress.

  26. Stephanie C says

    Shouldn’t it be CDO? Ya’ know…so the letters are in order.

  27. Dan Ujcich says

    I have a friend with OCD. He admitted to me that he had not slept all night the previous night as he kept thinking he left the stove turned on and kept getting out of bed to check it.

    Finally, he decided to unplug it and duct tape the cord to the top of the stove so it did not fall behind the stove. Then, he continued to get up to double check that he did unplug the stove.

    I suggested that he take a note card and write on it “TUESDAY JUNE WHATEVER 8:00 PM STOVE UNPLUGGED.” and tape the note card to his bedroom alarm clock. It worked. He would wake up, see the card, and go right back to sleep. Poor bastard.

  28. CousinDave says

    I have lost my IPhone twice in three months. The first one was on a jobsite. When I went to look for it, twelve inches of concrete had been poured. That phone sleeps with the fishes. So I got a brand new one with a giant Otterbox and clipped it to my belt. The damn thing was so secure that I would miss a call before I could answer it. My twice divorced retired Navy guy from Brooklyn next door neighbor is a sports fanatic. It doesn’t matter what is on as long as it is a sport. I found him watching a badminton tournament, I shit you not. Anyways, he wants company so he can pretend to be the color commentator in the booth. He will call to let me know that the hockey game just started. What the hell, he always has lots of Yuengling and shots of cheap Canadian whiskey. My second phone is somewhere between my house and his. Then I lost a set of keys for four days. I found them on the coffee table underneath a four day old newspaper.. I began to worry about myself so I called my 58 year old brother. I told him that I was just fine up until age 49. Now that I am 50, I’m falling apart at the seams. I asked him if this was normal and he said yes. What worries me the most is that I can’t remember the person/player that I just brought up. I may say, hey do you remember that basketball player from Maryland that got drafted by the Celtics in 1986, then he overdosed on cocaine the next day? My drinking buddy said he remembered him but forgot his name. It took me about two hours until I blurted out Len Bias. The same thing happened while discussing great players of yesteryear. You know, that boy from Georgia that played for the Detroit Tigers. He was the dirty player that would spike the other players with his cleats while stealing second base. The next morning I was driving to work when the proverbial light bulb appeared above my head. It was Ty Cobb you stupidass idiot. One last thing. My wife was in Hong Kong and Bejing for three weeks. After a 31 hour flight home, she was tired and grumpy. I went out to the parking deck to get the car and swing back around so we didn’t have to lug her bags. But where the hell did I park? 45 minutes later, I showed up. Oh boy, have you ever seen a wet hen? So, I empathize with all of you. Perhaps I should get a white belt, pull my pants up to my belly button, move to Florida in time for the eary bird special and complain about the government full time.