At the moment, my OCD isn’t too bad – or so I thought. I’m not particulary stressed at the moment and that’s normally a sign my OCD is going to escalate. However, yesterday I noticed that my hands are getting red and sore – a sure indicator that I’ve been washing my hands too often, so I stepped back and thought about my recent behaviour.
By doing this I realised that for at least some of the time, I carry out my rituals and compulsions subconsciously. They have become such an automatic response that I don’t even realise I’m doing them! That’s what it’s been like for the past week or two and why I’ve got red hands.
When I step back even further, I see myself snapping at people for doing things like walking in the ‘wrong’ place in my bedroom. Thinking about it, I wouldn’t normally have a problem with this, but with Christmas coming up, I like to do all my wrapping on the floor in my room – and I don’t want to sit where someone has walked. Obviously this doesn’t trouble anyone else, so they shouldn’t be expected to realise it, but I do get short tempered with them which later annoys me as I shouldn’t expect them to be mind readers. It’s been worse than usual at the moment because our very old cat is not really very well and has taken refuge under my bed, so my parents keep coming to look at her. I’ve just had a set to with my Dad who came in and walked in the exact place I’d just told my Mum I didn’t want anyone standing. I said ‘please can you not stand there, can you just move over?’ he asked ‘why?’ – but didn’t move. As he knows I have a problem, I was annoyed that he didn’t move first and then ask the question, by standing there longer, it just made me worse. I know the best thing for me is to confront the problem in my head, but sometimes it’s just too difficult.
I should remember back to the time when I used to walk round the house in outdoor shoes and lie on the floor and never got sick, but it’s very difficult. My mind just says ‘that was then, this is now. There are more dangers now then there were’ – which I know isn’t true!
I really thought I was fairly in control at the moment. I was aware I had begun to get up at night more often to check on the noises that worry me, so I’ve not been getting to sleep much before 2am which I know is dangerous for me – a tired mind is less able to combat my OCD. But whilst I was consiously fighting off these compulsions, the others were sneaking in the back door like a distraction burglar. It made me reaslise I have to be aware of all my OCD tendencies at the same time and fight them off from multiple fronts.
I was wondering – does this happen to anyone else? Think you have a grasp on one part of your OCD only to find another has hit you without you realising? It would be great to hear.