It's All In Your Head!

I know that it is. The last time I told someone that I have OCD they had said "can't you fix it?" as though I had a crooked nose or a bad polish job (which I wouldn't be able to have anyways).

The next thing that I heard out of their mouth was "Does that mean you are crazy?"

You would think that I'd be offended by this. But I'm not. I know that I am not "crazy" but the things that my brain makes me do definitely seem crazy.

I just wanted to share a list of the things that I do, I've never shared the exact nature of my OCD with anyone. And I think it will feel good to finally get this off of my chest.

I wash my hands constantly. To the point where my hands are always pink. That might sound like a gimme. But I have this irrational fear (and I am rather proud to be able to recognize that it is irrational) that something is going to get on me that I don't want there.

I am a "skin picker" (I wish there was a prettier name for that). It has something to do with the fact that my skin just doesn't feel right. I pick the skin around my toes, my fingers, my nails, lips, knees...the list goes on. And heaven forbid if I happen to get a pimple. I don't bite my nails (just the thought of putting my fingers in my mouth has caused an anxiety attack) but I do pick at my nails.

So because of those I wear gloves and socks. Constantly. I think the only time that I am without is if I am taking a shower or changing them, and obviously using the bathroom. Which is a problem, when I use the bathroom I'm usually stuck in at the sink for a good 15 minutes before I can tear myself away.

My showers take ridiculous amounts of time. I brush my teeth so many times a day that my dentists are worried that I could literally brush away my enamel.

I have sleep problems. I am constantly getting out of bed to check to make sure that my son is alright. I'll just get comfortable and I'll have this thought that I HAVE to make sure that he is ok, which of course starts this whole ridiculous routine.

Go from Landon's room, check on Landon, move all toys or sharp edged objects from around his bed (he could fall out of bed onto them) check all three windows make sure they are locked. Make sure his closet is closed. Leave his room, check to make sure the furnaces are all clear. Go into the kitchen, turn on the lights, lock the door (lock the door, turn the handle, push the door to make sure it doesn't open...then start all over because I might have nudged the lock...until it feels right), check the stove and oven, check the furnace.

And so on. It's like that from room to room. I've had "episodes" where it has taken the better part of an hour to make sure everything is "just right".

And don't get me started if I walk the wrong way. Always start on your left foot. Odd number steps from doorway to doorway (or carpet to tile)... that kind of stuff. Or else I have to start all over.

I'm constantly forcing myself to do things because "something bad might happen." Like a punishment if I don't do something right. Even though I know it's just my mind being rude...I have to do these things. I can't explain why, but I just HAVE to do it.

I remember once where I had to double back before leaving for work and do my ritual all over again because I was literally scared out of my mind that something wasn't right and something bad was going to happen.

I was and hour and a half late for work.

And I'm a counter. I don't know why, but I have this issue with numbers. I have a hell of a time looking at a digital clock (the one on my computer has been covered with whiteout). If it is 10:23 (like it is now) 1+0 = 1+2 = 3 - 3 = 0. For some reason time must come out to a good number. Certain amount of steps.

I'm not sure if that makes any sense. "Good Number" is sounds dumb. But it's all that I can explain it as. It has to be a good number.

Two is a big "good number" for me. If I smoke a cigarette, I have to have two. When I kiss my boyfriend it has to be twice. I have literally cried when he kissed me once (before he knew about my OCD) because then we had to "fix it" He couldn't just kiss me two more times later, because I would be obsessing about that damned "one kiss."

The one that freaks people out the most... when I'm eating I have to touch everything that I put into my mouth to my lips. I'll tap my lips with it twice. In my mind, it makes it ok to eat. If I haven't done it, I can't eat it. I won't eat it.

I'm sorry that I've rambled on and on about that, but it actually feels kind of good to talk about it. I haven't explained everything, which is probably a good thing.

But thanks for reading this anyhow. It makes me feel better just knowing that someone out there knows and I don't have to keep everything bottled inside.

NotSharing NotSharing
22-25, F
3 Responses May 17, 2012

talk about it everyday to anyone that will listen-get it out of your system. ive had ocd 10 years. its not going away-so i just accept it-i have ocd hooray.

I would count things a lot when I was younger too. It is nothing to bne ashamed of though. Sometimes I have been at the store where the purchases rang up to be a bad number after that I did not have a good day at all then. Does that ever happen to you? Well there is also the handwashing and checking of the door constantly to make sure it is locked. I think I have gotten a lot better though.

What was your bad number? Or did it change? Mine is always the number after 3

Next time someone accuses you of it all being inside your head, here's an analogy.<br />
If you leave you foot or arm dangling somewhere or sleep on it, it goes completely numb. When the feeling comes back you get pins and needles which can really hurt. If you look down, there are no pins sticking you there so if it's all in your head, shouldn't you be able to turn the pins and needles off? No? Well, it's kind of like that.

That's a really good analogy. I never thought about it like that. Thanks!