Knock on wood!

Todays assignment: Superstitious

In my family we’re not superstitious, or almost not superstitious. We walk gladly under ladders (unless it’s looking like something is falling down from up there), we don’t mind living in room or house number 13, we arrange parties for Friday the 13th, and we think it’s okay, when the black cat has some business on the other side of the street.

Maybe being superstitious is connected to being religious in some way. We’re not religious in our family either and neither am I, even though I gave it a good try many years ago, when I studied theology.

Back then I planned to become a priest, not because of religion, but because people like to talk to me and I felt then and still feel that many people get depressed because they don’t have anybody to talk to and they are getting medicated and overmedicated for no good reason. I saw becoming a priest as a way of giving back.

I quit after a year though, not because I have a problem with God or whatever we call her, but because I have a problem with the church and especially with priests. I expected them to be nice people and they were everything but.

Back to being superstitious. Many, many years ago, when I lived in Hamburg in Germany, I had a colleague, a young girl my age, 17-18 years old, who was superstitious to a degree that was impacting her life. Back then we didn’t know about OCD, but in hindsight I would say that she probably suffered from it.

It’s 40 years ago, so I don’t remember most of all the things she was superstitious about, but some of it was about the order in which she got dressed in the morning and the way in which she prepared the table when she was going to eat and how she used her knife while she was eating and how she left knife and fork after she ate. She also had something about having to look at her feet every time she had looked at her hands or had talked about her hands or had heard somebody else talk about hands. It was absolutely exhausting.

In my opinion it’s a waste of life quality to complicate your life with rituals; everything you feel you have to do or else…, whether it’s because you’re suffering from OCD, are superstitious or religious.

As I said, I’m almost not superstitious, but I have this one stupid thing: every now and then when I talk with others, I get the feeling we’re jinxing something and then I feel the urge to knock on wood.

I’ve thought about it and decided to stop doing it, and I’m going to make it without pills or therapy. Next time I get the urge to knock on wood, I take a cold turkey and just don’t.

Wish me luck.

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