My grandma’s death made me realise that no matter how many times you touch a piece of wood, you cannot stop something.
My OCD has varied in extremity over the years. There were periods in my life when it could take an hour in the morning to complete my routines, having to start over and over, as I was not sure if I had made a mistake. It has cost me a relationship, I have missed valuable job interviews and very nearly failed to complete university (had I not had such understanding lecturers).
I have some core habits, but I also have a lot that change with situations in my life and something specific that I am trying to save at that time.
Here is an honest selection of some of my habits, past and present
- Sticking my fingers so far up my nose it hurt – to try and stop my grandma from dying in the last few months of her life
- Glancing at my eyes in the mirror – to assure that me and nobody that I love will ever lose their eyesight
- Trying to find a clear view of the sky (normally before me or a loved one is flying) – to confirm that during the flight they will be able to breathe (this stems from my obsession of having a medical emergency aboard an aeroplane read more)
- Washing my hands – telling myself that all of my partner’s feelings for their ex-relationships are gone
- Touching wood – this is my biggest core habit and stems from the fact that you ‘touch wood‘ to stop things from ever happening. Makes sense right?
The list could go on, but you get an idea of my thought process.
Realising that these habits do not change anything
Regardless of how many times I shoved my fingers up my nose and affirmed that my grandma would be OK, she died. The brutal realisation that these habits don’t change a thing, apart from having a negative impact on your own life.
My new approach
Even the realisation that I do these things for nothing, did not stop me from doing them. There is always something in my life that I want to save or change and my irrational mind still believes that doing these things helps. What I do now, is tell myself that if I do these actions, then the bad thing will happen, meaning that if I continue in a normal way (without touching the door, or whatever it may be), then things will be fine.
I am not going to lie and tell you that I am now free of my OCD, but it has helped.