The Desperate Need To Do It Right

Cap Kotz
2 min readApr 17, 2022

I recently accepted a storyboard and director position for a local short film project. There are two story branches: past life killing and OCD pattern release. I decided to place the past life murder influence in the background as a trigger for the surface world OCD struggle.

I removed the word disorder from the acronym OCD, resulting in a movement ranging from obsessive to compulsive. I visualize the movement range as a teeter-totter, with compulsive on the left symbolizing the past and obsessive on the right, symboling the future. This visual provides a grid from which I am developing my main character based on movement and musical scoring.

The obsessive end of my teeter-totter is familiar. I obsess over making choices when writing or playing online games. I obsess over the possibility of breaking glass and getting cut when handling glass kitchen items. I obsess over the slightest physical ailment, creating stories with horrendous outcomes which paralyze me. I obsess over potential dangers should I venture out into the world. The compulsive end of my tetter-totter is less familiar. I knew to look for controlling habits with a desperately compelled understory.

I have the fortune to be training with a fellow struggling with a crippling case of needing to do things right. I’ve been upgrading my ability to release this habit from my system, and right away, I realized that my needing to do things right is my way of desperately trying to control my obsessions.

The urge to do things right is a drug. Each time I strategize the path to doing things right, I am infused with a delirious belief that, finally, I will be loved and praised. This time I got it right!

Of course, it’s an illusion. There is no right way to do anything. There is only what I’m experiencing at the moment. And, if the obsessive-compulsive range is to be released, I’m looking at a do-it-right withdrawal. I begin with my online game practice. I note my anxiety spikes each time I make a choice. and replace them with a relaxed and curious lens. But, when I do “win” a game, immediately, my inner reaction is to jump up and down with glee as if to say, “See? I finally did it right! Finally, I’m on the path to love and praise!” Reluctantly, I’m replacing that reaction with a neutral pleasure.

Another reaction I have is to make fun of the inner desperate child for wanting to be loved. A part of me steps in to kill that stupid child. Fortunately, I have the strength to acknowledge this reaction, and I slow down to take notes of my urge to kill. These notes will come in handy, shaping the underbelly of my storyboard!

Cap Kotz

Writer and Story Mapping Guide, I follow the life path no matter how challenging.