OCD – my self sabotage

Just a warning – this might be a trigger for some people, so read with caution.

The latest way my OCD is taunting me is my paranoia about what is in my drinks. I’m fine if someone makes me a drink (although it does have to be in my mug at work and I don’t drink the tea), but I find it hard to make my own drinks. If I can get away with making it once, that’s fine, but if I have a problem with the first drink it usually means I’m in for trouble.

I know this sounds utterly bizarre. I know logically that there is nothing wrong with any of my drinks, and that what I see are shadows, air bubbles or light refracting from what I can see through the glass or air bubbles of the surroundings – but I am absolutely convinced it’s something bad. There’s no logic to it – I will often throw away the drink only to pour more squash out of the same bottle. It doesn’t usually work for milk – but hot chocolate, sugar, teabags, pretty much anything else.

There was one time when I saw a mark on a tea-bag that should not have been there and ever since then I’ve been checking every tea bag. I hate being asked to make tea for family as it means confronting this fear and looking to make sure it’s safe to use. This happened probably a couple of years ago and stayed at that until a few months ago when it got ridiculously out of control and transferred itself to all types of drink. It always seems that when I make a drink for someone else everything is fine and I very rarely have to remake it. When it’s a drink for myself I can remake it 5-6 times, sometimes I give up. It is easier when I’m “home, home” and not at the house I share in the week or at work. I think that’s because I’m more relaxed and comfortable at the place I’ve lived my whole life.

When I give up making myself a drink (even getting tap water) is when it becomes self-sabataging. I know logically that the drink is fine, however I don’t drink it – I can’t. I put off making or getting drinks for myself. This means:

1) I end up buying bottled water
2) It’s costly – because I have to buy a lot of bottled water & even then this is ‘contaminated’ so I have to throw it away and open another
3) I get dehydrated. This in itself then leads to dry skin (I have very sensitive, dry skin as it is, so hydration is important), lethargy, my brain function decreases and with this I’m less able to fight my OCD so it spirals out of control. If I’m not careful, in hot weather it could even lead to kidney trouble.

As I wrote in my previous post – I’m aiming to combat 3 rituals I have – I’m really hoping that I can control this OCD issue as it has other implications other than just time and money.

Are any of your OCD rituals self-sabotaging in this way?


One comment on “OCD – my self sabotage

  1. ah, I relate on many levels to your post. It’s mostly food that gets me (since I’ve touched it with my [potentially filthy] hands). I never eat with my hands anymore.

    I have a real bad thing about dog poo and shoes… I have to wash my hands after going near anyone/thing that could have been contaminated with doggy doo/dogs in general. Ridiculous, or what.

    I’m starting to feel like life is too short to worry about OCD. It’s that control that I find impossible to give up – the idea that I have to let go of that control is crippling (even though controlling it has failed me).

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