Grounding and the Author Pt 1

Hi everyone.

So, I have an addiction, and its name is Pinterest. I’ve had it for a long time. I have a Down Days board among all of the geekiness, armour designs, things to make and do, images and quotes. As some of you may know, depending on what you pin to your boards, Pinterest shows you similar things. Blah blah, skip to the end.

So, a pin popped up about “grounding”. I’d vaguely heard the term before but for the life of me can’t think where. Anyway, grounding is a technique for reducing anxiety. Here’s the pin that I saw…


Basically, it seems like a distraction technique. But it seems to work for a lot of people so, if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go.

Anyway, as always, I can’t just look at something and use it. I have to over-think it and analyse the shit out of it. What I realised is that I already “ground” as a natural part of my personality, and it goes far deeper than I thought.

Pause for dramatic effect.

I have a little OCD. Not like flicking switches ten times or anything. But I’ve had it since I was very little. There’s a fair list so here we go…

I had twitches as a kid. And they often boiled down to me feeling equilibrium. If I winked one eye because there was something in it, or it felt funny, I’d have to do the other eye to even it up. That looks a lot like a nervous twitch but it’s more of an OCD thing for me. To this day, I still do things that are similar. If I’m walking down the pavement and my toe hits an uneven slab, I will purposefully stub my other toe in the next few seconds to even it up.


You guys know by now that social events make me nervous as hell. Where my OCD comes in is at a dinner table, for instance, straightening the table cloth, the plate, the cutlery, the salt and pepper pot, making my drink glass right in the middle of the coaster. I do it to the point that everyone knows about it now and we all have a jolly old laugh. But isn’t that a lot like grounding? Distracting myself? Putting things in order in the real world because nothing is inside.

It is and it isn’t. But I’m getting to the good bit, honest. Bear with me.

Another thing that I do is count. I count things. Je suis le Count from Sesame Street. The strange thing that I count is letters and spaces inside them.

I know. It got weird. Sorry.

It’s hard to explain but here’s an example:


That would count as five. You see, there are three black lines (the letters, obviously, but the lines are what’s more important) and then the D and the O have spaces in the middle. Three lines, two spaces, that’s five.

From there, it gets complicated. Of course, not all fonts are the same. Some fonts don’t have enclosed spaces. Some fonts make up their letters from smaller pieces. They all need counting separately because they aren’t touching. Then there are borders. Borders count. The spaces made by borders also count. On a particularly complicated sign, I can take a good ten minutes or so to count it up and then recount. One of my favs is the Critical Role logo:


That’s a seventeen (in case you’re wondering, the space outside the final white line that makes up the d20 doesn’t count. It just doesn’t, ok?). I also like these to things to make an odd number. I have been known to recount and recount, hoping I’ll find another thing that I missed to make it odd.

Makes perfect sense, right?

No. It doesn’t. But that’s what I do.

This is turning into a long post, so I’ll cut it off there. I’ll post a second part tomorrow.



Cliffhanger movie image Sylvester Stallone


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