Why holidays aren’t so restful

My OCD can make me extremely worn out, physically, mentally and emotionally. So, it’s important for me to recharge.

When most people need to recharge their batteries they go on holiday. For me it’s a different matter. For me holidays are extremely stressful.

Leaving the house unattended makes me worry the whole week about whether it’s safe, secure, still standing. If one member of my family stays behind to look after things I worry all week about whether they’re okay or not.

Staying anywhere, be it a hotel or self catering is phenomenally hard. Other people have stayed there and with my issues over hygiene and unexplained stains anything left behind by others is a problem. Even if it’s an oil mark from a washing machine on the sheets it’s too much to handle.

We tend to stay self catering for many reasons. I’m very glad as it means I can have more control over my environment. On arrival the only way I can deal with it is to pretty much wipe down everything I can, put out a sleeping bag for myself on the bed and blankets on the sofa. It’s not as thorough as I would like but it helps. I have somewhere I can relax and touch without having to wash my hands immediately after.

You can always guarantee though that I will find some marks somewhere at some point. Often it’s part way through the holiday and that can be worse. At least in the beginning you can avoid or work round it, if you haven’t noticed it and you’ve been using / touching that item – it’s too late, the contamination (or imagined contamination) has already happened and you can’t do anything about it.

It takes 3-4 days to be able to overcome the worst of the OCD and begin to enjoy the holiday.

My best holidays are staying with friends and family. At their houses I don’t worry and I can relax. Sadly none of then have homes in France, America or New Zealand where I really want to go!

Do holidays stress you out?

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