Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that my OCD problem has increasingly got worse.
I don’t have my wardrobe colour coded, my flat isn’t sparkly clean, I don’t have my cupboards stacked with food in order from sell by date, for me It simply kicks in when I try to leave my flat. It’s not just checking to make sure I’ve turned the gas cooker off, or checking to make sure that I haven’t forgotten to lock the balcony door, or even that I’ve shut/locked my front door, This is getting too much now as I actually have to leave 20 minutes before as it’s becoming more and more ridiculous every day ( I get in and out of the lift near my front door like a yo yo talking to myself saying its shut it’s shut, back and forth just pushing on the door to make sure it’s done, my dog thinks I’m nuts )
The worst part now is that I’ve started to think that if I leave my hair dryers ( yes I use two as it makes my hair really big and fluffy ha ha) Anyway If I leave them anywhere near the plug socket I seem to believe that they will just turn on themselves and burn down the flat! I don’t have OCD in any other form in my life apart from when leaving the flat? Isn’t that strange? I’m actually quite scatty and ditsy most of the time however when I’m about to leave It’s like I’m a drill Sargent shouting out orders to myself, I’m surprised I don’t drop it to the floor and give myself 20 push-ups!
My ritual Is so strict that even now whilst writing this, I’m like how can I even think I’ve left anything on because I check it a million times over with all sockets and TV off, What’s wrong with me? however, I know this afternoon when I go to leave for a Sunday Roast it will all start again.
When you think of OCD some of us instantly think of Monica in Friends and it being cute, funny and quirky but in real life it ain’t, I actually hate it. I can’t even remember when it started? It’s just here and it’s not going anywhere so I thought i’d share a few tips on how to manage this as loads of people have been messaging me with what has helped them.
MAKE A DAILY LIST
So for me, I’m lucky enough to only have this pop up when I’m leaving my flat so making a daily checklist could actually help, stick the note to the fridge and write a list of the things you have concerns about, for me this is the cooker, the kettle, the balcony door, my hairdryers, locking the front door and leaving the freezer door open. Just before you leave go through the list and tick the boxes once you have completed the task, do this with a red pen (no idea why but apparently this registers more in our brain than writing in blackor blue )
Find a ridiculous phrase like ‘eat bananas and scream’ and once you have checked the cooker is off you shout that phrase out, once you’ve locked the front door shout it out ‘eat bananas and scream’ Yes you might get some funny looks but whatever the whole point is our brain registers the phrase and you only use this once you have done something you do not need to re check.
I got this idea from someone who contacted me on twitter. This is a brilliant idea and I’m gonna start doing it to save myself time and stress. When leaving record yourself switching things off and focus on plus sockets and hair straighteners, irons all being in the right place. If you leave and are walking down the road thinking … hang on did I leave the iron on, watch the video back, BOOOOM OCD have that in your face you can’t stress about something that is squashed in a 3 minute video.
Remember to delete the videos every night so only fresh ones are on your phone otherwise, you can start developing a new OCD, worrying about which video is for which day!
Having an OCD is nothing to be embarrassed about, or should it be kept a secret. I have it and didn’t even realise it was a thing until I started inviting friends over and they saw my mini rituals and even tho we all burst out laughing whilst I’m doing it, everyone has said i need to get help for it, which is right and I think in time I can overcome this and help others.
I don’t touch anything in public toilets, I am that girl that has tissue wrapped around her hands ( and no I don’t touch the taps either ) I hate the toilets on planes, don’t like communal showers at gyms, I’m scared of catching verrucas at swimming pools and saunas and I don’t like anyone touching my face because I don’t know where their hands have been. This sounds like I’m a really difficult person but I’m not I swear. In fact I’m laughing at myself right now, all this aside, I live life to the max, no matter what OCD you have, you can get over this by opening up and talking about it. That’s the first step.