OCD, Holidays, and The Year of Broken Traditions

2020 and the year-end traditions that weren't.

OCD, Holidays, and The Year of Broken Traditions
Photo by Seoyeon Choi / Unsplash

I’ve always had a thing for traditions. My family had many of them growing up, especially around the holidays. It didn’t take much for something to become a tradition in my mind, either. If we did it once and I thought it was important, that was it; it became a tradition. There was no talking me out of it.

I believe I acquired this obsession with traditions from my father, who also felt strongly about keeping them and got upset when they were broken. I would later learn in therapy that rigidness, hating change, and wanting everything to be just so were symptoms of my OCD, ADHD, and Autism. They were likely symptoms of my father’s as well.

2020 has been a lot of things. It’s been awful, eye-opening and has allowed us to reflect on our lives and how we’ve lived them up until now. There have been many missed traditions this year, but none have been as hard for me as missing the tradition of spending the holidays in New York with my family.