Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of those things associated with anxiety. It comes as no surprise to me that I have several OCD experiences that often affect how I think and feel on a daily basis. It got me thinking about a few of my staple experiences and how these differ from person to person. I often analyse them and consider myself a little strange sometimes!
I’d like to share a few of them with you, as you may find them relatable or just generally amusing 😋
Checking that doors are locked
Every time I leave the house, I have to pull on the door handle and ensure the door is locked. It isn’t just the front door, I’ll do this with the bedroom door before I go to bed at night. Even then, I’ll ask my fiancé if he’s locked the front door whilst I’m getting into bed. Then there’s my car. For some reason, I feel the need to check this even though I know its been locked electronically.
Tidy house, tidy mind
I can be a bit of a neat freak sometimes and I can only ever really relax when the environment around me is tidy. The house is a given – I am constantly tidying and cleaning kitchen surfaces, ensuring any sort of homeware is neatly placed and aligned. This can prove difficult when making the bed as you can imagine! The same goes for my desk at work, my car and generally anything that can be organised. I just love coming home to a tidy, cosy house and being able to relax. If there is mess, it will stress me out so much to the point where I become mentally and physically irritated.
Did I leave my straighteners on?
This is probably something most girls can relate to, but I do get a genuine sense of panic when it comes to my hair dryer and straighteners. It used to be the case that I’d have to say “off” out loud, as if I were making a mental note or reminder. It has now progressed to the point where, I turn the sockets off at the mains and then double check my GHDs aren’t flashing before I leave the room. As the saying goes, I’d rather be safe than sorry, and for me, that constant doubt will never leave unless I follow these checks.
Parking and symmetry
Whenever I park my car, I have to ensure that I’m neatly between the lines and symmetrical. If I parallel park, I can’t be too far away from the path and sticking out slightly as I won’t be able to relax. Logically, I know there’s nothing wrong with this, nobody is going to check that I’ve parked perfectly within a bay. For whatever reason, it makes me panic. If I go into the house, I’ll then sit there thinking about how I could have been closer to the path, so much so to the point where I’ve actually gone back out to correct it.
The need to be super clean
The final OCD experience I’d like to share with you is my need to be clean. This one is a little hard to explain, but its almost as if I can see and feel bacteria on my hands after coming into contact with things like an unwiped surface, a bin lid or a public door handle. I can’t use a toilet if someone hasn’t bothered to flush it. If the seat is down, I have to use toilet roll to lift it. If someone makes me a cup of tea and squeezes the tea bag with their fingers, I can’t drink it. Little things like this really get to me. Cooking chicken in particular is a frightening experience for me, as I have to wash my hands at every possible opportunity to avoid cross contamination. In this instance, I guess its understandable as I don’t want to make anyone ill, however I can’t help but think that if I carry on like this, I’ll follow in the footsteps of Mr.Burns from The Simpsons!
Share your OCD experiences
Everyone has their own unique OCD experiences. I imagine many of us have lots in common, but it’s not really something I talk about on a regular basis so I am intrigued. I do feel like I’m a bit strange at times but this is how my mind works. I’m getting better at teaching myself to trust my instincts and just lock the car door without pulling on it. I’ve actually been practicing since I started this draft of my blog. It would be great to hear about your OCD and how it impacts your life. I do find it quite interesting, especially when I take into consideration that my OCD is actually fairly mild compared to others. Please feel free to share your experiences, I’d love to read them ☺