Do You Suffer From OCRR?


“You really should”. I heard the voice say.

I rolled over and it was there again. “You really should.”

Arghhhhh! Why. Can’t. I. Silence. It?

I was exhausted. It was around 4:00 pm and all I wanted to do was take a quick 20-minute nap. But, the VOICE, wouldn’t let me. This time it was “You really should get payroll done. And the bills need to be taken care of.”

Payroll needed to be done by the next day – not in the next hour. So, there was time to get it done before the deadline.

I suffer from OCRR – Out of Control Responsibility Rash. The rash is just under the skin so it doesn’t show but it’s there and it’s itchy, relentless and drives you batty.

I was born with it. I think first borns are afflicted more than others but clearly not all first borns have it. It’s a medical mystery.

Wondering what the symptoms are or if you or a loved one suffers from this?

Some examples of this disease:

1.     You’re walking behind someone – usually a woman and her shirt/dress is unzipped a few inches from the top. Clearly not on purpose. 
     You hear “You really should zip that up for her. She doesn’t know it and you’d want someone to do that for you.” You squirm and wrestle with yourself a little. After a little scratching, you walk up and whisper in her ear as you are zipping her up. “Your zipper was down and I thought you’d want it fixed.”

2.     You’re at the store and see a mom juggling a newborn and toddler with a full cart of groceries.
     You hear “You really should offer to hold the baby or talk with the toddler so she can pay for her groceries.” Years ago, that would be acceptable. Now, the toddler may start screaming “stranger danger” or a can of pepper spray may come flying out of her diaper bag.

3.     When entertaining at your home you want to be sure everyone has what they need and desire.
     You hear “You need to check to see if they want more dessert, another cup of coffee, a clean napkin . . .” Your poor guests can hardly get a bite without your rash driving you into action – jumping up every two-minute offering more of this or fresh of that. Their necks are getting tired trying to follow you around the room while carrying on a conversation.

4.     You see paper on the ground or a grocery cart out in the middle of the parking lot.
     You hear “You need to get that cart before it runs into a car and throw away the paper – it’s just the right thing to do.” And, this itch is mild and I usually don’t mind it. In fact, if I scratch this one it seems it goes away quickly and doesn’t come back as quickly as if I tried to ignore it.

5.     Now there are some extremely annoying attacks that you have to grit your teach and don’t scratch. For instance – you see a young man with pants that has a waistline hanging down to his knees.
     You hear “You really should go pull his pants up. What if he trips, his mom must be so embarrassed.” By all means, use your rescue inhaler and take a few pills to stop this attack immediately. The risk of being pummeled is far greater than resolving the problem.

6.     You hear someone being verbally attacked. A small child by an adult, between two young kids, or a man and a woman.
      You hear “You really should step in.” Here’s the tricky part. When the person can’t defend him/herself start scratching and with the calmness of calamine lotion speak up. If your rash escalates to hives because you feel danger then one sure remedy is to dial 911 or find an authority figure at the premises.

7.     You see the sad puppy commercial with the music that tears your heart out.
       You hear “You really should call in and help those poor critters out. For only a few $$ a day you can make a difference.” This is the most hideous attack of all. Total false information, false guilt and false everything. These groups prey on emotions and use the money on the organization. Several of these only contribute 1 cent to each dollar towards animals. You MUST, MUST, MUST strip yourself of all symptoms of OCRR when these commercials air. One good way is to go out and buy a bag of dog food and take it to your LOCAL humane society and donate it.

I have struggled with You Really Should Do Something (or better known as Out of Control Responsibility Rash – OCRR) for years.

Being involved with a very legalistic spiritual environment for years did nothing but feed the illness. Over the years, I was exposed to the truth that my worth comes from who I am – not what I do.

And, knowing I’m God’s kid and that he loves me as much whether I’m saving the world or laying on the couch is helping me overcome OCRR.

Like any illness, it can come back. I just must be aware and take action against it.

So, if any of these symptoms haunt you, there is hope. You too can overcome this illness.